Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Office Alien

Six months ago, the staffing agent for our warehouse handed out perfume samples to us office ladies. Most of the samples were used up or thrown out within the first month. But one sample, which I'd placed on my filing cabinet and forgot, evaporated and then sat empty. I came into work yesterday morning to find it resting on my keyboard with a note. "Can I have?" The note said in scribbly handwriting. I thought it was a joke. "Mike, did you leave a note on my desk?" I asked the office prankster. "Why would I do that?" He replied with genuine confusion.

"Well you're always screwing with my chair." "Yeah, but that's funny. If that note IS a joke, it's not a very good one." Touche. So I questioned the other office ladies. "I had a note on my desk too!" One of them exclaimed. I went over to her cube, where she pointed to a scrap of paper with the words "U R POOP" scribbled on it in blue highlighter. "Not only that," she added, "But there were pins stuck in my sweater sleeve." "Maybe we pissed off the cleaning lady?" I suggested. "Maybe one of the bosses brought in their kid?" The receptionist piped in. We all shrugged it off and went back to work.

All day I thought of those notes. "What if mine wasn't a joke?" I thought. So I put the bottle back on the filing cabinet, with the note, and a reply post-it that said "Sure." To be perfectly honest, I didn't expect anything to come of it. Then I came in this morning to find the bottle gone. "Holy shit." I thought, feeling as if I'd just made contact with alien life. Then I turned around and saw the note. "Thank u nice lady!" Was written in the middle, surrounded by crooked smiley faces. Above that note was another, in more familiar handwriting. "I did not right this note. Mike."

I resisted the urge to correct his spelling. It was excusable when it was the alien. No one would expect IT to be a master of our language. But I expected more from our forty-something year old sales manager. "Did anyone else get a note?" I asked the office ladies again. The coworker from the day before rolled out from her cube looking angry. "No," she said. "Worse." Someone (or thing) had scribbled red highlighter all over her phone and taken an ink stamp to her desk. I was shocked. Obviously the alien didn't like her very much. Maybe it had seen the photos of my dogs and found me to be nonthreatening. Her fuzzy sweater was a little scary looking.

Later that day she popped into my office. "I talked to the warehouse manager." "Oh?" "He says our cleaning lady has three little girls. I think we know who our culprits are now." So, no aliens. But that didn't stop me from feeling a slight fondness for our mystery guests anyway. There was apprehension in there too. I was a nosy kid once. What else were these kids looking through? "He talked to the cleaning agency," she added before leaving. "They had no idea she was bringing her kids to work with her. They promised to take care of the situation."

I guess there won't be anymore notes. It's a shame, really. They actually brought a little excitement to my day. I feel bad for their Mom too. There's probably nowhere for her little ones to go, what with school being out and the economy being the way it is. The kids were just being kids, bored and mischievous. I remember my Dad taking me to work during the summer. He built fences. I tried so hard to be good. But sometimes I just couldn't take the waiting anymore. I wonder if anyone ever tattled on me for drawing on the back of their fence, or if they just admired the work and wondered where it the world (ahem, universe) it came from.

Around The Water Cooler:
Coworker: Did you hear that Japan has nukes pointed at us?
Tink: Yeah, that's old news.
Coworker: I don't see why everyone is so worried. They'd probably hit one of those countries in between us first.

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32 Comments:

At 25 June, 2008, Blogger LL said...

Damn... I was hoping for extra terrestrial aliens, not just illegal ones.

 
At 25 June, 2008, Blogger Jay said...

They kinda ruined it now. You won't get to come in to any more notes from mysterious friends.

Hope that cleaning lady doesn't get into too much trouble. I mean, she is trying to raise three kids on a cleaning lady's salary after all.

Japan has nukes pointed at us? Well, that's not very nice.

 
At 25 June, 2008, Blogger Hilary said...

You have a soft heart.. that's a good thing. At the same time, you got the better behaviour out of those kidlets. The pins in the sweater sleeve is disconcerting.

 
At 25 June, 2008, Blogger Karen said...

How funny. At least they recognized you were a nice lady.

 
At 25 June, 2008, Blogger furiousBall said...

next time, fart.

 
At 25 June, 2008, Blogger Knight said...

I wonder why they chose to dislike your co-worker. Honestly, I would much prefer an alien hanging out in my office.
You just reminded me that when I had to play at my dad's office (The KFC Warehouse) He let us run around with knives and stab boxes. I'm sure he didn't realize we were doing that but still.
I do hope the cleaning lady didn't lose her job.

 
At 25 June, 2008, Blogger Chris said...

Whoa, someone's not very good at geography. :) Or was going the other way round...

 
At 25 June, 2008, Blogger Fortune Cookies said...

I was SO betting on aliens! Well, if you ask me, kids are aliens, of sorts. I feel bad for the mom too, it truly is a disturbing testiment to our economy that mom has to bring the kids along to work like that. A babysitter or day care probably costs more than she makes per hour. Consider that most housekeepers/cleaning personnel make somewhere between minimum wage to 9.00/hr, child care typically costs 150.00 week/per child. She's screwed. Sad.

