Cubical Wars

Wednesday, day three – I get into the office a little late but deftly avoid loud talker before he announces it to everyone. Score one round for the good guys. I smile to myself and head to the break room to get a cup of coffee. That’s when I get hit by the sneak attack, The Rationalizer is just leaving.

“It’s ok, it’s ok, you can do this.” I say under my breath as I brace myself for what horrors I might soon find. I walk in the room and there it is, the coffee pot not empty but left with not even half a cup in it. He rationalizes in his head that it’s ok because he didn’t leave it empty. Yup, two swallows, just enough to assuage his guilt, but not enough to stop my caffeine withdrawal headache. I sigh to myself and make another pot.

I look around for more carnage and spot it, ahh the half bagel left in the box, the bottom half of course. Hard to believe he thinks someone would eat this- I mean come on, it’s like eating the top of the muffin and leaving the bottom part. What is he Elaine from Seinfeld? I throw the box away in disgust on my way out. I spot poor Jim coming this way and feel guilty about yesterday. I decide to spare him the nightmares he might have if he walked in the room now. My advice, come back in 10 minutes and pray, pray there is some coffee left.

Back at my desk I send a print job to the printer, yes victory is mine! The Rationalizer sent a huge print job but wasn’t quite as fast on the draw because mine printed out first. I get my print job and grab a cup of coffee. On the way back I see him slinking away with his ream of printouts and see the casualty he has left behind as someone approaches the printer, gets one page and then gets the printer is out of paper light.

I shake my head in awe, how does he do it? If there are 500 pieces of paper in the copier he will print 499. He has a special gift for knowing exactly how many pages are left so he won’t have to refill it. He is a worthy foe. I see him at the fax machine and feel sorry for the next victim who will get stuck with the paper jam he will leave in his wake. Oh well, can’t save everyone in the office.

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