The Possessed Stapler and Other Office Tales

While not everyone works in an office, a lot of us have watched “The Office” and that kind of mentality sorta goes beyond a standard desk and stapler environment. It seems to me that we have equated co-workers (well some of them anyway cause there’s this one…) with friends and I think this is a good thing. I’m damn glad that I go to work every day and see my friends. I shudder to think these people could be my enemies. Witness Protection, here I come!

I feel very close to my office-mates and we all assume little personas in our little society that we call work. We have alliances and we have warring tribes and hell if we’re bad, we get booted off the island. Some of us spend more time with our co-workers than we do our spouses and family. Most of all though, we know what makes each other tick…or go crazy. And that all leads to some Honest to God good fun!

I’ll use myself as an example. I’m an obsessive compulsive freak. Truly, I am. I constantly wash my hands and if I get on a tangent of one sort or another, I’m relentless. So a few years ago, our office needed a new refrigerator. When it was delivered, it had ice cube trays. Now my home fridge had an ice maker (now I’ve got water and ice through the door – touch me) so while this wasn’t novel to me, it was exciting. And of course, since I need to control everything, I decided that it was my duty to protect the little cubes growing cold and hard in the trays. I was quite selective in who I gave them out to. Not everyone got offered a cube and by God if you did, then you were something that day. I handed out these favors and I took them away. There was no method to my madness and soon the heady power I felt from being the ice cube queen made me into an overpowering bitch. Not for long.

One day I came into work and soon my mind wandered to my ice cubes and so I got my glass and headed for the freezer (did I mention that I made them get the color fridge I wanted too?). Inside was a note, a freakin’ note, that someone had stolen one of my ice cubes. Further, they held my ice cube hostage and I’d only see it again when I baked a dozen chocolate chip cookies. A Friday deadline was set. Otherwise, my cube would die a slow death by Bunsen burner.

I took this as a challenge. With a few swift keystrokes and some fancy clip art, I had made up those “have you seen me” signs and snuck them to the downstairs dorm-style fridge (so low-brow) and taped them to milk cartons. In response, I got a picture of my cube, wrapped in paper towel from an unknown location. So I put up reward signs and go to the grocery store for the ingredients for chocolate chip cookies. I received cut out letter ransom notes, more pictures and a weird telephone call that may or may not have been my ice cube.

Speculation and rumor swirled my office like wild fire. No one was exempt from suspicion. Except myself of course and even then, at times, I did wonder if I were not to blame for the whole sorted mess.

Finally, Friday came and not only had I baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies, but my co-workers, my friends, came and in solidarity had made their own batches of cookies. My people! I was humbled as each plate of cookies was placed on the conference room table. Selflessly put there to gain the freedom of an ice cube.

Later, I found out which one of my co-workers had ice-napped the cube and it was even funnier when the whole plot unraveled. The effort and conspiracy involved was expansive. The CIA could have taken notes from her. It was all in good fun and helped a stressed out office blow off a little steam. We still laugh about the great cube caper and how good the cookies were. It’s a part of our history together, binding us as a unit that works pretty darn well.

Oh and if you’re wondering what the possessed stapler thing is all about, my stapler has gone crazy and now shoots crumpled up staples at me. Somehow, that prompted me to write about the ice cube-napping. Don’t ponder it beyond that and enjoy this post.

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