 
At 25 June, 2008, Blogger Sparkling Red said...

We had similar aliens in my workplace a few times. They didn't get up to that much mischief - just broke the head off someone's tacky figurine and got into the Christmas chocolates.

 
At 25 June, 2008, Blogger fiwa said...

awww... I feel bad for the cleaning lady. Pins in the sweater = not nice, but I still think it's kinda funny. Good lord, I can just see a little kid in my office, there is all KINDS of stuff to touch. I have a miniature collection on my monitor stand, including a mini ouiji board.

HA! I knew peeking was going to be the favorite. :)

lovins!
fiwa

 
At 25 June, 2008, Blogger Dana said...

See? I'm reading this story and getting a warm fuzzy - especially finding out it was kids. Maybe it's because I'm old - maybe it's because I've been in a financial situation where child care was cost prohibitive - or maybe it's just because sometimes life is too serious and these little things make us smile.

 
At 25 June, 2008, Blogger the planet of janet said...

poo. i was counting on a close encounter of the third kind.

 
At 25 June, 2008, Blogger HalfAsstic.com said...

Well, at least, as you said, it was a little exciting. Makes me feel sorry for the cleaning lady and her kids too cause you gotta admit, they are gonna catch hell for this from her! tee hee hee.

 
At 25 June, 2008, Blogger Reb said...

She will probably get fired, especially if the cleaning company is a big company. That's too bad, I feel sorry for her.

How young is your coworker?

 
At 25 June, 2008, Blogger gary rith said...

I think Reb might be right, but of course companies don't want to have kids around for a million reasons....

 
At 25 June, 2008, Blogger meno said...

Time to take this story to one witha fictionalized ending, where it really is aliens.

I feel sorry for the cleaning lady, but it really is no place for kids.

 
At 25 June, 2008, Blogger mamatulip said...

I'd miss the notes, too.

I like meno's idea. And this post.

 
At 25 June, 2008, Blogger anaglyph said...

Those Japanese nukes have 'Remember Pearl Harbour' scrawled on them in red texta.

You didn't really think it was the cleaner's kids, did you?

 
At 25 June, 2008, Blogger anaglyph said...

Ooops. I screwed that joke up right & proper...

Nukes should have read "Remember Hiroshima'. Obviously. Doh.

 
At 25 June, 2008, Blogger Eric Shonkwiler said...

Japan has nukes? You sure you have your country right? They just threw a tiff about having a nuclear submarine in dock a little while ago. They are anti-nuclear everything.

 
At 25 June, 2008, Blogger Di said...

I think it is too bad. She proabably has no where else to take her children and it seems like they were doing no harm. Too bad.

 
At 25 June, 2008, Blogger Maggie said...

I feel bad for the mom too.

Hey, I have an idea. Wait a week or so after the notes stop and then start leaving goofy notes in that co-worker's cube again. She'll be so baffled and angry.

Here are some suggestions:

"Poopy pants"
"You're uglier than a boy"
"You stink"

Ah good times.

 
At 26 June, 2008, Blogger the Bag Lady said...

Yup, the cleaning lady probably got fired. Well, at least she'll be able to look after her kids now. Hope she can find a big enough carboard box for all of them to have their own room....
Freakin economy...

 
At 26 June, 2008, Blogger Knot said...

I feel for the cleaning lady too, but dad gum, her kids are destructive. It's not like they left some drawing on copy paper. They destroyed property. If anything the cleaning lady needs to get them to help her clean.

Knot

 
At 26 June, 2008, Blogger moo said...

wow, I feel bad for the mom ... but at the same time, is there NO ONE else to watch the kids?

Life sucks for everyone these days.

 
At 26 June, 2008, Blogger Tequila Mockingbird said...

our cleaning people dont do anything cool like that. but hey, they dont steal my ipod either, so i'm cool.

 
At 26 June, 2008, Blogger Reb said...

Tink, I was wondering about the geographically challenged one. That is way too old to be that uninformed.

 
At 26 June, 2008, Blogger Farmer*swife said...

Awwww, cute notes. I feel for the Mom too, but inking a phone and stuff? She needs to keep a better eye on the lil'ones while working.

Kids LOVE office supplies and stuff, I should know!

Happy Thursday!

 
At 26 June, 2008, Blogger Tawcan said...

Hehe I love post-notes. I have tons of them in my cube at work.

 
At 26 June, 2008, Blogger womaninawindow said...

Oh, no, I see a black and white made for tv in there somewhere. The struggles of the cleaning woman, the juxtaposition of the girls characters, the mysteries. THE REVENGE!!!

Man, your co-worker is a block-head!

 
At 26 June, 2008, Anonymous susan said...

I'm trying to think if you've ever said anything bad about your coworker....just wondering why the aliens didn't like her.

At least they knew you were the nice lady!

 
At 26 June, 2008, Blogger Mary said...

mixed feelings. I'd kinda rather the mom bring the kids then leave them home alone...

i'd be missing the notes too!

 

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