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Office Professional: A Day in the Life (Sort Of)

12 Apr

6:45 a.m.   Your alarm clock beeps.

6:47 a.m.   You contemplate your very life’s purpose.

6:50 a.m.   Your alarm clock beeps again.

6:59 a.m.   You’re standing in the shower preparing your skin to sit in an office for an eight+ hour stretch. There will be typing and filing and comingling with others you’d never in a trillion years comingle with in your leisure time. There may or may not be free muffins and danishes involved.

7:15 a.m.    You’re idling on a road behind a car that has 48 bumper stickers. You’re not even sure what color the car is. Apparently the owner has A LOT to say. Perhaps he/she was a middle child. Or the last of six.

7:28 a.m.   You turn the station on your radio for the 18th time. Too much yakking from the chipper morning DJ’s who seem to have had caffeine pills for breakfast.

7:54 a.m.   You pull into the garage at your workplace. You cut off your car. You have approximately six minutes before you’re expected at your desk. You realize you didn’t grab your lunch on the way out, the lunch you spent 45 minutes preparing last night. Great. Now you’ll have to spend money on lunch. Either that or eat six bags of pretzels from the vending machine.

8:15 a.m.    You’re at your desk. Your boss is hovering over you.  You can tell he’s trying out a new underarm deodorant.

9:00 a.m.  You’re busy typing a report you could give a rat’s heiny about. It’s long and drawn out. There are charts involved, cells and equations and squiggly lines. You feel dizzy.

10:48 a.m.    You’re done with the report. You put it on your boss’s desk and hope he doesn’t eyeball it til after lunch.

10:49 a.m.    Your boss is at your desk bathing your nostrils in his new deodorant. Apparently the report needs to be tweaked. You’re the Tweaker. You get to tweaking.

11:58 a.m.     You’re still tweaking.

12:19 p.m.     Your boss has left for lunch, a tiny lunch dive around the corner. Before he left he poked his head into your cubicle to tell you he hopes you finish the report by the time he returns.

12:20 p.m.      Your stomach is growling so loud you wonder if you’ve ever eaten anything since you were born.

1:28 p.m.       Your boss returns and is now hovering over you as you fiddle with Excel charts while simultaneously pretending you’re not agitated by his hovering. When he leans over to smear his fingerprints on your computer screen you smell fajitas, Sprite and sugar cookies on his breath.

2:16 p.m.       The report is finally done. You place it in your boss’s inbox and head to the vending machine with your found coins. You wonder if there are muffins left over from an earlier meeting in the conference room so you head in that direction. When you get to the door of the conference room you spot a tray with one muffin left on it. Just one.

2:16:29 p.m.     “Hi Jane!” It’s Madge from Acquisitions. She’s always buzzing up the hallway with files in her hands. She seems to eat her job. She loves it. No, she adores it. She probably sleeps in her business suits, you muse. You watch Madge head on up the hallway until she’s out of sight.

2:17 p.m.       Just as you turn to head towards the lone muffin your boss slips past you and into the conference room, picks up the muffin and starts eating it.  “I’m still eyeballing the report, Jane. But so far, so good.”  He has muffin crumbs on his lips as he speaks.

2:25 p.m.      You’re on your second bag of pretzels. I mean, half the bag is air anyway.

4:45 p.m.     Your boss is back at your desk. He’s hovering again, pointing out “discrepancies” in the report you’ve spent the better part of a day on. When he leans in close you can smell muffin on his breath. Muffin mixed with new deodorant.

5:38 p.m.       There’s an SUV in front of you. Apparently the owner doesn’t know the meaning of a turn signal.

6:29 p.m.      You’re home and now face-deep in leftovers. You don’t even bother chewing. You never want to see another pretzel again.

8:14 p.m.     You’re getting sleepy. You set your alarm clock.  You drift off to sleep by 9:32 p.m.

9:56 p.m.      You dream about a pretzel. A huge, knotted pretzel. It’s stomping up a hill. You’re at the top of the hill. Strangely it has a face and it appears angry. You run but you’re adorned in protocol attire so you don’t get very far. You trip and fall down as so many women do in pretzel monster movies. Oh dear, you’ve lost a high heel. You glance back and see there’s something in the pretzel’s hand. It’s the report you’ve been working on all day.

11:32 p.m.      It was all just a dream. You’re sitting on the edge of your bed. You have seven hours and 13 minutes before your alarm clock beeps. You drift off to sleep and dream of muffins.


Weird Workplace Bathroom Encounters

1 Mar

Using public bathrooms can already be awkward. I mean, using the bathroom is a private matter involving your utmost personal body parts and excretions. At least when using an extremely public bathroom–say, at a grocery store or at Starbucks or a restaurant–you’re in and out and there are total strangers you may or may not encounter during yours or their, um, deposits.

But at the workplace, they’re not total strangers. Why, there’s Madge from the Acquisitions Department. There’s Mitch from Accounting. There’s The Evil H.R. Lady with her piercing eyes and inquisitive eyebrows.  Oh gosh, there’s coworker # 18 who whistles the “Candy Man” song while he makes his deposit. There’s those shoes under the stall next to you that you aren’t quite sure who they belong to but they’ve been there for over six grueling minutes…still and quiet and eerie…while you’re lingering there waiting to make a huge deposit in peace. Hopefully alone.

There are the coworkers who have no clue that they should wash their hands after making any type of deposit.

There are the coworkers who, even though they wash their hands, they open the door behind sixteen others who did not wash their hands.  The worst–absolute worst–is when you spot one of the filthy handed coworkers fondling left-over (free!) food in the conference room with their door handle hands.

Hmm, do I want this muffin? No. How about THIS muffin…It has more blueberries…Naw, I think I’ll just try this cinammon muffin. Or perhaps this bigger one with the walnuts…Fondle, fondle, fondle.

Oy. There goes your own free muffin. Now it’s tainted with fecal matter from various coworkers.

Public bathrooms have come a long way since I’ve been using them. They’ve invented the automatic flush (more on this in a later post), motion sensor water (more on this, too, in a later post) and they even have foamy soap which seems so much better than the squirty stuff. What they need to invent ASAP is an automatic door where the use of hands is completely unnecessary.

Perhaps this way I can get a free muffin that isn’t tainted.