Goodbye, Cube Door

October 13, 2011

I hope you can all forgive me for once again dropping off the face of the Earth for a solid three weeks.

I’ve been mourning the loss if my cube door.

Actually, I take that back. I haven’t just been mourning the loss of my cube door. I’ve been mourning the loss of my entire cube.

See, I used to feel pretty smug about my cube at work. It had walls taller than me, and a door that slid shut for optimum privacy.

If I wanted to, I could stay ensconsed in my cube all day and not talk to anybody, hidden behind the brown fabric walls and semi-transparent plastic sliding door.

No matter that I had absolutely no access to natural light. I was happy to sacrifice my vitamin D levels for the mere fact that nobody could see me.

I knew most people didn’t have such luxuries as tall walls and doors. But I still always liked to slip it into conversation, just so they knew how good I had it, and then act all surprised when they told me how lucky I was to have such an awesome cube.

Me: Ha, yeah, so the other day, the guy across the hall from me was picking his nose and it was grossing me out, so I just…(dramatic pause)…slid my cube door shut so I couldn’t see him anymore.

Friend: Wait– you have a CUBE DOOR??

Me (wide-eyed and innocent):Oh…my…I thought everyone had a cube door. Why…yes…I do have a cube door.

Well, let me tell you, all my smugness came crashing and burning down around me approximately three weeks ago when my company was informed that the higher ups from London have decided to move to an “open-floor concept”.

Of course there had been rumors floating around that this might happen. But they’d been floating around for months and months. Nobody actually thought they would take away our cubes.

And even if they did, I figured it would be years before they ever got around to it.

Well, they did take away our cubes and it didn’t take years.

As of right now, I have three moving crates taking up the majority of my precious space, directions on how to pack up my computer, and instructions to be packed up by 5pm Thursday so all my stuff can be moved to our temporary space while they do construction.

I’ll be sitting with four other people at basically a counter with computer stations.

So forgive me, if in the coming weeks I seem a little on edge and anti-social. I fear too much human interaction at work will have severe implications on how I act outside of work.

I’m scared.

On a side note, packing up a cube I’ve occupied for 3 1/2 years isn’t fun. Working at a parenting website means I’ve accumulated a lot of interesting stuff, particularly stuffed animals. Having to pack them all up resulted in me just shoving them all into my gym bag, and I’m pretty sure a lady in the locker room thought I was a pedophile.

I’ll save that story for my next post though.

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I’m going camping this weekend up in Acadia National Park. Moe and I went last year with two of our friends and it was a complete blast so we’ve decided that it needs to become a yearly tradition.

So, in preparation, I need to do a huge pile of laundry and start packing tonight.

I don’t know how many of you go camping, but packing for three nights in the wilderness can be tough.

It gets COLD in Maine at night (even in the summer) so essentially you have to pack fall and winter clothes along with your summery stuff.

And apparently, according to my brain, I don’t own any winter clothes.

(This is where my brain is wrong. I do, in fact, own winter clothes. I live in New England for Christ’s sake. I just can’t see them right now because they are packed away. Because it is summer. My brain can be really stupid sometimes.)

Anyway, thinking you don’t own any winter clothes when you’re going camping six hours north in two days can send even the most rational person into a blind panic.

And a blind panic for winter clothes will send even the most budget-conscious person running to H&M in search of warm (and preferably striped, because I’m obsessed with stripes right now thankyouverymuch) clothes.

And this, my friends, is how I ended up with a pair of fingerless gloves.

Yes. Fingerless (and stripeless) gloves.

Because having a pair of fingerless gloves will surely keep my hands warm in the dark, cold woods of Maine.

Who needs a coat or even a sweatshirt when you have a pair of fingerless gloves?

I mean, really? I need someone to slap me across the face.

No wonder they were $4.95.

They have no fingers you asshole.

So, I’ll be the one huddled in front of the campfire trying to keep warm while my friends sit comfortably bundled up in their practical fleece jackets and sweat pants.

Because on my lunch break today, I bought a pair of fingerless gloves.

Lindsay. FTL.

For. The. Loss.

Any of you out there ever heard of Mother Mother?

