There are three things I’m known for in my work and social circles: One, I drink milk with every meal. I can be out for lunch with people I barely know, and when the server comes over and asks what you’ll have, whoever I’m with automatically says, “She’ll have milk”.
Two, I always have a book with me. I’ve taught myself to read in five-minute increments, so you will never catch me in any kind of downtime not reading.
Three, I carry an Ariat horse-grooming bag as a handbag. My assistant manager refers to it as my “luggage”. This is Fakesister’s fault. Being the horse person of the family, she was the first to catch on to the trend of carrying these as handbags. I have now spread the trend all over Tallahassee.
Originally they were designed to carry all the stuff you might need to groom a horse, such as various-sized brushes and tools, and water bottles (horse grooming is thirsty work). They are sturdy–made of canvas–but most importantly, they have POCKETS. Women love pockets. No more do you have to to paw through the debris in the bottom of your handbag, because your cell phone is in Pocket X and your lipstick is in Pocket Y.
I was very amused by the fact that they are no longer marketed as horse-grooming bags…now they are called “carry-alls”.
So one day this week I arrived at work, set the Ariat bag down on a chair, and reached for something inside, whereupon a very small cockroach emerged and started crawling around the top edge.
Now, a little scene-setting. At that time of the morning, there are four other people in my office, which is in a big open fishbowl sort of area. When I said “EEK! There’s a roach in my purse”, Ruben hops out of his chair and says, “I’ll get it!” (Here is an employee I’m definitely keeping. I’m thinking it’s time for a raise, even.) By the time he arrived with toilet paper as a weapon, the roach had crawled back in the bag. So he started poking around, apologizing…I don’t mean to pry in your bag, he says. Please don’t apologize, I replied. I am right before dumping the entire contents on the floor.
About that time, the roach emerges. Ruben makes a grab for it, and… it flies away. Whereupon, I said, as you might guess, SHIT! IT’S FLYING!
Now it’s not as if I’m a stranger to flying cockroaches. I lived in New Orleans, which has five species of giant cockroaches, at least one of which flies. Cockroaches are to New Orleans what robins are to the rest of the world: harbingers of spring. But I’ve never seen a tiny cockroach fly. I was totally in shock, and my heart was pounding.
Enter Colleen, who says, “Ruben, there it is! It landed on the back of YOUR chair!” Ruben sneaks up on it, and catches it! I thought that was totally amazing! It’s like catching a housefly in flight. Maybe he had already wounded it in his first attempt. In any case, once the kill mission succeeded, the entire room erupts in laughter.
Because I’m still standing by my desk in a state of paralysis. My assistant manager is laughing so hard he has to put his head down on his desk. I couldn’t help but see the humor myself: Ms. In-Control is defeated by a baby cockroach. Pretty soon we are all laughing hysterically.
Once we came up for air, Colleen said, That is the first time I’ve ever heard you curse. Since she’s been working for me for over a year, I thought, Dang! My disguise is working perfectly!
I have no idea where that roach came from. I’m chalking it up to living in Florida, where sometimes you have to fight your way through a spider web to get out the front door. Your cat drags home the occasional snake and lets it loose in the house (alive). C’est la vie. Probably they don’t have these problems in Alaska.
In other (flying) animal news, my assistant manager received a complaint on Friday that a mockingbird was attacking our customers as they exited the elevator, and he needed to do something about it. He said to me, How is this MY bird? (I had to put my head on MY desk at that point.) Nevertheless, being young enough and customer-service oriented enough that he felt he might possibly be able to control nature, he approached the city landscaping crew to ask if they could suggest anything. They said, put up a sign saying “Beware of Bird”. At this rate, I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to get my head OFF the desk.
I have way too much experience of small flying roaches but that was when I was a child and we lived in an apartment where the management figured that bugs in any apartment was due to filthy living on the part of the inhabitants thereof and in no wise a problem, building-wise, that they could do something (as in spend money) about. Fast-forward to now and I’m one of those folks allergic to roaches. I figure those facts are connected by my immune system.
Can you modify that “Beware of Bird” sign to also say “Ma Nature is exacting her revenge for Homo Sapiens building an elevator where the Mockingbird wishes to nest”?
Thirdly, I have never carried grooming equipment in my Ariat carry-all. I find that rigid-sided tool totes are much better for that task. I carry my laptop in the carry-all. And my purse, water bottle, book, iPod, noise-cancelling headphones, etc onto planes and to Fakesister’s or Callaway Gardens (which is where Fakesister first saw it).
FS and I were discussing the roach incident earlier which recalled to mind an incident of my own. As almost everyone who know me knows about me, I’m mortally afraid of spiders (actually any insectoid thing that jumps, crickets for instance, but spiders top the list). Legacy of being jumped by a brown recluse while playing with my grandmother’s shoes on the floor of her closet – I was under 5 years old, FS probably knows exactly how old. I have this picture, to this day, of the spider leaping out of a shoe onto me although I seem to have outgrown the nightmares.
So there I am at work in the stereotypical cubical farm, helping a co-worker. Hands on keyboard, I look back over my shoulder at him to ask a question and feel something on my hand. Glancing back, what should I see? A Daddy Longlegs crawling over my hand.
Needless to say, the folks at the security desk half-way across the building heard me scream. Everybody on the floor stood up to see what the commotion was all about. My team thought they were going to have to call 911. AFAIK, the Daddy Longlegs got clean away.
Fakesister, the guy who suggested putting up a “Beware of Bird’ sign told Eric about a complaint they had received from a citizen who said she was distressed by bees that were hanging around the flowers they had planted. She said if they didn’t Do Something, she was going to the newspaper and then to the mayor’s office. This is the standard threat. Eric got that one too about the mockingbird. I said, I hope she DOES go to the Mayor. I can’t wait to see how that works out for her 🙂
Part of politics is representing people who didn’t vote for you, at least in theory, but in real life it consists of fending off crazy people who are far more likely to get in your face.
In my prior post please change all instances of FS to FN since I meant Fakename in every case. I have a headache, OK?
It’s too bad that you folks in the service industries can’t hand the newspaper’s and mayor’s phone and email to folks like the bee person above without having that behavior also reported via those links.
I’m allergic to bee venom but I have noticed that they’re a lot more interested in the flowers than they are in me. Ergo I ignore them and they ignore me. Getting the resident Scotty to ignore the bumblebees is a whole ‘nother story. Notwithstanding that she’s caught at least one a year for years now without getting a clue.
FS…I knew that. We take a lot of abuse, but not much if I’m around. You will NOT act superior to my people if I’m there. You are dead meat if you try to intimidate my people. Mama Bear stuff. So what happens is, I give them the courage to do the right thing when I’m not there. Because they know I have them in mind and will protect them later.
I hate (and fear) roaches. And I hate (and fear) the flying kind even more. Fortunately, I have less than my fair share of roaches in the house, probably because there are just two of us, we clean up immediately after meals and so there’s little food for them. I also put out boric acid powder regularly.
I dislike jumping and flying things too. Fakesister, I well remember that apartment, where you dare not turn on the lights in the kitchen in the middle of the night. But I don’t remember them flying. I don’t have roaches in my house either (at least I thought not!) although occasionally one of the giant ones will weasel its way in. I don’t have enough food in here to keep a roach alive, not that that necessarily matters. At a McDonald’s I worked at once, they ate the insulation off the wires in the alarm system panel (that was fun for the electrician to find).
Fakesister, in theory, it is an unwritten rule that we peons are supposed to keep the crazies AWAY from people like the mayor 🙂
Wouldn’t you know that today’s Shockwave Daily Jigsaw would be a banana spider?