Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Today janet celebrates her birthday of an undisclosed number of years! Actually, I’m not sure if janet cares about her age or not, but I thought I’d be respectful just in case…

Janet rocks. She is da bomb. I have known janet now for just over 6 years and each time I stop to think about how long we’ve been friends, I always marvel at how few the years are against how deep the friendship feels.

For those of you who don’t know (or remember) I met janet when I temped at Valley Radiation Oncology Center (or VROC for short) in Tarzana, California. I was working temp jobs waiting till I could apply to grad school back when I thought I was going to be in grad school. For my PhD. Yes, that long ago. I walked into the lobby of VROC and there was this tiny asian lady sitting behind the high receptionist desk. I thought she might be Korean, but wasn’t sure. She was quiet and looked vaguely unhappy (maybe she wasn’t feeling well?) and she answered the phones methodically, one call at a time. I waited not that patiently feeling like she was not providing me the customer service I was entitled to (I felt very entitled back then. A lot of times, I still do.) and when she finally got off the phone, I was able to introduce myself. And I found out that she was my boss.

Janet will argue at this point in the story that she was never my boss. But let the facts speak for themselves:

  1. I was told to report to VROC and ask for someone named Janet.
  2. She showed me around the office and trained me.
  3. She signed my time cards.
  4. She told me when I could take my breaks.
  5. If I had to call in sick or late, I would call her.

After a few hours of touring the office, meeting the rest of the staff and training me for my position there (during which time Cheryl, a volunteer came in), she said to us: Okay, girls. Let’s break for lunch.

She sounded tired. She grabbed her lunch out of the fridge and led us to the break room and pulled out an apple and a knife. It was when I saw her peel her apple with her knife that I knew. You’re Korean, aren’t you? She looked startled. How did you know that? I pointed to her fruit. Koreans peel their fruit. And for some reason, that cracked her up and she laughed hysterically.

Something about that laugh at lunch and the peeled fruit broke down the formality of walls between temp to supervisor. I was more comfortable around her and I loved to make her laugh her crazy laugh. I invited her over to meet my family and they promptly adopted her as a long lost cousin (her last name is the same as my maiden name). If you ask my father, he’ll swear that janet is related to us through our genealogical trees. We are a little more skeptical, but enjoy humoring my dad.

The temp assignment at VROC didn’t last for too long, but we had become friends and cousins and I am blessed to have her in my life. Since I love lists and since it is her day, a few things about janet (there’s so much more) and why she is so cool:

  • It’s fun to make janet laugh. Really, you should give it a try. She will enable your need to be goofy or silly. And validate it with hearty chuckling and giggling.
  • Janet is loyal. She will do anything for her friends and family.
  • Janet doesn’t drink alcohol (she’s allergic, poor thing) and so will always volunteer to be the designated driver.
  • Janet is game. She’ll always go along with whatever activity you suggest. I have hijacked her into going to bars (she doesn’t drink), going to clubs (she doesn’t listen to the same music that I do), making dressmaker dummies (on her days off), petsitting when we are out of town (she’s allergic to cats) just to name a few.
  • Janet loves nothing more than to veg out in front of the t.v. She will watch all and any crappy show (and a bunch of good ones too) and accompany you to marathon movie sessions.
  • Janet loves dessert. She always shows up with artful pastries from fancy-schmancy bakeries that she discovers.
  • Janet is a good eater. She is fun to cook for.
  • Janet has tiny feet and you can knit socks for her with just 45 grams of sockyarn(!)
  • Janet is a romantic. She reads 18th century poetry, revels in costume period piece movies and dreams of being whisked away to a cottage outside of a medieval village where she can churn her own butter and consume herself with thoughts of her manly shepherd coming home for lunch. (Janet is also no fan of the germs and forgets that these idyllic scenes of yesteryears do not include indoor plumbing or anti-bacterial soap. But a girl can dream, can’t she?)
  • Janet has great attention to detail and is smart. So even if she doesn’t know how to do something, say like knitting, but you have a crazy deadline to meet that requires backup, she will come to your house for 12 hours and do all the tedious work that you need help with, picking up skills that she did not walk in with as she goes along.
  • Janet is the kind of person you would always want on your team.

Janecita, happy birthday! Hope you have lots of tasty treats to toast your special day!

1 comment:

jean said...

jenn said:

Happy Birthday Janet!! I hope you have CUPCAKES! Love, Jenn

August 22, 2006 @ 4:44 PM