Here's the Scoop: July 30, 2008
It’s not often that I take “column requests,” but I’m making an exception this week.
The owner of this newspaper said to me the other day, “Why don’t you write a column about the complaints people make at work?” Since he’s footing the tab for this, I thought it would be a good idea.
This whole episode was sparked last week when a former employee was at the office filling in for a vacationing worker.
It took a remarkably short amount of time for The Sub to fit in again. After what seemed like only a few hours of work, she raced upstairs, moderately annoyed and accusingly asked, “Why do I always get stuck with the last bits of toilet paper on the roll?”
There are many ways in which this question can be answered. I chose to take the personal route.
“Why are you spending so much time in the bathroom?” I asked.
I quickly realized that there might be an overdose of too much warm potato salad or something similar involved. So, I added, “If you must visit the rest room so frequently, can you at least take a laptop so you can still be productive? I believe the wireless connection works fine in there.”
I made up the last part, because this is not something I’ve tried. But I do think it would work.
The best part of this whole episode is that I did not play a “role” in the toilet paper caper. You see, I have some tissue issues, if you will. Aside from the well-documented need for softness, I can’t stand when the first piece hangs against the wall. I don’t know why this drives me crazy, I just know that it’s simply not right.
Therefore, I am more than happy to place a new roll on the holder, thus making certain the paper hangs over the front, in the proper position. I then feel much better about life in general.
Now that we know I’m not guilty of creating the Empty Roll Syndrome, let’s move on to another common office complaint: food. More specifically: Free food.
Who doesn’t love free food? It’s always a nice surprise when someone brings in a cake or pie for the staff to enjoy. I do, however, have a problem when the sweet treat is of the “leftover” variety. Being a naturally suspicious person, I automatically think, “What, no one wanted to eat this lovely cake? Is that icing made out of Spam?”
Once I’ve let my co-workers do a little taste-testing, I then become concerned that half-a-cake won’t be enough for the staff. So, I camp out next to the free food and gobble as much as I can because I hate feeling left out. Just kidding.
Even worse than the half-a-serving syndrome is the “I should have” issue. When someone comes in, fresh blueberry stains on their shirt/blouse and comments that “Wow, we had three of these pies…and I was going to bring one in…” I find this annoying.
To me, free food that was going to be brought in is a taboo subject — much like empty toilet paper rolls. Neither one should be spoken about in the workplace. Writing about them is OK, though. Especially when it’s an order.