I’m the Smeagol of the Office

30 Sep

I’ve been the subject of an office scandal for quite some time and I just now figured out what it was.

Office people are strange indeed and the floor I work on is no exception.  It’s almost all women, all huddled in the same little cubicle farm, supporting the same overlapping group of people.

And my office is down the hall.

I’m immediately made the Smeagol of the group just as a matter of geographical fact.  

I moved into my full-time position at work from a temporary assignment.  It was a strange and mysterious ride that wasn’t really ever talked about.  In fact, I wasn’t really every sure what my job was, what was expected of me, or if there was a desire by the higher-ups to keep me beasting about.  

I don’t think beasting is a word.  But I’m sure your brain has come up with something for it already so let’s just keep whatever you’ve got.

Anyway the point is that I was never really introduced, never shown around, and never really explained things in a very thorough manner.  The nature of my job lies in its constant uncertainty.  It’s an interesting and confidence-shaking place to be.  And unfortunately because I am in a support role, there comes a time in my life when I have to do things like place kitchen orders.

There’s an executive kitchen on our floor that’s stocked with coffee, tea, chips, pretzels, and sodas of all kinds.  Sometimes there will be leftovers in there from high-level meetings and the underlings are allowed to spread it amongst themselves.

Amongst is probably also not a word, but it should be.

Once in a long while, the kitchen supplies need restocked.  Having never been walked through the process and wary to ask for assistance because I’m the Smeagol of the floor, I went about doing so with a lone sheet of paper, completed by the person formerly in my role and filed for safekeeping.  There were handy little notes on there about how much of something we should typically have at one time and a firm reminder to inventory.  At the time we were pretty much out of everything so I just decided to order ten cases of every kind of drink to get us back on par.

A week later, the kitchen was still bare.  So I asked the most approachable of the cubicle creatures how I could follow up on the order since I only had a fax number and wasn’t about to scrawl an anonymous note with an angry face asking where my stuff is like a terrorist and fax it over.

She had a funny smirk on her face and said everything was already delivered.  I told her it was my first time ordering so I just wanted to make sure everything was okay and everyone was happy.  As if laughing at me, she assured me everyone was happy and escorted me over to a door, behind which she swore all the items were stashed.

I was confused – mostly because I’d always seen the delivery stocked immediately into the kitchen.  And also because I was fairly certain the “closet” she was referring to was the custodian’s storage room.

But she was done with the conversation so I went back to my cave down the hall, wondering what I did incorrectly.  She casually mentioned that I seemed to order a lot of Pepsi, which I thought strange because I pretty much ordered the same amount of everything.  My mind spun a web of theories, most of which revolved around a secret email everyone was copied on except me regarding someone wanting a certain kind of juice or fruit snack that I failed to get their input on.

Office creatures are menial, but deadly serious folk.

The other day I wandered over to the kitchen to carry out one of the more degrading aspects of my job by heating up my boss’s frozen dinner and I noticed the kitchen closet was stocked with a rather large quantity of soda.  I heard some sort of buzz that the person before me over-ordered Diet Coke and let it go.

But last night while I was milling about my apartment, it hit me: I ordered a massive amount of soda.

You see, the ordering form indicates that all orders are carried out in ‘cases’.   Since I have a small apartment and a rather lax vocabulary, I call 12-pack and 24-packs of soda ‘ cases’.  Since I used to stock third shift in warehouse clubs, I should have known that 12 and 24 do not warrant a case by any means.  Rather, a case is an entire case of 12-pack and 24-packs.

And I had ordered ten cases of every kind of soda.

The kitchen order is in the janitor’s closet because there simply isn’t any room for it anywhere else.  In fact, it’s a wonder they didn’t have to throw everything out of the office supply closet just to make room for the now-enormous selection of Diet Coke we now have. 

I didn’t get the memo about the girl prior ordering a bunch of Diet Coke until after I sent the fax.

I tested my theory like I test most theories – by simply stating it casually in conversation and reading how the other person reacts.  And sure enough when I made an off-the-cuff remark about realizing I ordered entire cases of soda instead of just packs of soda, my fears were confirmed as she nodded and said something like “drink up!”

I’m sure now that there is a secret email that I’m not copied on.  It’s a picture of everyone laughing and partying under a waterfall of soda while they guffaw over my ignorance. 

Because I know how much you love my art.

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29 Responses to “I’m the Smeagol of the Office”

  1. wtfhappenedtomyreallife September 30, 2011 at 9:26 am #

    That is awful that the snarksters just sat back and watched as you struggled to do this. A plague upon them. A cold running rampant in the cube farm that doesn’t make it to smeagol’s cave 🙂 You are the prettiest smeagol ever, though…if that is any consolation.

    • Jackie October 2, 2011 at 8:07 pm #

      lol snarksters.

      well thank you for your well-meaning vex and your shield of protection for my cave and your lovely compliment 😉

  2. debra mckune September 30, 2011 at 9:32 am #

    When life gives you lemons (or too much soda?)…

    …bring in some ice cream and make soda floats and have a party!

    • Jackie October 2, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

      That would be a fantastic idea, but they’re all crazy diet folk. I made cookies once as a nice gesture and it was rather difficult to pawn them off in spite of their unquestionable deliciousness.

  3. Ro September 30, 2011 at 9:35 am #

    That picture is just awesome. I’m ready to run far, far away from my coworkers. Care to join me? It will save us a rendezvous.

    • Jackie October 2, 2011 at 8:02 pm #

      Okay but do you have money to live off of after our escape?

  4. Lori September 30, 2011 at 9:36 am #

    LOL this is great. I will have to share this one with my mom. She loves logistical-failures 🙂

    • Jackie October 2, 2011 at 8:02 pm #

      LOL What a peculiar and specific interest.

