Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Enterprise - 26

There was an aura of renewed conviction in the workplace as the cold, new millenium began in earnest. In Brett's absence, Tom had inherited the dev team. He managed quietly, without bluster or fanfare. His charges responded in kind. Everyone seemed content to labor incrementally on prosaic tasks, tip-tapping away as the radiators hissed.

There remained a disruptive, manic force in our midst: Robyn. She came in late and left early, but while she was there she made her mark. Rushing around the office with a box cutter. Purple hair in a pony tail. Running for the ringing phone. Scolding us for one thing or the other.

She was a musician, like many others in the office. She'd been hired at Mr. Fun's recommendation – they knew each other from before. He told me how he approached her about it.

"I call her up and say, 'Hey. There's a job for you, maybe.' She says, 'OK, what?' 'Office manager. You can type, right?' 'I can type.' OK, she can type. So I ask her, 'How's your head these days?' She assures me. She says she's better now."

"Better now?" I asked.

"She assured me."

One day we received an email from her. The subject line read: Bathroom procedure. The body read as follows:

After you're done doing whatever it is you do, you'd best be deploying some of that lemony-fresh Lysol or whatever the fuck it is. Have a little compassion for your fellow man or woman. These are close quarters in which we live.



Upon reading this, Bob marched directly into the bathroom. Immediately, the white noise of contents under pressure being released into the atmosphere was audible through the door. It went on for an unnervingly long time – ten seconds, maybe. A pause. And then it began again. Another pause. And again, longer this time. By now the sickly sweet deodorizer, a complicated formulation of synthetic scents suggestive of mountain mists and gently rotting flora, was seeping into the room, eye watering, oppressive. Bob finally emerged, slammed the door, and returned to his cubicle.