Friday, July 6, 2007

Cubicle Wars, Part 2

Dear Diary,

The war rages on. Quick recap of last entry: there were two 3-hole punches in our office, at either end. One was kept in Charisse's cubicle (she requires one often) and the other was kept in mine (I also require one frequently). There was also this whacked tale about a poisoned dead man from long ago. Anyway, Charisse's 3-hole punch went missing and there are now two very distinct camps in our office: those who sit by Charisse and want the sole remaining 3-hole punch kept in her cubicle, and those who sit near me and want the punch in my cubicle. Oh yeah, and Sheila, our boss, won't let us order a new punch. She thinks that one in a small office is sufficient.

Sheila walked out of her office with the final decision from head office. We all waited with bated breath. The tension was thicker than peanut butter mixed with cement. Sheila just opened her mouth, and already I gasped audibly, interrupting her before she actually said anything. She looked sternly in my direction. I gasped again.

"We got it, didn't we!" I shouted as I threw up my hands in victory. "Oh yeah! Oh yeah!" I continued as I high-fived everyone on my team. "Lunch is on me!" I went on as I started out of the office and my people followed me. "Let's get smashed!"

Charisse put her face in her hands. I think she was sobbing. Don, who was on her team, hugged her then.

"Eric," Sheila said. "Eric...."

"What?" I said, as I was in the process of lifting myself onto my team's shoulders.

"Get down. Come back here."

"What?" I said incredulously. I didn't like the look on her face. "What's happening here!"

"Head office is deliberating."


"Yes. A decision might not be reached until next week."

I pointed at Charisse and hollered, "I will make your life hell!"

"Eric, enough," Don said, as he continued to console Charisse.

"Don, stay out of this!" I shouted. "You are not the one I want to hurt!"

"The 3-hole punch will be kept in my office until we hear back from head office," Sheila announced.

Charisse was now crying very loudly. I was crying too.

We all sat down in our cubicles, ordered by Sheila to return to work as she took the 3-hole punch into her office. I immediately knocked on Sheila's door.

"Yes," Sheila said, as she looked up from all the paperwork on her desk.

"I need to use the 3-hole punch," I replied, sheepishly.

"All right. But bring it right back when you're done."

I was on edge. "Please just give it to me," I said timidly, on the verge of a breakdown.

There was another knock at the door. I turned around. Charisse walked in.

"I need to use the 3-hole punch," she said, wiping the tears from her cheeks.

"I was here first," I said. "So I get to use it first."

"I'll wait here until he's done," Charisse told Sheila.

"You can't," Sheila said. "You need to get to back to your desk and do some other work."

"I can't," Charisse responded, shaking like an addict in withdrawal. "I need to punch holes into the pages. The pages need their holes. That's the only way."

"My pages need their holes too," I countered, now really annoyed. "So you'll just have to wait." I turned to Sheila. "Sheila, let's have it. Please, there's only so many hours in the day."

"It's gone..." Sheila revealed, as she stared wide-eyed into her empty desk drawer. "I just put it here a minute ago."

"Empty your pockets," I ordered Charisse.

"I don't have it," she replied.

I stormed out of Sheila's office and announced, "Everyone, the 3-hole punch is missing!"

Everyone gasped.

"That's right!" I continued to shout. "I want everyone to empty out all their desks and cubicles! Howard, you empty out Charisse's desk and rifle through her things. I want all her belongings taken apart. Purse, hard-drive, everything. Folks, sorry to say this, but we might be here until tomorrow morning."

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