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2007-08-09 - 4:31 p.m.

...entry 2: Myrtle's dilemma, or my ongoing life in the movie Brazil...

Terry Gilliam, if you are out there somewhere, and you ever google your name and find this, know that I love you. I love you for producing Brazil, my familiarity with which continues to make my working life bearable.

So today's reason for loving Mr. Gilliam:

Today I got my umpteenth phone message from Myrtle in financial services. There are problems with the hiring paperwork that I sent over to them three weeks ago.

Problem #1 (according to Myrtle): You are "not authorized" to sign the salary paperwork for the two young people working in your lab.

So I say:
umm...I'm not sure I understand.

And so Myrtle says:
The problem, really, is not that you're "not authorized." The reason you are "not authorized" is that you have not submitted the proper authorization form to financial services.

And I say:
Okay..but I'm still not sure I understand this...because I've already hired two different people, in the very same way, on the very same grant.

And so Myrtle says:
Well, sometimes we give people a little bit of time to file the authorization form. And so my colleague might have just filed the paperwork without the form. Or she might have emailed someone in your department and asked if you were actually authorized even though you don't have the proper authorization. And then with the email my colleague authorized it without you. But I have no way of knowing that.

And so I say:
But. but. but...How am I supposed to KNOW that I need to file the authorization form if no one ever tells me?

And so Myrtle says:
Well, EVERYONE has to sign an authorization form.

And so I say:
I don't ever remember signing any authorization forms before. Why don't you just send me the authorization form and I'll get it back to you.

And so Myrtle says:
No, I can't do that.

*we now pause for a little question mark break.


*thank you.

And so I say:
So... where do I get the form then?


I never got an answer. Because we'd moved on to Myrtle's REAL reason for calling, and hit at the crux of the REAL problem. Folks this really happened. I am not making this part up.

And Myrtle said:
You sent me TWO copies of the hiring paperwork for these two new people. And the paperwork is IDENTICAL. And I thought,


And Myrtle continued:
So I thought, do you really want me to hire and pay the same people TWICE?

....stunned silence from teranika....

Myrtle continued:
I mean, that doesn't make sense. So I've been trying to get in touch with you to see what I should do before I file this paperwork.

So I said (exhibiting what I thought was an extreme amount of patience):
Why don't you mail. the. one. copy. back. to. our. office. and. use. the. other. copy. to. pay. them....

And Myrtle said:
Well, okay. But in the future, you know, it's really confusing if you send us two copies of the same document. ESPECIALLY if you've signed them both in BLUE INK. So I just wanted to let you know NEXT TIME if you really need to send us a copy you should use the photocopier so we KNOW that it's a copy.

I don't remember how the conversation with Myrtle ended. I was too stunned.

Afterwards, I went into Rosa's office and asked for her help, explaining that I had just dealt with someone whose mental capacity was so limited that I didn't know how to deal with her.

I explained Myrtle's dilemma. To which Rosa replied with a bit of confusion:

We didn't send two copies of the paperwork. We sent the salary paperwork, and the appointment letter. Both require original (BLUE) signatures.

And so I said.
Rosa. Please? Help me here.?

And Rosa smiled and said.
Sure. I deal with these kind of people everyday. I'll talk to her for you.

And so I left with the confidence of Mr. Kurtzman, having just put my paperwork in the hands of a very competent Sam Lowry (the happy-go-lucky Sam Lowry from the BEGINNING of the film, that is.)

K is at home, trying to find the Sinatra version of the Samba from Brazil.

doot doot DOOT. doo deDOOOOO dedoot.
doot doot DOOT. doo deDOOOOO dedoot.

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