It is morning and my office has a serious mold problem. I basically can’t breathe and I’ve had a sinus headache since I started here 6 weeks ago. My apologies for once again neglecting my dear Bananas.
On my desk there are piles of paper that have the former glory of attempted organization, but are now half-covered by a multitude of other printed information that, without a designated pile of its own, is spread out over all available surface area so that it can be easily found if needed. This system does not really differentiate well between important and unimportant documents. My coffee is far too close to the long phone cord that inevitably is so tangled that it is difficult to lift the ancient receiver to take a call. There are four drops of old coffee that have hardened all too close to the receiver, reminding me that not only is this clearly my daily designated coffee spot, but it is far, far too close to technology.
A few years ago I started as an intern at this super posh PR firm and was very excited about my almost desk and the laptop to go with it. It was probably week one or two, and I was kind of crushing it. It turns out I was a natural. The PR firm was (and is) run by a power gay couple. These two guys were the perfect duo. The PR guy was the friendly boss and his partner (who never wore anything except gym shorts and sneakers) maintained all the technology and HR stuff for the company. Gym Shorts managed to run around seemingly busy all the time while simultaneously looking like he just came from the gym or was headed to the gym. He was kind of scary. I don’t think he liked me. He probably saw right through my nicely put together ensemble and called my bullshit outright. For good reason.
Week two (one?) I spilled my newly poured coffee (made from the single cup Keurig in my fancy Marigny office kitchen) ALL OVER my almost desk. OH MY FUCKING GOD. Seriously, I still think about it and shudder. Somehow, magically, no one saw. It was all over my notebook, dripping down the flat surface where my computer was sitting, and most definitely all over my keyboard. FUCK. I cleaned up as best as I could and it looked like nothing happened… until I tried to use my keyboard. A few keys did not work. Notably, the question mark.
With a renewed sense of panic, I brought my computer into the kitchen, announcing that I think there was some dust in the keyboard and started blasting the thing with dust-off (you know, the shit the kids in the suburbs used to huff when bored) and prayed for a miracle. After some time I declared defeat but I couldn’t bring myself to go to HR/Tech Support. (Same person! WTF!) I decided, then and there, that I would finish out my internship sans question mark. I set a shortcut on Word and went on with my day….
But guess what, bitches? You use question marks a lot. You know who else does? Tech guy that set up my login/password so the next morning when I come to work, I couldn’t sign in to my computer because to do so, I needed a question mark.
With a sigh and a shudder I brought myself to Gym Shorts, the HR/Tech guy and said (the truth): “I can’t log on to my computer.”
Gym Shorts: “That is strange. Did something happen?”
Me: “Not sure, I came in this morning and the question mark key didn’t work.” (Half-truth.)
Gym Shorts: (plugs in an external keyboard…) “Weird, it seems like everything is working fine with the computer, are you sure something didn’t happen (read: SPILL)?”
Me: “Hmmm (pause) Maybe coffee? I jostled my coffee yesterday but I thought most of it went on my notebook.”
Gym Shorts: (much later…) “So, I lifted up the keyboard and there was a lot… a LOT of coffee under there. I fixed it.”
Me: Silence. “Weird!? Thanks.”
DON’T JOSTLE YOUR COFFEE. But if you outright spill, definitely say you may have jostled your coffee and that might be the cause of your technology problem.