Just Another Day in the Office

I’m pretty polite, even with no coffee and on very little sleep.  And I usually offer a friendly “good morning” gesture as I arrive in the office each day.  My coworkers aren’t as nice – and this morning, everyone was clearly in a funk.

“Good morning!”

Angry stares all around.  I swear someone growled at me, another colleague threw paper clips as I passed her cubicle, and the office kitty took a swipe at my arm before he hissed and rolled over.  EVERYONE woke up on the wrong side of the bed, and I knew it was going to be “one of those days”.  You know, one of those really tough days at the office.

I make the coffee at work, and boy did we all need some!  I wish one pot would do it, but it takes four separate brews – one coworker has to have an organic dark roast, another needs decaf, my officemate takes espresso only, and I prefer a cold brew latte.  I made it to the office on time & worked on everyone’s cups as quickly as possible – STILL, the yelling.  “Where’s my GD coffee?!” “I want it now!  Now, now, NOW!” “But I can’t wait two more minutes!”

I talk to my coworkers about helping to make the coffee & offer suggestions for respectful ways of talking to me – they just aren’t there yet.  By the time I get everyone their cups, tweaked how they like it, I’m lucky to drink two sips of mine before it’s cold.  This morning I didn’t even get a taste because all hell broke loose in the copy room.

Two grown men fought over who got there first.  As one would put a copy code in, the other would pound on the keys and cancel it out.  “Oh yeah?  Well if I can’t go first, neither of us will!”  And he grabbed the other’s pages and ripped them in half, tossing them in the air as they fell to the ground in silence.  Pause, pause . . . then absolute furry ensued.  A brawl in suits, really.  I would have intervened, but I’m still nursing the black eye from trying to break up yesterday’s fight over who got to open the Fed Ex package.

Forget this, I gotta pee!  And oh how I dread peeing at work.  Today was a perfect commentary on why.  I slipped in the bathroom unnoticed. Thank God the stalls have locks.  I bolted myself in.  And just as a trickle started, the entire office went on a group field trip to wash their hands.  Apparently they’d all had three glasses of wine beforehand because I have no other explanation for what followed.

Banging began on my stall door.  “What are you doing? Hurry up!” “Stop peeing!  Come out!” “I need to pee, it’s MY turn!”  I threw my old pad in the trash and pulled a new one from my front pocket, trying to block out the screaming and pounding.  Someone used a quarter to open the stall door.  Another coworker grabbed my pad and ran off laughing.  And as I stared into the smiling face of my officemate, our eyes simultaneously glanced over to the empty toilet paper roll (damn, I should have checked, but I had to pee so bad!).  She squealed, “I tricked you!” and ran out with the others.  All I can tell you is that getting back to my desk involved white hand towels (the office is trying to avoid paper waste) and bleach.

Ah, client meeting in five!  No problem.  Oh sh*t, there IS a problem.  Listen, my boss is a free spirit.  Most of the time she can stay clothed, but today she’s having those GD hot flashes.  “Please put your clothes on – the client will be here in three minutes and we NEED this account.  Listen, I’ll help you get dressed.  Let’s pretend your dress is a nice, cool swimming pool, and you can dive right in!” “I don’t wanna put on clothes!  I’m hot!”  Flash forward three minutes, round table, naked boss.  I’m positive the client starred at her boobs the ENTIRE time.  But no one really mentioned it.  And they did renew the contract.  I know, it’s not the way most people do business.  But wrinkled, saggy boobs is how we roll.

Busy morning!  Time for lunch.  We’re all trying to save money, so none of us eat out.  We have a break room table & keep lunch supplies in the fridge.  Lunch is part of my job, like coffee.  I pass out the food, punch straws in juice boxes, and cut up meat into chewable bites.  “I don’t like carrots!”  I ignore it.  “I want cake!”  Ignore.  “But I wanted FRENCH FRIIIIIIIIIES!!!”  Not responding.  A defiant carrot is thrown.  It hit a coworker.  Silent eyes glare.  Carrots go flying.  Juice boxes are squirted.  Mayhem.  Again.  I wipe faces, change clothes where needed, and coax everyone back to their desks.

My boss’s secretary goes ballistic and hastens me on an emergency errand to the bathroom.  Oh God, not the bathroom again.  Explosive diarrhea.  And my boss does not know how to wipe her own ass.  I mean, she THINKS she does, so it’s a really fine line to walk – empowering her to wipe herself (so that she gets more proficient), yet making sure the butt crack is clean, hands are poop free, the toilet doesn’t get clogged with overuse of toilet paper, and (in this case) that explosive diarrhea is not smeared over the entire office via my boss’s clothes and shoes.  The whole ordeal takes 15 minutes, and I’m sure the interviewee I had on hold has long hung up, I’ve timed out of everything I was working on online, and I’ve missed the soda break.

I didn’t get a single thing done on my to do list today.  I’ve had no personal space (one coworker repeatedly shoves his hands down my shirt, but we don’t really have a harassment policy).  I’m hungry.  I’m thirsty.  I need a shower, but I doubt I’ll get one.  I honestly don’t know what they’re paying me for at the office.

Ah well, it’s time to go home.  Home.  My partner has been at home all day taking care of our progeny.  I wonder what it must be like – to not fight the fires I fight at work all day.  To be able to relax.  Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to work.  You know, just played with my kid at home all day?  Because THAT would be so much easier.

Dr. Rachel

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One Response to Just Another Day in the Office

  1. Lynn says:

    Um, this was brilliant, Dr. Rachel! Guess we must be working in the same line of work or something…

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