Wronged at the water cooler

I was HANGING at work the other day, not going to lie. I’d been out with some of the work lot the night before and drunk A LOT. Like, really a lot. I didn’t get into work until 9 that morning, and considering I am supposed to start at 7.30, turns out I was a little late. But no matter, we will press on with the day. I was fine, sitting at my desk quite happily, until we got to about 11. This is when everything started to go a bit downhill. I started getting a bit of a shake on and my eyes weren’t focusing on the emails I was pretending I was reading. I needed a break, a few minutes away from my desk – that will sort me right out. Did it fuck.

I went to the kitchen area to get some water from the water cooler, and low and behold there was precisely no water left. I could see there was no water left, but I had to press the button down just in case there happened to be a secret store of water that would mean I didn’t have to change the bottle. But I had no such luck. Not even a drip was relinquished by the water cooler. Urgh.

You aren’t supposed to change the bottle on the water cooler yourself, because it’s heavy and whatever, and you are supposed to call one of the maintenance guys to come and do that. But nobody got time for dat. When you are experiencing the unquenchable thirst, the pain of having to wait for a heavily tattooed Polish man to come and assist you is a no go. Water simply must be had.

So, I did it myself. Normally I’m fine and I switch it over no problem, but today was a different story. I took the empty bottle off the top with minimal trouble, and after a bit of wrestling, I managed to peel the sticker off the bottom of the new water bottle. Here’s where it started going a bit awry. I grabbed hold of the handle of the water bottle and gave it a bit of a lift (testing the water if you will). It was no heavier than usual, so I engaged in the lift and hefted the new bottle off the rack and in the direction of the cooler. It was at this point, that I lost it. All of a sudden, my arms failed me and I seemed incapable of lifting the bottle any higher than my waist. Crap. I really had to engage the core to heft that water bottle into the right position. Clearly, I need to work on my clean and jerk, because this was not happening, and I had visions of me dropping the bottle with an almighty bang and me having to chase a rolling bottle down the corridor.

 

Anyway, somehow I managed to get the bottle into the cooler, and I stood waiting for the water to filter through the system. This can take a bit of time, so I assumed a leaning stance against the counter top, much like a cowboy leans against the bar in a Western, but probably much less cooly. Elaine the cleaner sauntered around the corner and I geared up for our daily chat which consists of one of the following three options.

Option number 1: Elaine proclaiming “Aint it hot in here?!”, when it really isn’t, but obviously I just agree because I am polite and British. I strongly suspect this has something to do with her being “that age” rather than it actually being warm in the office, but we won’t mention that.

Option number 2: Elaine asking if “I’ve much planned for the weekend”. This one usually first rears its ugly head on a Tuesday, when I obviously have nothing planned, and surfaces on a pretty much daily basis until I come up with an answer which satisfies her. I’m not sure I ever satisfy Elaine with my weekend plans, as they usually consist of “nothing much really”.

Option 3: she says something which I have no idea how to respond to. Well, I do know how I would like to respond to it, but I often can’t say what I want to out loud.

Option three is what we came up against on this day. I was standing near the water cooler, having just replenished it with a fresh bottle. Elaine saw me do this, as she reminded me I shouldn’t do this and I should get one of the maintenance blokes to do it. I glossed over this comment, as Elaine and I have discussed this many a time before, and she is well aware of my feelings with regard to waiting for people to do things for me.

As I stood there with my bottle in hand, waiting for the water to filter through so I could fill my bottle with the cool refreshing liquid I had just hailed up there, Elaine did a thing. She did a thing that would change my feelings towards this woman forever. She took a plastic cup from the dispenser. This may seem like a small thing, but the act of removing that plastic cup from the dispenser carries big meaning. But, not only did she take one plastic cups… She took two.

I stood there with a look of fire in my eyes. I knew where this was going. I could tell what was about to happen without her even opening her mouth to utter those words. I was steeling myself for the question; I was staying as calm as possible so as not to flip my lid. Just as I had thought the moment was going to pass, the words came. The dreaded words, “do you mind if I go first?”. The torrent of abusive phrases that swam through my head at that point don’t even bear thinking about. Somehow, I managed to keep my mouth shut, how I did that I will never know.

Through gritted teeth and the most clenched jaw you have ever seen in your life, I uttered the words “sure, not a problem!”. Not a problem? Of course it’s a bloody problem Elaine. Who on Gods earth do you think you are woman? You have quite literally stood there and watched me struggle to begin the process of quenching my thirst. You have unhelpfully reminded me that I shouldn’t be taking action to quench my thirst – which is precisely no help to a thirsty person, and now, NOW, you are going to actually ask me if you can have first go at the water?

You know what Elaine? You know what? Have it. Have all the water. Just go straight ahead. Don’t mind me or anything, you just take what you came for and leave. Don’t worry about the fact that I have gone to a serious amount of effort to get us to this point. Don’t you even bat an eyelid. There are words for people like you in this life. I didn’t want to say it Elaine, and I didn’t want it to come to this. I am ashamed to say that as she pottered back to wherever she came from (hell most likely), that under my breath I uttered the words “liquid larcener” at her back.

Water cooler

Post-itgate 

Scandalous. Absolute downright, dirty, rotten scandal. Who the hell does that to post-it notes?! A line was crossed today in the office and there is absolutely no way we can return to a situation where the line is in full view again. 

Let me explain the goings on. A person (who shall remain nameless) came to my desk earlier. They wanted to use a post-it note. Now I know this person quite well, so I didn’t feel too uncomfortable about passing over my pad of post-its for use. Now my trust in this person at this point becomes relevant, because I had a post-it note ‘on the go’ stuck to the top of the stack. I had assumed that she (or he… it’s a she), would peel off the top post-it, use the one underneath and leave the post-it that was in use stuck to my desk or similar. 

The horror that ensued, I can barely bring myself to speak of. But I will speak of it, for you, in a bid to stop similar heinous acts being committed in the future. I urge you to steel yourself for what happens next. Instead of peeling off the top post-it note, she yanked off a whole wad of the blighters. When I say a whole wad, this is minimum 8 post-it notes, absolute minimum. I stared on aghast as this poor, sorry collection of tacky papers were disconnected from their family and thrown with complete disregard to the other side of my desk. 

I nearly blew my top. I’ve no idea how I kept my cool and didn’t immediately storm round to HR and call for her dismissal. Worse and more destructive thoughts ran through my mind at this point, but I shan’t speak of them. She who shall not be named leaves my desk with her prize of a post-it note levered from mid stack. Honestly, what cretin does something like that? It breaks just about every unwritten rule there is regarding stationery etiquette. Every damn rule. 

I fruitlessly tried to stick the stack back together, knowing full well that it was never going to line up properly and that I’d always be able to see the fault line style break that had been administered to my post-its in a terrifying reminder of the horrors of this life. Jesus. They are going to have to go in the bin. There is absolutely no way I can continue to live in this fresh hell. 

I’ll tell you this one for free: no one puts me through an ordeal such as this and gets away with it lightly. No one commits an atrocity of such a level and walks away scot free. You will not go unpunished. Next time I go to the coffee area to grab myself a cup, do not even think for a moment you will be offered one. That’s right, feel the sting of that burn. I will absolutely be sticking something over her mouse sensor so it doesn’t work in the morning *laughs evily*. 

Bonnie