“Ok Mr. C, I heard you were giving the new girl some trouble. That’s not very nice, you know, we want her to feel accepted here, right? So, what’s the problem today?” Danielle leaned down so she could be at eye level when she spoke.
“What do you mean you’ve hidden it? We’ve talked about this, Mr. C. You know you aren’t supposed to keep any of the things you help with, that’s against the rules,” Danielle said as patiently as she could. This routine was getting really old, and it seemed like Mr. C was ‘hiding’ things more and more lately. It may be time to get him checked, she thought despondently.
“Now can you show me where it’s hidden? No? Not even a little hint? Fine…” Danielle rolled up her sleeves and prepared to get tough, guess it was going to be one of those days. “Well if you’re not going to help, I’m going to have to go through everything and that could take a long time… hope you don’t have anywhere to go,” she knew the false threat would get her nowhere but couldn’t help herself.
Danielle spent the next half an hour searching in vain without results. Sitting back on her haunches she looked up at Mr. C and a strange thought occurred to her, “If I didn’t know any better, Mr. C… I would say you’re doing this on purpose to get me to spend more time with you”. The silence in the room spoke volumes.
“Danielle? Who are you talking to?” Ricky from down the hall, stuck his head in the room and seemed disturbed at what he saw.
“Oh! Hi Ricky,” Danielle replied sheepishly as she rose from the ground. “I was uh… I was just looking for this paper jam, you know… thought it might help if I… talk to it… or something,” Danielle heard how preposterous she sounded and wished she had kept her mouth shut… something she apparently couldn’t even manage around inanimate objects.
Giving her one last yes-I-do-think-you’re-looney-tunes look, Ricky nodded noncommittally and backed out of the copier room.
Watching her coworker leave, Danielle felt all kinds of ridiculous but one central thought reverberated in her mind, “I really need to get out more…”
The Not So Fantastic Reality:
The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:
ONE: Paper jams, we’ve all had them, we all hate them. Today our new office assistant was having a hell of a time figuring out what to do with our copier as it claimed to be jammed but no trace of rogue paper could be found. Having run into this issue more times than I can count, I knew a few tricks to get the old boy working right again. As I opened every tray (at least seven) I explained to the office assistant that the copier was much like a lonely old man and usually all it wanted was for you to spend a little time with it- feigning paper jams was a classic ‘pay attention to me!’ move from this particular machine. As if to punctuate my point, upon the slamming shut of the final drawer the machine whirled to life and began printing like nothing had happened. “See?” I said, “It just wanted a visit”. I guess she didn’t get the analogy because she just stared at me like I was speaking gibberish. Then again, it was before 10am so it’s completely likely I was in fact speaking gibberish (I don’t claim to be functional until at least eleven).
Love & Squirrels.