      • Lori October 3, 2011 at 11:31 am #

        Well, she’s been an accounts manager for large clothing companies for well over 20 years. The last time she visited, she asked me to take her to Costco because she had never been in one but knew everything in their routing guide. She’s been trained to think in those terms 🙂

  5. Jessica September 30, 2011 at 9:41 am #

    Wow, I do not envy you. Reminds me of my last employer. I too was hardly introduced or given any direction in my job. And the former occupant of the position had moved laterally into HR so she was still with the company, but entirely uninterested in assisting me or training me, in any way. I hated it there. The only redeeming quality of that place was the pay and the fact that I met a couple of other wonderful people who were as similarly disenchanted by the environment and viperous co-workers. We bonded in our misery but due to class/click divisions by department, we had very little opportunity to interact with one other. Worst place ever. I feel your pain.

    • Jackie October 2, 2011 at 8:01 pm #

      This sounds exactly like my situation. Thank you so much for sharing.

  6. Lori's Mom September 30, 2011 at 9:50 am #

    Oh my goodness! Well, if the zombie apocolypse breaks out, you’ll be able to lock yourself inside the office building and not worry about dying of thirst!

    • Jackie October 2, 2011 at 8:01 pm #

      If they share. 😦

  7. JWo September 30, 2011 at 9:53 am #

    Once you realize you can’t win you’ll be better off.
    If you hadn’t ordered enough they would have been pissed, order too much and they make fun of you.
    Co-workers can be such fickle b!tches. B!tches I tell you!!

    • Jackie October 2, 2011 at 8:01 pm #

      YEAH!! *takes a moment to let the crazy to drain from her eyes*

      You’re very right. Can’t please people who don’t like you anyway.

  8. pegoleg September 30, 2011 at 10:17 am #

    I love your picture! Did you make sure the fridge was stocked with a nice assortment of raw fish, Smeagol?

    • Jackie October 2, 2011 at 8:00 pm #

      lol I thought about trading out the fish for a soda but it seems more appropriate that they wouldn’t share even though I ordered it.

  9. prettyfeetpoptoe September 30, 2011 at 10:48 am #

    You can come and work in my office, any time! We’re all massive Diet Coke addicts and you would be renamed Frodo, saviour of us all!

    • Jackie October 2, 2011 at 7:59 pm #

      That sounds fantastic. Maybe I should just send a truck delivery and free up the janitor’s closet again.

  10. wordsweneversaid September 30, 2011 at 11:07 am #

    My WORST fear in life is that one day I will end up in an office full of women (factory or any other place as well btw)

    You would think that women would be the most supportive and caring gender to be surrounded by in a stressful work environment but I have always found the exact opposite…

    Something ‘happens’ (not sure what) and if you have a few clusters of them – they eventually form a pack (or herd) and anyone not a member of the pack (or herd) is either excluded or made to feel very uncomfortable.

    I suggest you just enjoy your diet coke and wait for your invitation to the party – if you just ignore them they get nervous and start wondering what you know that they don’t – one day you may be elected as leader of the pack (if you could stomach the thought of that)

    M.L.

    • Jackie October 2, 2011 at 7:59 pm #

      Women are awful, catty creatures *shudder*. I refer to them in packs as a “gaggle”. Appropriate for geese and women, I feel.

      I should care a lot less than I do, absolutely. They’re all about 20 years older than me so there’s always a sense that I could learn something if only they were nice enough to talk to me.

  11. Jules September 30, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

    O lawd… Cubicle farmed office workers plus sugary drinks sure is a sweet combination. Would yah like some diabeetus on the side with that?? 🙂

    Anyway, I think this is another example of women vs women workplace attitude. It is, sadly, an inevitable consequence of workplace equality. Women sabotaging other women.

    Advice dog:
    You should plan an exit strategy out of there Jackie. That is unless you enjoy torment and misery.

    Preciiiiiouussss~

    • Jackie October 2, 2011 at 7:56 pm #

      Advice Dog? Is that like, another personality inside of you? Or a gig you have on the side? 😛

  12. Anita S September 30, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

    I think perhaps you were a victim of office hazing. But I agree with the idea that it’s hard to break into the cliques that form. I’m not sure that being in an office full of men is better or worse… neither, actually. Just annoying in a different way.
    Amongst really is a word, so kudos to you!
    And the picture is really fantastic. May I steal it?

    • Jackie October 2, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

      I really think they just expected me to know. Then again, everything feels like hazing there…

      I’d much prefer to be in an office of men. I can’t say with any degree of certainty that it’s a gender issue, but I can certainly say with confidence that working in an office full of men was much easier.

      All they did when they got upset was throw things. Much easier to breathe through than cattiness 🙂

    • Jackie October 2, 2011 at 7:55 pm #

      Oh and yes, steal away. But I should note that the heads and the Smeagol and the cans of soda were all pulled from Wylio.com. The Smeagol is totally awesome and can originally be found at http://www.wylio.com/credits/Flickr/3070751633

  13. egills October 4, 2011 at 9:50 am #

    My idea of pure hell! Give me an office of men any day over women.

    At least you won’t need to do another order for a while

  14. Missjlouise October 5, 2011 at 11:20 am #

    Amongst is a word here in England…and as you speak English I’m sure it is there

    among or amongst
    Some people make a distinction between these, using amongst with verbs that imply movement: we stood among the trees but: we walked amongst the trees; the money was shared out amongst the members. There is no need to do so; either form can be used in any context. See also between.

    What do you work as? Your office sounds scary haha

    • Jackie October 9, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

      You know what? I was made fun of for it once and I’ve just gone around assuming it isn’t a word, but by golly IT IS. I was right! I should have stood my ground and given that person a verbal smackdown. Darnit!

      And I work as an Executive Assistant. Oye. 😉

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