Work is a great place to meet many different kinds of people you might not have met otherwise. In my case work situations have often been the beginning of life long friendships. Of course there are also those that have made my work life a living hell, those that have left me with great stories, and still others that provided more entertainment (read: writing material) than I could ever ask for.
I am no longer in the veterinary game. That career went from deeply rewarding and financially stable to life-absorbing and self-destructive stress inducing. So thanks to a good friend who knows who she is, I now have a new job/career. I get to be in an office. I have a desk and a window. I have weekends off. No one dies as part of my normal workday anymore. My new job has taught me that life doesn’t have to be a knock down drag out fight to survive every day.
The new job is a fairly small operation, 7 coworkers total. It’s a more positive environment than I’ve ever worked in before, which is great! I feel like every work place has someone who is a wild card, and mine is no different. I have a coworker, whom I will call Dwight Schrute, who is consistently entertaining without trying to be. I started keeping an informal daily record of his odd behaviors for my own amusement.
“Dwight is wearing his shiny pants today.” These pants are silver and metallic. His normal work uniform is a black Polo shirt and khaki pants. I have no idea how this disco ball with pockets made it into the rotation.
“Dwight reported me to my boss for laughing while at work.” He did this on three separate occasions. Work is very serious business. No one is paying us to laugh and enjoy our jobs!
“Dwight called a meeting to go over protocols for how to handle a bomb threat, an aggressive individual, and a shooting. His stated reason for bringing this up today was that on September 11, 2001, some middle eastern individuals hijacked some airplanes, and 3 days ago a middle eastern individual was on our property and was wearing a backpack. He also informed us that the ideal place for someone to hide a bomb is in a toilet. How is this information supposed to help us?”
“Dwight is wearing a pink shirt today.” I cannot figure out the pattern.
“Dwight pronounces eucalyptus ‘eh-cloop-yes.’ I plan to spend the rest of the day trying to get him to say this word as many times as possible.” Self explanatory.
“Heard Dwight discussing the band Nickelback with [coworker I’ll call Jim]. He loves them. That’s it, we probably have absolutely nothing in common.” Later this same day, I heard Jim and Dwight chatting and giggling for over an hour. (I did not report him for appearing to have fun on the job.) At one point Jim ran into my office and asked me in an urgent tone, “How old is Louis Farrakhan?” In the other room Dwight laughed like a schoolgirl who just dared her friend to ask the teacher a dumb question. It was so bizarre and hilarious that I considered checking to see if there was a gas leak in the building.
As a lover of the absurd, this list often motivates me to get through the day. Even in this job that I love, work is still work, and anything that helps the day go by is always welcome. If I ever write fiction again, my stories will have very rich characters. Actually, I am so grateful that I have a job that I do well and still have energy left over at the end of the day to do things that make me happy. If you’re reading this, you can be grateful too!
Oh, and if you’re wondering, Louis Farrakhan is 82.