Jessica sat stock still. Shutting her eyes she prayed for this moment to be over. “How could this sort of thing be legal, let alone company policy?” she wondered to herself for maybe the fiftieth time.
Opening one eye, Jessica peeked behind her to see she still had company. “Damn it,” she almost uttered out loud before checking herself. Turning back to her computer screen she tried to move as little as possible, as if part of her believed that if she didn’t move her presence in the room would be unnoticed. She was wrong.
“Hello,” the heavily accented word practically punched Jessica in the gut. Giving a short nod in reply, Jessica stared straight ahead and tried her hardest to melt into her chair. She shut her eyes again as a last-ditch effort to remove herself, if even a little bit, from the situation.
For years, things had been fine. There had been no incident. She came in, did her job and went home. And then, she came in one day to find a memo waiting on her desk. Her life had been a living hell ever since. Sleepless nights, loss of appetite, paranoia… the stress got to such a point that her hair had begun to fall out in clumps.
She spent hours running through all the possible things they might have discovered about her. What private information had they gathered? The thought terrified her. “Why was this happening to her?!?” She felt like screaming.
Finally, after what seemed like a decade, she heard a plastic bag rustle and the sound of fabric moving and realized she was once again alone in her office. Slowly opening her eyes to confirm, Jessica slouched down in her seat in relief, “Thank God for that,” she muttered.
Swiveling her chair to face the back corner of her office, Jessica recoiled at the sight of the newly-replaced garbage bag that had been placed in her waste bin. “This is ridiculous,” she said in weak protest to the violation that had already occurred.
Jessica hugged herself and shivered a little. “I mean I’m sitting right here,” she was beginning to get heated now. “There’s just something wrong with another person taking someone else’s trash while they are in the room. It’s not right, I don’t care if they are housekeeping,” Jessica pouted.
After the change to the company’s housekeeping schedule, the housekeepers were now picking up office waste bins a little earlier than in years past. Some staff were… not adjusting as well as others to the change.
The Not So Fantastic Reality:
The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:
ONE: Things have changed at work. And where there is change, there is griping. Recently, our building has changed it’s trash disposal policy. We have been given cute little blue recycling bins for paper and plastic, and a littler black bin for all wet waste, i.e. food and perishables. On top of that, our office trash cans will now only be emptied once a week on Fridays instead of daily. I know- the horror. That’s not even the worse of it. We now are required, as individual staff and faculty members, required to empty our own bins of food waste each day. Can you imagine? Faculty and administrative staff actually having to sully their hands with their own garbage? This cannot continue… there will be a revolution if this policy remains in place… mark my words.
Seriously though, as I was tying up a few things before leaving for the weekend one of the housekeeping staff came into my office and began to empty my trash can. It was kind of weird, sitting there, trying not to be uncomfortable as this stranger practically went through my garbage mere inches behind me. There was something off-putting about it. Maybe I’m just sensitive, but I would rather not be in the room when some stranger is taking out my trash… honestly, I’d rather do it myself.
Love & Squirrels.