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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.

People where I work sank to new lows, new depravities, despicable, detestable acts of unrepentant sabotage.  Every day, when I went to warm up lunch, breakfast, coffee, or snack in the microwave there were 3 to 7 seconds on the cycle.  So, I had to push clear, then choose the amount time needed for my project, only then could I start warming my stuff.  Sometimes, without noticing there were a few measly seconds left I will begin programming the timer, and it will beep, angrily, defiantly at me.  "Hold on there, hothead, what's the rush, there is still a few seconds left."  Eating into my precious lunch time even further.

You might think, well they don't do it intentionally, it is just one of those things, people forget to reset the copier to single all the time.  Oh, do they?  People remember to change it to 50 sheets without much effort, but somehow they forget to push "1"?  Right, pardon me while I try to suspend my disbelief.  Ok, I'm back now.

It is difficult to imagine the scene playing out in the kitchen.  "Oh, crap, the instructions said 'cook on high for 50 seconds' and I accidentally pressed 57.  Dangit!  Oh well, I will just stop it at 7."  Perhaps they were standing there, watching their food cook, and bam, it hit perfection 3 seconds short of the recommended cycle, and they could sense that through the shielded glass, and radioactive protection, they just knew.  And food cooked that precisely needs to be eaten quickly, there is no time to push clear.  Just grab your puny plastic spoon, or fork, rush back to your miserable little cubicle, and eat your perfectly heated whatever, growling, and snapping at anybody who walks past.  With such luxury you can see why they can't be bothered to push "clear."  

Figuring enough was too much I decided to fight back, not fight like fisticuffs, that is barbaric, but a protracted guerilla campaign.  A lengthy, unwinnable, war of terror aimed directly at my friends and co-workers.  

It was cheap, and easy.  I found a pad of post it notes, and a pen on a desk, not too far from the kitchen, and pocketed both.  Finding a secluded, lonely place in the work room, of course, I scribbled "Out of Order" on a few of them.  With the casual flair of James Bond I walked coolly, nonchalantly, and comfortably past the elevator, and stuck one right over the call buttons.  I could barely control my laughter.  

The 7th floor restroom became "non functional."  Coupled with the "non-operational" people were forced to take the stairs to answer nature's call.  

One night, I stayed a little late and put a few "please remove" post it notes on desks around the "bull pen," and the custodial staff, sensing the authority of a handwritten post it note, threw them away.  People were forced to sit on the floor, use the chair as a desk, and hope they did not need to take notes.

Soon, I started leaving notes saying things like "See me, as soon as you arrive!" with an illegible scribble as the signature.  People were rushing from one end of the building to the other, asking everybody with any authority, "did you want to see me."  After 7th or 8th person asking the mid level managers started to become impatient, angry.  

Then one day I came whistling into work, a brand new pack of lined, florescent Post-It NotesÔ (the real thing, only $9.49 a pack at Office Max) struggling to escape the confines of my pocket, and get to the new pen (a nice one, a Pilot G2 Gel Retractable, with an .07 nib, only $17.49 a dozen at Office Depot) in the front pocket of my shoulder bag.  There was a post it note on my monitor that said, "knock it off, or else!" and it was signed "You don't want to know who we are, or what we will do."

I went to work, answered my emails, and never stopped looking over my shoulders.