It’s been many years since I last worked in an office environment. I don’t know if it’s all the time I spent on the road but it feels good to be grounded and doing some steady work. I hope I’m not just scratching an itch that’s going to disappear and then spring up in the middle of the night with a demanding fury.
At the job I’ve been meeting new people and learning about the ups and downs. The work is fast paced, which is interesting, because everyone there moves as if they have all the time in the world. It could be my upbringing or it could be the city life, but I’m always extra early for work. Wednesday I was too early.
All the lights were on inside the building and I punched in my code and opened the door. My foot barely passed the threshold before an alarm box to my left started blinking yellow.
It flashed on the screen several times before the missile launch countdown replace the letters.
I looked around me. There was no one there. I reached into my pocket to call another employee. I was not only the new guy bumbling around the office, but now I would become the new guy that brought the law.
The phone was ringing and I knew no one would answer it in time. I hung up and just stood there as the numbers reached 0.
3…2…1…YOU’RE SCREWED, SUCKAH!
The yellow panel started flashing red and a chirping alarm went off around the building. I didn’t know my options so I backed up outside and stood beside the door. I had my lunch in one hand; turkey wraps with caesar dressing, lettuce, and a cream cheese spread to hold the tortilla closed; and my messenger bag in the other.
I couldn’t help but think what the cops would say when they showed up. I wore a beanie because of the cold and I couldn’t help but picture cop procedurals and what all the perps looked like. I ripped the beanie off my head. If the cops were to show I’d just be some bald guy with a decent lunch rather than a thug with scraps in a cheap plastic bin.
The cops didn’t show up. Instead one of the Head Honchos pulled up.
“Did you set the alarm off, Karp?”
“You know, I think I did. Yeah. It’s chirping.”
He started to laugh and then tossed me his keys.
“Go place that on the box, it’ll shut it down.”
I did as he commanded and then went forth to my desk to prepare myself for a day of ridicule.
To my utter surprise the story didn’t spread around the office like wildfire. I live out in the country and apparently these people are just too down to earth to take pleasure in another’s embarrassment.
Every day I’m here I like it a little more and more.