Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, It's Off To The Asylum I Go

This is where I work:

• The office building was constructed in such a way that in order to get from one side to the other, one must either walk through the kitchen (where there are enough unwashed, bacteria-smeared coffee mugs in the sink to start a penicillin factory) or the room that houses printers, copiers and office supplies (which I have named “The Drop Zone” because it’s quite odorously apparent that that’s where everyone on the second floor goes to fart). Since the men’s room is on the wing of the building opposite the one on which I sit, I have a choice to make each time I have to “make water”: tour our budding biology laboratory or inhale the wafting odor of the Nachos Bell Grande that Steve from accounting ate for lunch.

• The woman in the cubicle to my right has set her cell phone ringer to play the song on the Irish Spring commercials at the loudest possible volume. Since she is often away from her desk without the offending phone, I must type away to a soundtrack that’s fresh and – whe-whoo! – clean as a whistle.

• The blonde who sits in the cubicle directly in front of mine didn’t get the memo that open-toed flippy floppy shoes are not to be warn after Labor Day. As she flutters around the office, I hear the incessant slap of sweat-soaked leather against the soles of her stinky feet: slap-slop, slap-slop, slap-slop. And so forth.

• The marketing guru who wants everyone to know how important and powerful he is walks around the office talking into the hands-free device on his cell phone. Since one simply cannot talk into one of those things without yelling, the whole office gets treated to the cacophonous stylings of a balding, middle-aged stress case as he negotiates low-grade “chip clip” buys with a tchotchke vendor in Poughkeepsie.

• I keep a bag of M&Ms at my desk because I’m a sugar addict and the candy keeps me from mainlining Mountain Dew when the 3:00 blues hit. Everyone in the office knows about my sugar stash and they pay regular visits to my cubicle to pilfer my candy and chit-chat about the latest office gossip. “So,” says one particular offender, “how’s it going over here? Write any good copy lately?” People, if you’re reading this, spare me the small talk. Just reach the grubby little mitt you just picked your nose with into the bag, spread your germs and leave me alone before I tie you to rafter beam in The Drop Zone and blueflame my McGriddle gas until your eyebrows melt.

• The building maintenance crew has somehow set the hinges on the men’s room door so that it closes very, very slowly. As a result, the door is still roughly halfway open when many guys have begun their evacuatory exercises and/or when their asses begin to emit sounds most commonly associated with a 1967 Gremlin that’s running out of gas: putt-chacha-putt-chacha-pahhhhhh… Thank you, maintenance crew, for allowing everyone in the sales and marketing department to know the status of my colorectal health (or lack thereof).

• There is an elderly, cataract-ridden security guard named Vibart who sits at the desk in the building lobby. Vibart has an insanely strong Caribbean accent and when he’s not sleeping at the desk or losing people’s packages, he’s chatting me up about what he perceives to be the hot current events of the day. “OK, Danny, did you watch the debayut last night, mon?” he says. “I think President Bush is gonna win, mon, you know? He just seems to be the smarter of the two, mon, don’t you think?” They breed ‘em sharp as marbles down there in the Caribbean, don’t they?

When I was freelancing for a living, I used to long for the interactivity and camaraderie of a full-time office gig. What was I thinking?


At 5:56 PM, Blogger H20sidemom said...

Your comments about your cubicle neighbors are hysterical and accurate of life in many offices. However you might want to read or re-read some of the following: http://www.dooce.com/archives/dooced/index.html lest you be back to freelancing.

At 6:35 PM, Blogger honestyrain said...

why did you stop freelancing? you are clearly an excellent writer.

At 6:50 AM, Blogger Neurotic Grad Student said...

I had a coworker who wore the flippy shoes all year long, too. It was February in Michigan and I'd hear flip, flip, flip, flip. She was the office secretary and she was always walking from the front of the office to the back to make photocopies and it was the worst sound ever!! I remember one time actually being in TEARS because I could no longer handle the absolute hell of that particular secretary's shoes anymore. I no longer work for this organization, but whenever I talk to former coworkers, I make sure to end the conversation with "flip, flip, flip." Just so that they know I have not forgotten.

At 7:38 PM, Blogger Lala said...

you made me gag on my late night Honey Bunches of "O's"

At 2:11 PM, Blogger Pink Lemonade Diva said...

Where do you stand on office small talk? Like covering the weekend, etc...

Not a fan, myself.

At 10:46 AM, Blogger HDawg said...

you got somethin to say about my "Slippahs", Braddah? what, like beef? love, haole girl

At 11:03 AM, Blogger Shiz said...

Ew. That sounds ... so not fun. All my coworkers do is tell everyone that I'm selling used underwear.

Wait, are they hiring?

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