Office star

Dear rock stars of the world,

While you might feel pretty cool shredding your guitars onstage, I’m rocking out admin style, shredding these papers…like Jagger?



Actually, when it comes to office tasks, I’m anything but a star.  A simple trip to the shredder reminds me that while my Mount Holyoke BA covered everything from the epidemiological paradox to sestinas, it failed to educate me on the finer points of office supplies.  So I find myself once again repeatedly jamming the shredder with an overload of documents.  The shredder chokes for the fifth time in the past four minutes.

I kneel down and tell it, “Hey, you should know I’m not such a dunce–I graduated summa cum laude, alright?”

The shredder considers, wondering how my fancy diploma would taste, and how it would look digested into strips of Latin.

A colleague asked me how I was doing with my new duties.  I hesitated, considering how much time I had spent struggling to fix a stapler or to coerce the photocopier into submitting to my will.  (It won.)  Or how difficult it had been to find that room where according to legend there would be stacks and stacks of bond paper.  After wandering around one building, asking everyone I encountered about “the room with lots of paper,” I found one sympathetic soul who joined me for my quest.  Up the elevator, down the stairs, I got my first thorough tour of this building.  It was an actual paper chase.

Does anyone know where I can find the big boxes of bond paper?

“Enough with this Socratic nonsense.  Does anyone here know where I can get ten reams of bond paper?”

There are these simple tasks that aren’t so simple for a newbie.  And then there are the bug traps–or, as Catchmaster calls them, “adhesive pest control products”–and the unfortunate lizards that stroll inside.  I saved that first one, yes, and a few more.  One of them I only partially saved, as in his eagerness to escape me, he abandoned his tail, which flailed around on the ground in front of me until I tossed it into the bushes.  But there are those tragedies when I’m too late.  Or the ancient bug traps I’ve found when I explore the creepier passages of my building, that were set out years ago and have been collecting diverse little bodies since.  I enacted the story of Pandora’s box with one such trap.  I just had to know its contents, so I unfolded the box cautiously and found a desiccated gecko and what I swear was a fossilized tarantula.  Shiver.

Oh, Pandora...

Oh, Pandora…

But these brushes with kingdom animalia have endowed me with a certain prestige in the office.  One day I was doing something administrative, possibly wrestling with some staples, when I heard a cry for help: “Is anyone here not afraid of lizards?”  Already excited, I stood up: “I’m not!”  My colleague led me into the ladies’ washroom where a tiny lizard was hiding behind the toilet.  I got down on the floor and after a little graceless scrambling around caught it by its tail and, cradling it in my palm, took it out to the garden to release it.  When I returned, the women I had rescued greeted me as a hero.  Literally, “You’re so brave!  You’re our hero!”

Really, folks, it’s nothing.  All in a day’s work.

1 thought on “Office star

  1. I just love reading these adventures that deal with a plethora of germs! I sit back and imagine your dad (sorry Robert) slathering on the gel from his now gallon sized bottle of Purell, getting on his hands and knees in the bathroom, and catching a “salmonella covered” lizard with his bare hands (you probably had gloves on but the story sounds better without them)! Way to go Laylz 🙂

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