Thursday, January 19, 2006
Pigs in Office Space
Some lowlife at work stole my lunch today.
This happened 8 hours ago and I still can't believe it.
You get ripped off on the subway or your pocket gets picked in a crowded saloon, well, that happens.
But when you put your food into the refrigerator at work in the morning and come back a few hours later to find it's gone, that's pig slop.
I've brought my lunch to work a few days each week since I started there and nothing like this has ever happened before. It's never happened anywhere I've worked, and, believe me, I punched the clock at some serious hellholes in my time.
My dad's aid, Mary, is a great cook and yesterday at my request she put together a huge serving of her famous pasta and vegetables.
Now my dad doesn't like Mary's pasta--he doesn't like much, come to think of it--but I sure as hell do. I had some last night for supper and there was enough left to take for lunch today.
This saves me money, as Manhattan eateries are notoriously expensive, and, frankly, Mary's home cooking is better than any of the food I can get around Wall Street.
Scene of the Crime
I went to my gym at noon, came back to file a story, and then headed over to the cafeteria at about 2:15 p.m. to get my veggie pasta. Only it wasn't there.
Whoever the son-of-a-bitch was, he or she ate my lunch and then put the empty container back in the refrigerator without washing it.
I don't know why that no washing bit bothers me so much, but it does. It's ridiculous to think that this bum, who has no trouble stealing from a co-worker, would take the trouble to clean up after himself, but somehow that really pisses me off.
So you're thief and a slob? Goodness, your mother raised you right.
How am I supposed to react to this? If I start raising hell, I look like an idiot for making such a big deal over a such a small issue. Nobody died, right?
But, by the same token, if I let it go, I feel like a wuss. What am I, some schmuck kid in the playground, you can steal my lunch money and get away it?
I mean, Jesus, Mary, and Ralph, what the hell is wrong with you? It's so disgusting I hate thinking about it, but, I can't shake it out of my head. If you were starving, all you had to do was ask, and I'd gladly share. Hell, I'd give you the whole damn thing, it's no big deal.
But to so brazenly steal from someone you work with, it's like giving the finger to the whole office. Screw you, I don't care about anybody else, I just want to stuff my face. Whoever you are, I hope you choke on it.
Freeze, Pig Boy!
I fantasied about banging out an obscenity-laden e-mail throughout the office telling the sneaky swine I know what you did and when I find you I'm going to stuff your genitals in the microwave.
Then I saw myself cleaning out my desk and telling prospective employers when they ask why I left my last job, "well, you see, I had this veggie pasta..."
One of my co-workers mentioned this has happened before and he shook his head, saying "people around here steal."
I mouthed off to one of the human resources people, declaring that if it happened again I'd go the hell home, no matter how much work was on my desk.
Then I get a call from the head HR android who takes me into a private office and says, "I've been here six years and this has never happened before."
Yeah, and so? I quickly informed her about my co-worker's experience and told her to speak with him about it.
But now I am mondo furious at this paper-pushing dimwit. What the hell did she mean by that? I'm lying? I imagined the whole thing? What the hell was I supposed to do, dust for fingerprints like CSI: Wall Street? Bite me, sweetheart--no pun intended.
I am so angry right now I want to go to her office tomorrow, stuff a salami up her nose and ask, "hey, honey, did this ever happen before?" If my next post is from Riker's Island, you'll know I've been busted for illegal use of seasoned pork.
I spent the rest of the day at work looking at my co-workers suspiciously. Maybe it's that computer geek who never gives me the time of day. Maybe it's that surly English dame who looks like the offspring of the British Bulldogs wrestling tag team.
The guys in the mailroom? The bunch in accounting? Like Inspector Clouseau, I suspect no one; I suspect everyone.
Salami, Salami, Baloney
I tell you, this last few days, I feel someone's done the salami number on me, only somewhat south of my honker.
First I go into the movies and run into this woman I briefly dated and ran away from 12 years ago and then I've got to ditch a dead alley cat who died in my garage, and then yesterday I get an e-mail from Lee, a woman I briefly dated just before the holidays, who ran away from me.
We went out twice and, I thought we had a decent time, but when I called her for a third date, she didn't get back to me and I never heard from her again.
Until yesterday. That's when I get an e-mail for her that starts off "Remember me?" Yeah, I guess, but I don't know why. It seems she's writing to tell me that she thought we had no chemistry and didn't see the sense in going on.
But for some reason, nearly two months later, she decides to write to me now and apologize for not giving me the chemistry lesson to my face.
How's that? I didn't think we had much going on either, but I thought it was worth a few more dates before we called the coroner. She felt differently; fine. She couldn't bring herself to tell me up close and personal? Whatever.
But now she feels like contacting me to say she's sorry and then to officially tell me we're toast? No, I don't think so.
I was hardly devastated at the loss of Lee, but a stupid e-mail after all this time ticks me off. At this point, don't even bother contacting me. Let's just keep moving in opposite directions.
Maybe Lee stole my lunch and sent the e-mail as a clever ruse to distract me while she made off with my veggie pasta. It's a bit of a stretch, that would probably require her to have the power to become invisible, move at the speed of light, and travel through time, but if you're paranoid the pieces all fit together very nicely.
I still have her e-mail. I actually imagined she'd get back in touch with me, but in my version she begs for me to take her back.
There's a part of me that hopes I can get back with her, even though I know we have nothing in common, even though the last line of her e-mail says "so long," as in, goodbye, have a nice life, don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out, here's your head, what's your hurry?
I ditched one woman, another ditched me. I guess there's a kind of symmetry in that, but I still end up alone.
As soon as I post this piece I'm going to nuke Lee's e-mail. She's not the one, she's never going to be the one. I have as much chance of getting back with her as I do getting back Mary's veggie pasta.
It's time to move on from both unpleasant incidents and order something else from the menu. I just have to be careful where I put it.