Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Just how petty am I?

The only member of our janitorial staff--a wonderful woman--is out this week. Unsurprisingly, when I went into the break room a few moments ago, I noticed we only had about five paper towels left on the counter.

The site of the tiny little pile of paper towels surrounded by crumbs and small coffee spills stirred up dual emotions. First, anger at my coworkers*, who either pretend incompetence at menial tasks or hold the false belief that they are above such tasks as opening up the cabinet and extracting a new package of paper towels (and sometimes both), and second, curiosity at just how long my coworkers would go without paper towels in order to avoid performing such task.

Provoked, I took all of the remaining paper towels on the counter and hid them in a drawer in my office.

I can't wait to see what they do now. Complain? Panic? What will they do when they spill something? My guess based on previous history: leave it there and walk away. Possibly there will be anger. Possibly tears.

Yes. I am that petty. But it's the little things that get you through the day, right?

*Really only my fellow attorneys. I really like working with them, but they do act like they deserve to have someone clean up after them.


flask said...

they CAN open a cabinet and get other paper towels,right?

'coz if there are none to be gotten, it's likely to come down on your custodian and while it's fun to make sport of people's entitled attitudes, it would not be cool to get your custodian in a fix.

back when i was in college in one of my courses they professor drilled it into us that no matter how smart we think we are, it's the custodian who makes the building run.

"when you see someone with a mop", they said, "don't just smile and nod; bow."

JLR said...

Yep, they can! The cabinet is full of paper towels, and none of my coworkers have physical disabilities.

I agree with you on the importance of support staff. Custodians and secretaries are extremely important but criminally undervalued. It's partly because I think she's so undervalued that I get irritated when people can't do a damn thing for themselves. Because the number of times one of them has asked her to stop what she's doing to run down down and do something they are perfectly capable of doing . . . she must do yoga or take Valium 'cause she hasn't so much as said a sarcastic word to any of them yet but not because they didn't have it coming.