It’s time to talk about the hazards of the workplace.
When I began my career as The Temptress, I was given an exhaustive Workplace Safety Training session, which included watching a VHS made in 1987 about proper lifting techniques and the operation of heavy machinery. As I was not planning on a job in a warehouse, and thus felt I could disregard the section on safety goggles and hard-hats, I admittedly zoned out. But perhaps in doing so I missed any instruction they might have included about the risks of the administrative occupation?
One of my very few responsibilities in my very receptionisty job is to offer our very infrequent visitors beverages. I am the Czarina of the Single-Brew Coffee Machine, as well as Princess Pop Can. But a few weeks ago, when I dropped a Diet Sprite on the marble floor right between my feet, and it sprayed STRAIGHT UP MY SKIRT to YOU KNOW WHERE, I lost all confidence in my drink-serving abilities.
High heels are not conducive to flushing the toilet with your foot. My right red pump has since been significantly Lysol-ed.
But for all of the minor incidents that happen within the 4 sound-deadening walls of the office, the most dangerous place of all is the elevator.
The elevator is an environment not for the faint of heart, especially for us top-floor workers. When I get on the elevator, I am ON THE ELEVATOR; most likely, I will be the last one OFF the elevator. And so, before every boarding, I take a deep breath, and then rapidly find a spot as close to the wall as possible. Unfortunately, the elevators in my building are mirrored on every surface, and so no matter where I plant my eyes in hopes of avoiding eye contact with another, inevitably I will meet someone’s eyes in a reflection. And then all 4 eyeballs quickly and nervously re-orient to watch the numbers take us up up up.
Office workers are weird. Objectively, I know that they must be smart and driven people, meeting their monthly sales’ goals, signing deals, and driving out at night in their Mercedes convertibles. They are successful and put-together and motivated. But crowd 12 business suits into an elevator together, and you can smell the tension. Everyone is uncomfortable, from the CEO to the lowly receptionist. Intelligent humans in stale silence.
Of course, every now and then, some hopeful soul cracks a joke into the social abyss. But when that hopeful soul is my co-worker, and the joke is about the latest in airline security…
And then I sat down at my oversized mahogany desk and, eyebrows lifted to high heaven, drank a steaming cup of AWKWARD.
At the risk of sounding internet-nerderly, I have a very sweet blog community. Thank you all, because for reasons beyond my understanding, you continue to return to this little blog every day and sprinkle me with your thoughts and support and prayers and humor.
Today my spirit feels a little bit plugged in. Is it possible to be “a little bit plugged in”? Is that like “kind of pregnant”? Well, regardless, thank you for existing out there in cyberspace.