I think the scene with the boss was just INCREDIBLY clunky exposition to show that she was going to her apartment after work. I was laughing at how horribly written that scene was.
The timeline on the show for when the LA Times contacted her wasn't quite correct. The actual attack happened in August 2016 and the podcast wasn't released until October 2017. He spent about a year researching the story and putting the podcast together, but it's not like Terra was still in the hospital when he originally contacted Debra. He saw the story of the attack and started digging deeper, but he did more background research on John Meehan before he actually contacted Debra. The portrayal on the show kinda paints Debra as a total famewhore. There's no doubting she may have become that, but I don't know that she really was at the beginning of all this.
That was another thing they clumsily tried to insert into the show. In real life, Terra was a big fan of The Walking Dead and would talk about what to do in case of the zombie apocalypse. I know lots of people who will just jokingly talk about what they would do in case of that scenario. I think they were trying to show that she was using her knowledge of how to kill "zombies" during the attack from John, but these writers were just too clumsy to make that fit in naturally.
By that time, I truly think John was so strung out and angry that it's almost like he had a psychotic break. He was with it enough to plan everything out, but the actual attack was so sloppy compared to his other cons.