No, it isn’t the modern day version of Sister, Sister. (Although the name would be totes appropriate, because didn’t Tia Mowry just have a baby? I’m pretty sure she did.)

Anyway, yeah, Mother Mother isn’t a teeny-bopper-turned-modern-day-mother sitcom. Mother Mother is actually a “Canadian Indie Rock Band” from Vancouver.

Yes. Vancouver.

And they were playing last night at Great Scott in Allston.

Yes. Great Scott.

You know, that bar that most people stop going to as soon as they turn 21 and can get into places with their own ID? That place.

And I was there.

OK, you’re probably asking yourself– How the hell did Lindsay end up at Great Scott at 11:30 on a Thursday night getting drunk on Hoegaarden and jamming out to a Canadian Indie Rock Band with a bunch of hipsters with piercings in every place on their body other than their ears?

Enter– my boyfriend.

I won’t name him, because he doesn’t like it when I talk about him here. But, he is the main reason why I’m suffering horribly at work today, so there is really no way around mentioning him in this post.

To protect the innocent, I’ll call him…Moe.

Moe has been known to like some really obscure (and sometimes very strange) bands. So, as was the case last night, sometimes I find myself going out in the middle of the week to different dive bars around the city to see one of these obscure bands in person.

I never mind going. Nine times out of 10, the band ends up being pretty damn good.

And even if they suck, at the very least I know I’m guaranteed a night of prime people watching.

And did I mention the tickets were $8? Eight dollars. I mean, that’s cheaper than a round of beer.

So, off to Great Scott Moe and I went.

Now, I don’t know if it was the heat, the good music, my suppressed inner-hipster alter ego, or the fact that I was feeling a little randy being out so late on a work night, but it might be safe to say I maybe had a leeeee-tle too much to drink.

Orrrr, maybe a lot too much. (My hands have the shakes as I’m typing this. True story.)

But, hey, it was Thursday night. Even if I felt horrible the next morning (which, um, I do), at least I only have one more day of work to get through before two glorious days off.

Yes, well, even though I only have one more day before the weekend, I’m practically dying at my desk right now.

I woke up this morning and literally looked like I had been run over by a truck.

I had mascara smudged under both eyes to the extent that I’m not sure if it got like that in my sleep, or if at some point during the night I decided I wanted to blend in with the emo-hipsters by smearing my make up from my bottom eye lid to the tip of my nose.

I also must have slept with my right hand hand under my cheek because in addition to my mascara, I had a nice imprint of the admission stamp the bouncer gave me adorning my face.

My eyes were bloodshot. And for some reason, my left eye didn’t want to open all the way, resulting in me looking like I had a lazy eye.

And, oh dear, my hair…

I looked like I had stuck my finger in an electrical outlet, gotten shocked until my hair stood on end, and then tried to fix the ensuing afro by putting it in a pony tail on top of my head.

Basically, I would have fit in better last night if I had just gone looking the way I did this morning.

It was not pretty my friends. Not pretty at all.

I actually shrieked a little when I turned on the bathroom light and got a glimpse of my face.

I’m looking a little better now that my emo-makeup has been washed off and my hair is tamed into a bun.

And I’m thinking once I get some food in me, I’ll feel better.

But, all in all, last night was worth it.

Moe got to meet the drummer. (His name was Allan. Nice guy. I like to think if they ever make it big, I can say “Oh yeah, I saw them waaa-aaayy back when they were first starting out at a little bar called Great Scott. I clinked beers with Allan. You know. The drummer.“)

I got to get my groove on with all the other rebels who were defying their bedtimes on a Thursday night.

And you can never go wrong with good music and cold beers on a hot night.

So, to all you skeptics, I recommend Mother Mother. I’ll leave you with this, for your listening pleasure:

Much like walking down a long hallway, holding a door for someone can be an uncomfortable experience.

Personally I like whoever I’ll be holding the door for to be about 5 to 10 steps behind me. That gives me enough time to turn the handle, swing the door open, and hold it for about 2 to 3 seconds before they pass through. A quick “Thanks”, and everyone can go on about their day.

Closer than 5 to 10 steps, and you start to question their definition of “personal space”.

And when it’s 15 or more steps behind you, you start to run into some uncomfortable interaction.

