Sunday, September 24, 2006

A Habitually Cynical Worldview Is Challenged

So I sort of work in a cave.

Not exactly a cave, but I'm way down at the end of a row of cubicles. It's cool being next to a window, but sometimes it's a bit quiet. There's plenty of other cubes around me, but one of them is empty, and two are occupied by people who are in the office irregularly. Thus, I find myself alone quite a bit of the time.

In a seemingly unrelated but totally related matter, we have an all-employees meeting every month to talk about how kickass the company is doing. Every month during said meeting, the Q&A session inevitably includes somebody asking if they can get a particular office supply. Red pens. Green highlighters. Functioning staplers. And every month, the answer is the same, just go see the office manager lady and she'll hook you up.

So I was looking around my little cave cube dwelling the other day when I was completely by myself, and I decided that I needed a plant. And I decided that a plant qualified as an office supply. So I went to the office manager lady's desk.

HOLMES: So we're supposed to talk to you about office supplies, right?

LADY: (grabs pad and pen, ready to take down The Holmes's request) That's right! What can I do for you?

HOLMES: I need a plant.

LADY: (uncertain) A plant?

HOLMES: Yeah. See, it's kinda dark over where I sit.

LADY: And a plant would brighten it up?

HOLMES: Well it'd add some life to the place.

LADY: I see. What kind of plant?

HOLMES: (indicating nearby plant) I don't care. I'll take this one.

LADY: You can't have that one.

HOLMES: Okay. Well just a plant really.

LADY: And you don't care what kind?

HOLMES: I'd prefer it didn't try to eat me.

LADY: (writing on her pad) One plant. Okay, I'll see what I can do.

I had about zero expectation of actually receiving this request. If I wanted a plant in my cube, I'd hafta bring it from home.

Except, about an hour later, the Office Manager Lady shows up with a plant. A living green plant. "Here you go" she chirped, and set it on my desk. I couldn't believe it.

So now I have a plant. Yay for unexpected responses to smartass requests.


Julie said...

As a former Office Manager Lady (aka Office Bitch), I would probably have grumpily told you, "A Plant does not count as an office supply. YOu think I've got time to run around buying you a damn plant at a nursery? Go get your own fucking plant, you lazy sod." OR something to that effect. Of course, near the end of my tenure as Office Bitch, I had gotten totally fed up with taking orders and was pretty much grumpy anytime anyone asked me to do something. Luckily I got to blame it on pregnancy hormones;)

David said...

This is somewhat related. When I was in El Paso doing training for our new office opening there, I stole plants from the other company divisions and placed them by my team. Two or three big ones. Somehow our parent company divisions all had gotten nice office plants but our guys had nothing but white and blue cube sterility to stare at. It's true that if you move with purpose people won't ask you questions. Even when waddling about carrying large plants that you've just stolen from Accounting.