Thursday, July 07, 2005

The Replacement Fairy

9:00 exactly I sprinted into work, desperate to NOT be late for the third day in a row this week.

9:01 I clocked in.

9:02 I was snagged by a customer as I walked to my desk, purse over my shoulder, bag full of lunch and bills and calendar in my hand, umbrella under my arm and suit jacket draped over my other arm. "Laurie, could you tell me the balance in my account?" I looked around at the other women with whom I share an office: All doing nothing. "Everybody seems busy, would you mind?" he asked. "Uh, sure." I said, dropping my belongings in a heap on my desk. "You'll just have to give me a minute. I just got here, so I have to turn on my computer..." He wrinkled his forehead. "I'm in a hurry," he said curtly. "So, could you, you know, speed it up?"

9:07 After I had turned on my computer, given my lovely customer his balance and put my purse and other work accoutrements away, I went into the kitchen to fill my water bottle with cool, purified water from the water cooler.

9:08 I realized the water jug in the cooler was empty.

9:09 After replacing said water jug, I filled my liter-bottle and went to grab a Styrofoam cup from which to drink the water.

9:10 There were no cups.

9:12 After searching through the employee lounge and locating a giant box of new cups, pulling out a sleeve of them to keep on the counter and taking one for myself, I returned to my desk.

9:15 Two coworkers passed my desk and headed into the kitchen, only come back out with their own water bottles filled. I wonder why they didn't do that before I got there?

9:20 I printed out my daily reports - Overdraft lists, past due loans, maturing lines of credit.

9:21 I walked across the bank to the printer to retrieve said reports....And was greeted with a message on the LCD panel of the printer: "Tray 3 Empty - Please fill Tray 3 with Letter-Size Paper."

9:23 Once I refilled the paper, five emails that were not mine emerged before the pages I printed did. A supervisor in the branch came out of her office. "Oh, did you put paper in?" she asked. "Yes," I replied. "Oh good," she said. "I was waiting for some emails I printed."

10:00 Back into the kitchen I went to eat my mid-morning oatmeal. I emptied the packet of Quaker Oats Instant Oatmeal (strawberries and cream this morning - I buy the variety packs to mix things up) into a Styrofoam cup, filled the cup with the appropriate amount of water, and reached for a spoon to stir. There were none.

10:02 I located the spoons, not surprisingly, in the same place we keep all the excess spoons. And, coincidentally, all seven of my coworkers (who I'm sure use the plastic spoons from time to time) know where the extra spoons are located.

10:30 Upon finishing my first liter of water for the day, I headed to the little girls' room. Where I was greeted by toilet paper roll with one square of toilet paper left on it.

12:00 Feeling hungry, I lifted the apple I brought with me from my bag and sauntered into the kitchen to cut it up into bite-size pieces (to make it easier to bring it back to my desk with me and eat there). I washed it. I cut it up and placed the cubes of apple into one of the cups I had placed on the kitchen counter earlier that morning. I reached for a fork to bring out with me. You guessed it: No fucking forks.

12:02 I located the forks. Where they always are. Right next to the spoons. And, no, this is not a secret holding-tank of forks. I am not the only one with access to this treasure trove of utensils.

So this got me thinking: Do my coworkers think that the supplies, the water, the toilet paper magically refill themselves? They're all grown women over forty with families of their own; I would think they'd understand the concept of "Used the last of it? Okay then: Refill it!" But apparently not.

Or did someone just nominate me for the job and forget to tell me? Because if they'd have told me I'd be running around restocking the kitchen, bathroom and printer for these folks, I totally would've called in sick.


freewriter said...

ok, ok, guys take note! Women leave one square of TP on the roll too. Remember this story for future reference! Bookmark it! Copy and paste! Make it into a mass email forwarded to all the complaining wives and girlfriends the world over.

God's gift to women (with really low standards) said...

Who the hell eats apples?

NJ said...

I think I work with all of their male relatives! You wonder if they do the same things at home.

Jason said...

One thing I've learned with my real estate hassles -- there are those who do and those who wait for it to be done. At least take solace that you're a doer.

Charlie Mc said...

Great story Laurie. I don't understand why people are so fuckin' lazy to replace stuff!!!

kate said...

What the fuck?! I'd be so pissed if that happened to me. You should tell these women to freaking restock everything. LOL.

Kris said...

Oh yeah. I think I might work at your sister company.

My favorite is when you bring in a some sort of treats, and someone eats the last one, and leaves the f'in wrapper on the counter BECAUSE APPARENTLY THEIR MOM WILL BE COMING TO CLEAN UP THERE SOON.

Kristi said...


I just went in and used the last of the water in the cooler. Then i replaced it. Thinking of you the whole time.

Julie said...

Isn't it amazing how work can be like babysitting?
We're these people just raised differently? or are they used to having you clean up after them, so now they are lazy?

Julie said...

oh dear...I should have previewed my post...I just used we're instead of were and that is a huge pet peeve of mine!

Anonymous said...

hey sis,
when you're done over there, could you come home and clean out the fridge, clean my room, replace the toilet paper in all 3 bathrooms, and..... hold on i'm trying to think of somethign else (why does this hurt so much?)..... uuuummmmmmmm, oh, and feed me, i'm too lazy to feed my self, but i can say one thing, MAH FEET ARE STRONG!