An Email from My Boss The Monday After The Freaky Friday My Toddler Went To Work in My Body

Jenn Knott
Nov 4, 2019 · 4 min read
Photo by Sven de Koe on Unsplash

Dear Gillian,

Now that we’ve had the weekend to decompress, I’d like to circle back to Friday’s — let’s say “unique” — work performance and office conduct.

I consider you a professional, Gillian, and thus was shocked to arrive in the morning and find you wandering the office looking very much like a disoriented meth addict. Six sloppy pigtails, a mess of lipstick and eye shadow you apparently applied with your eyes closed, and a hot-orange XXL T-shirt with a bikini-clad Thanksgiving turkey proclaiming, “My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard!” are simply inappropriate for lead counsel at a respected family law firm.

The lack of pants was particularly appalling.

Brenda has a spare set of clothes, but you deemed the color “too barfy” and took off running, leading our geriatric head of HR to chase you to the elevator, tackle you to the floor, and wrestle you with some difficulty into a pencil skirt.

Your shrieks of “The lava, it BURNS!” and “No underwear!” echoed off the walls. The latter statement — much to everyone’s horror — proved to be accurate.

We thought maybe you just needed coffee, but you spray-spit the first mouthful in your receptionist Dan’s face, bellowed “Blech, HOT POISON!”, then dumped the rest on notarized documents on your desk. You proceeded with a poor imitation of a vagrant urinating, squatting and chanting “PSHT! PSHT! Table pee!” before stopping abruptly, giving Dan a dead stare, and demanding he escort you to the restroom.

He agreed to wait directly outside the stall to help you wash hands — why, Gillian? — but that was assuming you wouldn’t throw open the door, knock him nearly unconscious, then bolt out of the ladies’ room screaming that “an evil potty” wants to “eat your naked bottom.”

The automatic toilets are erratic, yes, but they are not eating anyone’s bottom. We sent Dan home and Brenda was good enough to retrieve your skirt.

We probably also should have called you a taxi here, but since we’d already rescheduled Mrs. Roxanne d’Bouvier twice, keeping you through the lunch meeting seemed like the least bad option. Thankfully, I had the good sense to join.

Instead of greeting our most important and mercurial client with a polite handshake when you arrived to the conference room, you bunny-hopped right past her, threw yourself onto the glass table, and started jolting your torso upwards, braying “MAP, MAP, MAAAP!” to a rhythm only you could hear.

Then came lunch.

We regularly order from Canter’s, but this Friday you screamed “It’s GAAAAARBAGE!” on repeat until Brenda hastily removed your usual pastrami on rye. French fries, a kosher pickle, and an ungodly pile of ketchup were apparently acceptable, but watching you eat was — to be frank — disgusting. I was reminded of our paper shredder, only our machine doesn’t loudly smack “YAM YUM YAM YUM YAM!”, ooze ketchup through its feeder and onto the table, nor blast out five-second farts followed by uncontrollable laughter.

I mean, Jesus, Gillian.

Mrs. d’Bouvier finally asked what we were all thinking: “What’s her problem?” but your response of “Lick my sick butt with your tongue NOW!” was surprisingly venomous.

Mrs. d’Bouvier leapt out of her seat to return the insult, but when you tried to stand, your sticky, filthy fingers slid off the table. You toppled backwards, coming to the ground with a thud.

Crumpled on the carpet, you melted into a wailing puddle of snot, tomato condiment, and raw pain, and something about the pitiful image struck a chord with our notoriously difficult client. A silent tear slid down her cheek, then she started singing: “Don’t let them in, don’t let them see, be the good girl you always have to be…”

It was like magic. You climbed into the lap of Mrs. Roxanne d’Bouvier — the woman you once said was worse than your three-year-old on a bad day, every day — for an impromptu, truly heart-rending duet of “Let it Go.” She confided how much she missed her children, and with your genius “I miss my MOMMY!” she agreed to settle the divorce immediately. She’s relinquishing both the Fabergé egg AND the Bichon Frise in exchange for full custody! Can you believe it?

I’ll admit, Gillian, your behavior on Friday was undeniably, inexplicably, and disturbingly bizarre, but I guess you knew what you were doing. Perhaps in order to succeed with our clients — unpredictable, egotistical sociopaths with self-control issues — you have to play at their level. And because we are a firm concerned with family issues, maybe it’s important, at least every now and then, to tap into our inner children.

Brilliant and creative work, Gillian. We’re promoting you to partner.




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Jenn Knott

Written by

Connoisseur of quiet, makes exceptions for dance parties. Writing in McSweeney’s, American Bystander, The Belladonna, Slackjaw. Tweeties @jkusesherwords



Medium humor. Large laughs.

Jenn Knott

Written by

Connoisseur of quiet, makes exceptions for dance parties. Writing in McSweeney’s, American Bystander, The Belladonna, Slackjaw. Tweeties @jkusesherwords



Medium humor. Large laughs.

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