My office sits on a street corner busy with city life. It’s an older building with quirks. The aged, narrow plumbing clogs, the electrical wiring fails, and we need a wi-fi range extender to maintain reliable cell coverage through the thick concrete walls the original tenant, a bank, needed. So I’m not surprised one of the filing cabinets has it out for me.
Okay, fine, it’s not like the place’s haunted, but seriously, I do have some issues with a particular metal fixture. My favorite run-in was when it tried to kill me. Carelessly filing the endless streams of paper that flow into our suite, I left one drawer open. As I held a form close to my face to read it, I pulled open another drawer in the column. This put the cabinet off-balance. Toppling, it spit out its first drawer. Quickly, I stepped to the side as the contents spilled on the floor. A similar thing happened to my boss a few weeks prior. After assuring my coworkers I wasn’t hurt, things went back to normal. I gave the drawer a neon warning label. That drawer to say the least, is no longer in use.
The cabinet stands silently in a row of similar filing units. Last week, it messed with me again. Between phone calls, I needed to file a few documents. I used my magnifier to read the case names in small print and I was all set. I placed a few papers on top of one of the cabinets as I went to open the correct drawer. I heard a rustle and the noise of papers falling. I looked up and they were gone. They weren’t next to me on the floor. They weren’t on top of the cabinet. There were gone, baby, gone.
I stood up and took a breath, shaking my head. At eye level was my neon warning label. My nemesis taunted me. Then I noticed the just wide enough crack between the next metal box. Enough for a few papers to slip down. Ugh. I spent the next ten minutes pushing and easing the evil cabinet aside to widen the gap. I prayed a coworker wouldn’t walk past me as I squared up like an offensive lineman waiting for the snap to push, push, push over. Finally I gained about an inch. Before kneeling down in vulnerability, I tested the metal deathtrap. It didn’t budge. I poked two fingers through the dark space, but the papers were out of reach. I hate you, evil filing cabinet.
Eventually, I realized a pair of scissors would go farther and I could grasp the documents with a gentle slice. Carefully, I slid out the papers. Back in business. I dusted myself off and gave the cabinet a glare. The phone rang; I looked away. Tomorrow may be different, but today I won, filing cabinet, I won.
What piece of office equipment messes with you? Does your workplace experience unusual events? Have you seen my red stapler? Tell me about it.