Sunday, January 10, 2010

on personal space, carry-out condiments, and tainted love lotion

they say you can tell a lot about a person by the contents of their personal space.

in high school, your locker contained not only your backpack and books, but also a glimpse into your little world.

that was eons ago, and quite frankly, i don't recall the exact contents of mine, though i'm fairly certain there were pictures, barely opened textbooks, my walkman, a variety of writing utensils, a partially-eaten snack-sized bag of sunchips or doritoes, some random toys, and at least one or two pieces of homework that may or may not have actually gotten turned in.

in college, it's your dorm room that's supposed to tip everyone off as to who you really are. my blow-up blacklight-friendly green couch still lurks in my dad's garage in kansas city, the random quotes i stuck to my ceiling are glued into a scrapbook somewhere, the lava lamp (a high school graduation present from my mom) is in the corner of my master bedroom, and i'm fairly certain that most of my trinkets from mardi gras are still fairly well contained in a box in my living room.

in short, i've always gone for vaguely-organized chaos.

while heating up my dinner this evening, in the radio station breakroom (let me briefly digress long enough to point out that i am not responsible for all the chaos and clutter there.), i had roughly 2 1/2 minutes to glance around the room, particularly at our cubbies.

i've worked here at the radio station for nearly 8 1/2 years now, and though my stations/duties have changed, my production cubby has remained the same.

i think when i first got here, there were signs posted somewhere near the cubbies that stated they were "for production orders only". perhaps if i were curious enough to dig through them, i'd find one of these signs still floating around. however, i'm really not that curious....i know they existed at one point in time, sort of like dinosaurs, and for a while, i heeded their stern words.

some of the 20 cubbies sit empty. either they were never used, or else they were cleaned out when their owners walked out of the building for the last time.

some of the cubbies have a couple of pieces of paper- maybe one of those glossy cards promoting some small-time rapper hoping to catch somebody's ear on the way to becoming the next mc hammer or ice cube or lil' wayne.

there's a cubby on the bottom row that contains a few dozen fedex envelopes, filled with cds from programs we may or may not run on our stations anymore.

also on the bottom row, there's the untouched cubby of the former employee who was busted in the wee hours of the morning, testing out off-label uses for (insert name of major beauty company that isn't avon, as well as a type of fabric and a body part that comes in a pair) lotion while most likely chatting (uh, single-handedly) with one of the many "exotic dancers" he was friends with on myspace.

well, it was untouched until fairly recently, anyway.

as my chicken baja chalupa was heating in the ancient microwave that bears a small black mark from an attempt to nuke a foil-wrapped fast food sandwich (to the nuker, who shall remain nameless, this did not seem like a bad idea. i mean, the foil was only on one side of the paper, so really, it's not like the thing was going to blow like the microwave full of metal in pump up the volume. it did, however, shoot out a couple of interesting little sparks, which actually helped the nuker out of her- i mean their- 4am mid-shift sleepiness.), i wandered over to my cubby in search of fire sauce, because for some reason, the fine folks at taco bell rarely understand what "a large handful" means.

now, my cubby is probably due for a good "decluttering". i have various eating implements (plasticware and chopsticks), condiments (ketchup, arby's sauce, horsey sauce, fire sauce, ranch dressing, mediterranean dressing, salt, and possibly a packet of pepper or two), napkins, teabags (because one cannot rely on sandwiches in foil wrapping to keep oneself awake all the time), a couple of issues of rolling stone, and i sincerely hope i didn't throw out the article about the octopus who was looking for love, finally was set up on an octodate at a ripe old age (no word on whether the soulful crooning of barry white was used to help things along), and then expired shortly thereafter.

it was while retrieving the runaway fire sauce that i noticed it.

or, rather, the absence of it.

the tube of hand lotion was missing.

it's been chilly here in south carolina lately, and with the heat on in the building, the air is pretty dry. i've almost run through my small tube of hand cream. however, i'd rather use a bunch of little neosporin packets from the other break room than to go anywhere near the tainted lotion in the bottom cubby.

lacking the ability to call horatio caine and convince him to chase down the culprit, i have been able to come up with two possible scenarios:

possible scenario numero uno: a desperate employee, suffering the agony of severely chapped, cracking hands, saw sweet relief in the form of a tube of lotion in the unused cubby of a person he/she had never heard of, and helped him/herself.

possible scenario numero dos: one of the buick-sized roaches (last seen scurrying around in my usual stall in the girls' bathroom, leading yours truly to decide to "hold it" during the remainder of my shift yesterday morning, plus the fifteen minute drive home) carried it off...hopefully to some secret corner one of my coworkers' children will never, ever, ever find.

i would have come up with a third scenario, but really, i only had about 2 1/2 minutes to find the fire sauce, attempt to prevent a condiment/utensil avalanche, and retrieve my dinner.

as soon as i finish my last chicken taco, though, i might just have to go back to my cubby and, using one of those sets of chopsticks, carefully pluck out the contents, just in case some well-meaning soul saw the lotion on the floor (if it was fairly full, it may have been too heavy for even a buick-sized roach to haul very far) and, seeing the clutter in my cubby, stuck it on top of my teabags.

better yet- maybe i should wander down the hall to the other break room. i think there may be some unused latex gloves next to the neosporin.

after all, i'm not sure what the possible tainted lotion/chopstick/napkin combination might possibly say about me, but i'm pretty sure it wouldn't be anything good.


Anonymous said...
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bricotrout said...

dito CalebCKan! and duff, i think you knwo more about the microwave incident than youre letting on. call it a hunch.
i obeyed your wish... The Nut is back.