15-20 steps behind: You encounter some awkward smiling and longer than normal eye contact. The other person may have to speed up their gait a little to make it to the door before it gets really weird.

20-25 steps behind: You feel the need to make some small talk. You may find yourself commenting on the weather, or your company’s upcoming holiday as you wait for them to make their way to the door. The approaching person feels the need to speed walk.

25-30 steps behind:
You make small talk, but it’s not enough. There is still a period of time between the end of your short conversation and moment they actually pass through the door when there is nothing to do but stand and smile. This causes the approaching person to break into a jog.

30-35 steps steps behind: You have to tell the person “Not to rush”, and it’s then you know you’ve probably overdone your gallantry. You end up standing there, stupidly holding the door, probably with a creepy grin on your face. The approaching person secretly hates you in their head.

35 or more steps: Save everyone the trouble, and let the person behind you open the door themselves. There is such a thing as being too polite. Nobody appreciates it. Believe me.

Just follow the 5-10 step rule, and everyone will be that much better off. I promise.

Why is it that most of my work stories revolve around the kitchen, and what I do there?

Back story: I decided to start Weight Watchers about two weeks ago. For me, it was less about losing weight and more about being a little more aware of what I’m actually putting in my mouth. I had gotten to the point where dessert was no longer a treat, and more of an everyday staple.

And if I have any intention of putting on a bathing suit this summer, I’d rather not get horrified glances from other beach-goers. So alas, Weight Watchers and point counting it is.

I get 29 points a day. I’m quickly learning how to divvy up those points in a way that won’t leave me starving/gnawing on my hand for sustenance by the time I go to bed.

And, that includes my new and improved 7 point Egg/American Cheese/English Muffin sandwich.

We all know my adoration for all things English muffins. Adding an egg and cheese just heightens my adoration by, ohhhh, 500%.

However, while the sandwich is delicious, it involves me cooking an egg in the microwave at work.

And this, apparently, is quite a spectacle for anyone who happens to be in the kitchen at the same time.

(That, or they’re just really bored at 9 am and have nothing better to do than grill me on how, exactly, to cook an egg in the microwave.)

This morning, there were no less than 5 people crowded around the microwave, watching my poor egg spin and fry under the rays of said microwave.

I’m telling you, you would have thought I was inventing a cure for AIDS. They actually “ooh-ed” and “aah-ed” when it came out.

They then watched me assemble my breakfast, hovering a little too close over my shoulder as I sprinkled on a little pepper.

When my mind-blowing creation was complete, I held a question and answer session by the fridge in order to answer any lingering questions, such as “How long does it take to fry an egg in the microwave??”

“Oh, I don’t know. 30 seconds? I just kind of guess and then add more time if I need to.”

“How many eggs can you cook at a time?”

“I only eat one. But I’d hazard to guess you can cook several, with the same results.”

“Tell me Lindsay, does it taste the same as it does at home?”

“Well, I don’t know how your microwave at home works, but to me, it tastes the same.”

“Can you show me how to do it?”

“Crack an egg in the a bowl, put it in the microwave, set it for 30 seconds, and hit ‘Start’.”

“Wow. That really is just so cool.”

(As they all trickle out of the kitchen, muttering about the egg and cheese sandwiches that will no doubt fill their mornings with glory now that they know how to fry an egg in the microwave.)

That, combined with toasting an English muffin, left me feeling kind of stressed out.

However, according to my last night’s weigh-in, I have lost 1.4 pounds. If my current weight loss keeps up, I’ll be at my target weight…by the end of swimsuit season.

Excellent.

It’s not even 10am and today is already shaping up to be weird.

Apparently, I’m in love. Or I have the flu. And I’ve met the Divine Power.

Let me start at the beginning.

I had some errands to run this morning (banking, post office, CVS– you know. Run of the mill.)

I started off at the bank.

Normally going to the bank really isn’t all that exciting.

Unless the guy waiting on you is named Divinepower.

I swear to God.That was his name. Unless of course his name tag was lying, which I don’t think it was because I highly doubt a professional establishment like TD Bank would allow their employees to f*ck with their customers heads like that.

I don’t know why, but I got kind of nervous. Blame Apocolypse 2011.

