And next, we have “How to handle the clumsy…”


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.



  1. Greta on April 1, 2008 at 10:06 AM

    Hee hee. I feel like the Diet Sprite scene must have been pretty funny. :)

  2. Jeremy Parsons on April 1, 2008 at 10:07 AM

    “sooooooo….. crazy about that weather huh?”
    “mmhmm. yeah.”
    . . . . .
    “well, this is my floor, I’ll see ya.”
    “Nice chatting with…”
    (door closes)

    I hate offices. And I hate elevators.

  3. Valerie on April 1, 2008 at 10:19 AM

    I almost exploded my head trying to hold in the laughter over your diet sprite story. (My co-workers surely would have wanted to know what was so funny, and…how could I explain?)

    Thanks for your amazing and hilarious writing. You bring a lot of joy to my own dull office days. :)

  4. Heid-Beid on April 1, 2008 at 10:55 AM

    Sprite. And airline security.

    You should apply to join the cast or creative team at “The Office”…you’ve got material to give them! :-)

  5. Sarah Kate on April 1, 2008 at 12:58 PM

    I had no idea about that particular airline security incident. Please tell me the coworker did not mention nipple rings on a crowded elevator. Gracious Day.

  6. bec on April 1, 2008 at 4:14 PM

    i broke a bottle of pelligrino water at work the other day, but did not endure a geyser of it shooting upward. maybe since it was GLASS, and shattered EVERYWHERE in the back room. khool new girl.

    also, wtf does it mean when all of a sudden my blog got like 50 something hits in the course of an hour or two? from all over the world, at that! is that like virus material? someone left a weird comment. now i’m paranoid. what do i do?!?!?!

  7. Mary on April 1, 2008 at 8:04 PM

    To make the ENTIRE elevator burst into laughter, quietly but audibly say the following to a co-worker:

    “So, did you ever get that rash cleared up?”

    The ensuing laughter is priceless.

  8. Deborah Barnett on April 2, 2008 at 7:59 AM

    so… many… visuals… ah!

    See you tonight.

  9. Shannon on April 2, 2008 at 10:04 AM

    I feel that elevators are equivalent to those awkward higher level seats on the bus. The ones where your row of seats is directly facing another row of seats, so especially if there are people sitting on either side of you, there is no real option but to look right at the person in front of you.
    Recipe for awkward!

  10. Case and Los on April 2, 2008 at 12:42 PM

    Teacher Annie, I have a question:

    How do you make sideways photos right-side up? (you know everything, that’s why I’m asking)

    Also, does the Griz have anyone to sit by at the 5? If not, how about the Kissingers and us?!

  11. Anonymous on April 3, 2008 at 2:59 PM

    I don’t believe I’ve ever visited your blog before but by some quirk of the universe I found myself here.

    I was pleasantly surprised to know that you also flush the toilet with your foot.

    I think you’re fabulous :-)

    Kira S.

  12. Masbi on April 4, 2008 at 8:41 PM


    I too was laughing out loud and had to tell Erick about your lovely red pump. Well…and the diet sprite. BUT then I followed your link to the airline security story. MY GOD…the picture I had in my mind of the lady who had to remove…not the same as the reality. What power a picture has! ~

  13. hootenannie » Blog Archive » Ghost town on February 25, 2010 at 11:19 AM

    […] ever-flowing fountain of entertainment!  Bra shopping?  Check.  Sprite sprayed you-know-where?  You got it.  Annie Queen of Doom?  […]

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