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Category Archives: storytime

I share the guest office at clic with another contractor (technically from a competing company but we work well together).  He’s the one whom I refer to as Duck.  Because we’re both here on a semi-regular basis, the office administrator for this area created nametags for us to pin onto the cubicle walls (I hid mine).  Duck’s nametag is prominently shown and that means sometimes it gets jostled around a little.

This last time it got jostled, the cardstock with his name slipped out of the holder and fell between the cubicle wall and drawers.  Duck was very sad.  He wanted to fish it out but he was late for a meeting.  He asked me if I would be able to retrieve it for him since I wasn’t going to this particular meeting.  Well, sure…why not?  It’s not like I can do a whole lot when I’m compiling and downloading code anyway.

So here I am, squatting by the wall and trying to peer into the crack between the wall and the drawers.  It’s difficult though because there isn’t very much space, it’s dark, and the nametag is white text on black, so it blends into the surrounding darkness.  I think I see a sliver of it though, so I try to reach in with my hand to see if I can coax it out.  My hand is obviously too big.

I look at the wall and drawers to see if I can move one or the other.  Unfortunately, the cube wall is mounted to the floor and rides right against the actual wall of the office.  The drawers are latched into the back of the cube wall.  I can’t move the drawers unless I’m willing to unlatch the desk on top of the drawers and then the drawers themselves.  Ok, so that’s not going to work either.

I continue looking around and I see a ruler in an adjoining station.  I think that maybe the ruler will extend my reach enough to get to the nametag.  It does.  But unfortunately, it’s also a ruler and there isn’t much space to maneuver.  All I manage to do is push the nametag a bit farther under the cube wall.  This is a problem since there’s no room between the cube wall and actual wall.  If I push it all the way under the cube wall, there won’t be any way for me to get the nametag without dismantling stuff.  Also, I now can no longer see the white text and it’s just dark everywhere.  It’s hard to see black against dark.

So again, I’m looking around the guest office and I see a fork (Duck stole one from the cafeteria downstairs and just keeps using the same one over and over without washing it, as far as I can tell) and some tape.  I reason that the tines of the fork might help me get some leverage on the nametag so I proceed to start taping the fork to the end of the ruler.

Well, this is obviously the time for people to come into the office and see me doing some admittedly weird stuff.

Pengy, Marlin (a new player has joined the game!), and Polly (a new player has joined the game!) decide to stop by the office right as I start taping the fork to the end of the ruler.  Pengy is on the phone so he can’t immediately demand to know what I’m doing.  Marlin is standing behind him, but since he’s a nice guy, he doesn’t immediately demand to know what I’m doing because Pengy is on the phone.  Polly was just out in the hallway somewhere.  He got distracted by something.

Here I am, squatting and leaning against the wall, taping a fork to a ruler.  You know, totally normal stuff.  Marlin doesn’t think so and keeps mouthing “what are you doing???” behind Pengy’s shoulder.  Pengy, who is a fellow THEM employee, is a bit more used to my antics, and is just standing there watching me with a bemused look on his face while trying to wrap up his phone conversation.

I finish taping the fork to the ruler and start trying to fish out the nametag again.  Pengy is still watching me with a bemused look on his face.  Marlin is watching me and you can just see him get more and more confused.  It was pretty hard not to start laughing at the expression on his face.

As it is, I’m unable to fish out the nametag and I’m regrouping to see what else I can do.  I just don’t have enough leverage to pull the nametag toward me.  Pengy, who has finished his phone call, asks me what I’m doing.  Marlin declares that I’m fishing.  You could almost see the lightbulb go off over his head.  He declares that I’m fishing with such confidence and satisfaction that he figured out why I was taping a fork to a ruler.

Pengy suggests that I try moving things around and when he realizes that isn’t possible, at least not without a lot of effort, he asks me why I don’t just let Duck fish his own nametag out.  Marlin tries to explain to Polly that I’m fishing for a nametag.  Pengy, Marlin, and Polly all stand there for another moment watching me before they leave to their next meeting.  I’m sure they were all wondering what is wrong with me.

After they leave, I look at my forkruler and decide that I would have a better chance at grabbing the nametag if I also tape the tines of the fork with the sticky side out.

It turns out, the space between the drawers and cube wall is pretty gross.  I had to replace the tape twice.  But I did manage to stick the nametag enough to drag it out and then I popped it back into the holder and Duck is happy once again.

I didn’t wash the fork after I was done with it.




I think I found a new superpower.  I see spiders on coworkers.  Not like fake spiders.  I’m not hallucinating spiders on people.  I just seem to have a knack for seeing a spider crawling over my coworkers.  And by knack, I mean that I’ve seen it happen twice.  (Also, there are no pictures of spiders in this post.)

The second time happened just recently.  I was at lunch with my PM, whom I will call 💄 (yes there is a reason behind my choice in emoji, no I won’t explain what it is), inside a relatively nice restaurant.  He was talking to me about a project when I looked up and saw a small jumping spider crawling across his chest.  True to form, I didn’t say anything right away.  It was a jumping spider after all.  I thought maybe it would jump off.  But no, it continued on its merry way all the way up to his collar.  At that point, I decided that it would be a good idea to say something.  I figured my PM would probably start if he felt the spider crawl onto his neck and then maybe he’d fling the spider into someone’s food and cause a big commotion.  I try and avoid big commotions.

The thing was, he was talking and kept talking.  I don’t really like to interrupt people.  Also, it’s hard for me to interrupt people.  They generally don’t hear me.  But I figured I really needed to make an effort to let him know that there was a spider on his collar.

When I finally got his attention, as he didn’t really need to pay attention to me to tell me about the project, it took longer than I expected to convey the information that there was a spider on his collar.  First of all, it took a while for him to understand that there was a spider on his shirt.  Then it took longer for him to understand that it was on his collar.

Me: [💄], there’s a spider on your shirt.

💄: What?  Anyway, I think we will need the software—

Me: Really, there’s a spider on your shirt.  It’s on your collar.

💄: Huh?  About the software, have you used it before?

Me: Spider.  On your shirt.  Collar.  [points to collar]

💄: Oh, there’s a spider on me?  [brushes at shoulder]

Me: No, on your collar.  [points to collar]

💄: Huh?  [brushes at chest]

Me: Collar!  [points to collar]

💄: [brushes at sleeve]

Me: The spider is on your collar!

💄: Oh, my collar?  [looks at collar, sees spider, calmly brushes spider off]  It’s a jumping spider.

Me: Yes, it is a jumping spider. [secretly impressed 💄 knows it’s a jumping spider; immediately makes mental comparisons to previous spider-on-coworker incident]

Overall, I was quite amused by the incident. 💄’s demeanor was quite different from Mr. Arachnid’s.  There was no stiffening in surprise. 💄 was calm and relaxed and nonchalant about the whole ordeal.  But he also completely was not listening to me otherwise the incident would have been over much quicker.  Perhaps it was also slightly infuriating since he was listening but totally not listening to me at the same time.  At least Mr. Arachnid listened and then later told me that I should tell him such things sooner so that “we can plan a course of action.”  I am still very entertained by that line.

As it was, 💄 brushed the spider off into the aisle and there possibly was a waiter walking by at the time.  I don’t really remember.  The spider might have made it onto someone’s food despite all my effort.  Sugh.