I mean, what if this guy really was the Divine Power, cleverly disguised as a bank teller? (Because really, who would ever expect Him to show up as a bank teller? Nobody, that’s who.)

What was I supposed to do? Pray? Confess my sins? Ask “Is it really you?”

In any case, I managed to resist the urge to run away, and I got my banking done with only a few nervous (and uncalled for) chuckles.

Then I hightailed it out of there.

Onto the post office.

I just wanted a stamp. That’s all.

So, I waited in line for my turn, and approached the counter with what I thought was just a normal looking expression on my face.

Here is the conversation that followed:

Me: “Hello. I just need a stamp.”
Post Office Guy: “You got it.”
Me: (waiting patiently, looking around and avoiding eye contact to ward off any unwanted conversation.)
POG: “You know what? I’m going to give you a love stamp. Because you look like you’re in love.”
Me: (blank stare) “…huh?”
POG: “Yup. You’ve got the look of love on your face.”
Me: “I do?” (silently wondering if perhaps I wore too much bronzer today.)
POG: “You sure do. Either that, or you have the flu. The symptoms are very similar you know.”
Me: (not knowing what to say, because seriously, WTF is this guy talking about?) “Oh, uh haha. Then I guess I’ll, um, take love?”
POG: “Yeah, I’d say it’s love too. Well, have a great day!”
Me: “Um, thanks. See ya.”

I left feeling very confused.

And slightly defeated. I thought I had my “I’m indifferent and just want to get my shit done so please don’t talk to me” facial expression down, but apparently I don’t because I seem to invite unwanted conversations wherever I go.

In any case, I haven’t gone to CVS yet. Fingers crossed I don’t run into any more weird situations. Happy Friday!

Try as I might, I always seem to have run-ins with the homeless people around my building.

There’s the guy who still loves to call me Thunder Thighs.

There’s the guy who I walk by everyday who is holding a sign that says “I Need Alcohol or a Redhead”.

(Talk about awkward. I always kind of speed walk past him and pretend to look the other way…as if me doing this will cover up the fact that I am one of his “needs” written on his piece of cardboard.)

And then there’s the one who punched me.

No, really. He punched me.

It was about 4:30 pm on a nice, sunny day.

He was hiding in a doorway, quite obviously calculating his attack on some poor, unsuspecting person.

I was happily on my way to the T after work.

I remember I was in a particularly good mood that day– smiling and walking with an extra spring in my step.

(Although, that was probably my first mistake– seeing someone with a huge, annoying smile on their face can definitely make you want to punch them.)

Anyway, as I trotted on by, he jumped out, made a fist, wound up– and punched me (hard!) on the shoulder.

Then he turned around and walked away.

At first, I was shocked. I mean, what the hell did I do to him?

And then I didn’t really know what to do.

Do I go after him? Do I keep walking?

Do I continue to stand on the sidewalk, holding my arm like a gimp, staring after him in disbelief?

My first instinct told me to see what others around me were doing.

So I did one of those weird, quick side-to-side head swivels to see if anyone else had seen.

(You know the head swivel I’m talking about , right? Like when you trip over absolutely nothing and are wondering if anyone else saw it too, but don’t want to make it seem too obvious that you’re looking around, so you do a kind of jerky, shifty-eyed glance to your left and right? Yeah– it was one of those.)

There was one lady that looked like she was giving me a funny look. But I couldn’t tell if it was out of concern, compassion, or if she was just blind or something.

My thunder thighs homeless guy was there, but he was too busy panhandling and harassing others to pay me much attention.

(Any other day, and this would have delighted me. But damn it– I just got punched. Pay attention to me!)

It was like nobody had seen the abuse I had just endured. I was scared and alone in the middle of a sidewalk with my poor arm hanging, limp and useless, at my side, and nobody cared.*

(*the couple months that have passed since this incident may have led to some slight exaggerating on my part.)

In the end, I went into CVS for a few minutes.

I have no idea why I did that.

I didn’t need anything at CVS.

I guess I felt like I had to take cover in case The Puncher came thundering back to rain more blows onto my poor, battered body.

Once I had stood in Aisle 3 for a few minutes, I began to feel stupid. So, I left and continued on my way home.

Same person as before, just with a nice new bruise on my right shoulder.