Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Office

I think my boss is trying to kill me. I’m not even kidding you. Maybe he’s tired of paying the ever increasing health insurance premiums and this is the best way to get rid of me? Or maybe this is payback for that one error I made back in 2002?

Or maybe he’s just tired of my perfectionist-never-make-a-mistake attitude?!

I’m not sure what the reason is, but it seems like he’s trying to tell me something when there are so many noxious chemicals in the air that I seriously need a gas mask to breathe. And, no, I am not being paranoid.

As you know if you’ve read any of my blogs for the past five years, I’ve been dealing with a cold. And, okay, so it hasn’t been five years, but surely we must be getting close.

And I’m not the only one around here who is sick, either. There’s an awful lot of hacking and throat-clearing and nose-blowing occurring in this office and it’s not all coming from me, although I could easily snag the prize for being the loudest and most obnoxious.

So why on earth would he choose today – of all days – to repair the floorboard in the empty office near mine? We only keep catalogues in there along with our water fountain. But we’re all used to straddling the broken floorboard when filling our water bottles, so it’s no biggie. Besides, that floorboard has been broken since before I arrived on the scene – and that is going on eight l-o-n-g…I mean, eight magical years! No telling how many decades before that it was broken.

Apparently, my boss decided that the work couldn’t be delayed any longer when the flooring in another office gave way and created a gap big enough to allow infiltration from four-legged creatures that rhyme with “cats” but are not cute household pets that wear pink collars with tinkling little bells. No, these creatures belong in a landfill or a sewer somewhere far away from the inside of an office building. Or at least far enough away from the likes of me.

So, okay, I’ll concede that there is a valid reason for the urgency in having the repairs made. It's an old, German Village office and stuff happens. And I appreciate the effort to keep said creatures from entering the office, which would cause me to screech like a banshee should I ever spy one in here.

But the guy doing the repair work (who is currently outside on his third smoke break in an hour), is using some sort of horrendous-smelling glue to fix things. It’s making me a tiny bit lightheaded. This would be bad enough, but now I’m smelling the smoke from his cigarette, which is somehow drifting into my office from the outside. And it’s making me cough, which I’m really tired of doing, thus it’s also making me a little cranky.

Perhaps I should also have copped to that one error I might possibly have made in 2005? You think that would return things to normal around here where the worst smell I have to deal with is that which emanates from the break room after someone orders bad Thai food at lunchtime?

Probably not. Because that’s not the end of our problems. Seriously, it’s like some cheesy disaster movie around here today.

We also have an infestation of flies in the basement. I kid you not. I refused to go down there to see what was meant by “infestation” because, to me, anything more than two flies qualifies as an infestation. Besides, if I saw a roomful of swarming flies, I’d be traumatized for life and you’d find me trembling inside a little white padded room swatting at imaginary flies and drooling and mumbling to myself. So I think I’ll just take their word for it.

So what did they do? They set off some foggers down there to eradicate the flies. Which is great, but now I swear to you, the toxic chemicals are filtering up through the vents into my office. You have got to be kidding me!

I’m telling you, it’s hard to concentrate on how best to respond to a customer who wants to know if it’s okay to give her 5 lb. mini-pretend dog one of our Meaty Y dog bones that are about the size of a dinosaur thigh and have to be twice the size of her dog. Would it be too sarcastic to simply write back, “Hey lady…duh!”? No, I’d better not. Mostly because then I would have to admit to making another mistake. Damn.

So I have a few questions: Is it bad to breathe in the fumes from those bug bombs? How about someone with a temporarily compromised immune system? And, most importantly, shouldn’t all this qualify me for some sort of additional hazardous pay??

If only I’d known I’d be dealing with all this cigarette smoking, bug-bombing, super-glue fumigating, fly-infiltrating craziness, I would’ve just called in sick this morning. Surely I wouldn't have been required to bring in a doctor's excuse.

I'm telling you, though, if I see a swarm of locusts approaching, I'm outta here!

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