Friday, May 06, 2005

I'm a Dirty Girl

I’m a dirty pig. I eat and drink at my desk all day long and the result is a cockroach’s dream. I’m looking at my desk now. I see an empty cup from the Stardust, a full styrofoam cup of iced tea, and an almost empty metal mug of old chai tea. Next to my mug, there is a gladware container with the remnants of my tuna salad lunch smeared on the inside. Crumbs are everywhere: on my desk, on my seat (currently being ground in to my butt), on the floor. In fact, I see a very large chunk of apple on the floor to my right. Oops. I suppose it will stay there until cleaning day – Tuesday.

About once every two weeks, I spill something. Usually, it’s just a glass of water. Once however, it was 20 oz of hot tea. I didn’t spill it on my desk though; I spilled it on my boss’. Twenty ounces of tea is quite a bit of liquid. I managed to completely fill the compartments in her top drawer with tea. It took many sheets of Bounty to clean up that mess.

As horrible as it was to ruin my boss’ papers, my worst spill was at my own desk. It was another, full, 20 oz cup of water. Usually, spilling water on my desk is welcome. The clean-up process leaves the desk free of grime and crumbs. This time, though, there was so much water that it did not stay in a nice desk-top puddle, but flowed over the edge and into my keyboard.

My keyboard is far from pristine. The key tops are grimy. The cracks are full of crumbs. Still, despite the food debris, it functions. However, I soon learned that water and a keyboard do not mix. After spilling the water in my keyboard, I held it upside down to drain it and went back to work. I thought nothing more of the accident until my keys started malfunctioning. Pushing any key on the right end produced unexpected results, like bringing up strange dialogue boxes or suddenly switching to other programs. It was quite bizarre. It also made it difficult to work, so I swapped the wet keyboard out with a dry one. The ruined keyboard is my dirty little secret.

I’ll continue to pig out at my desk, but I’ll be investing in a new water container. (I don’t have any more spare keyboards.) I’m thinking of something with a lid. Food and computer equipment can peacefully coexist, but liquids are deadly.


At 5:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I"m so glad I work at home now.....*wink*

At 10:03 PM, Blogger Scott in Washington said...

"Have you seen the little piggies
Crawling in the dirt?
And for all the little piggies,
Life is getting worse;
Always having dirt to
Play around in.

Have you seen the bigger piggies
In their starched white shirts?
You will find the bigger piggies
Stirring up the dirt
Always have clean shirts to
Play around in.

In their styes with all their backing,
They don't care
What goes on around.
In their eyes there's something lacking.
What they need's a damn good whacking.

Everywhere there's lots of piggies
Living piggy lives.
You can see them out for dinner
With their piggy wives.
Clutching forks and knives to
Eat their bacon."

I have a bottle of bleach-based disinfectant in my desk and a row of succulents on the hutch above my desk. Any standing tea or coffee gets dumped into the plants when I come in in the morning. I generally start out on coffee with "creme" and sugar, switch to black coffee with hot water added (I work with some serious caffeine addicts) and then switch to tea in the afternoon. Lately it has been a ginger, green tea mix by Celestial Seasonings that has particularly hit my gong. Usually if a cup has last held tea in the afternoon, it is good for another morning's run of coffee. If I can see the telltale signs of "creme" in the bottom of it, however, it gets added to the collection of dirty cups, which also live on the hutch. When the dirty cup club reaches the magic number, which is nine, I spray down my desk, keyboard, and chair arms with the bleach, and then hook the entire collection of nine dirty cups onto both thumbs and make the journey upstairs to the kitchen in what was once the Home Ec. part to the campus and wash them all out. I particularly dread this because I invariably have to make chit-chat with the people who work on floor two and never have anything interesting to say.

At 12:55 PM, Blogger Kasmira said...

Scott - that is a very strange poem. Is that a song?

At 2:57 PM, Blogger Scott in Washington said...


Yes, its lyrics from a song.

Brit and I went to a Beatle tribute concert a couple of weeks ago. They started with the later period music first and worked backward. While they were changing out of their Sgt. Pepper outfits I asked Brit what the line was about flying pigs because it made me think about your blog header. Google found it for me. Its a line from I Am the Walrus, "See how they run like pigs from a gun, see how they fly."

I also found the other lyrics, they being Song 11 on the white album, which George wrote as a silly bit of social commentary. Rumor has it that he and his mom wrote it together in an afternoon.

He was also reportedly mortified later when counter-culture in general and specific poisonous personalities in particular, including Charlie Manson, took the song up as an anthem of sorts - interpreting it as a call for violence against American police.

"Whacking" was actually the first thing that came to George's Mom's mind when she was asked to come up with something that rymed with 'backing' and 'lacking'

I think it does work well as a poem though.

At 4:57 AM, Blogger amy said...

Hi Kasmira! I'm also notorious for messes at work ... that is until my boss dumped a huge cup of hot coffee all over the term papers she was grading, including the grade book! I feel your pain! :)

At 2:17 PM, Blogger Leah said...

Scott: You can "coffee" succulents? That's OK for them?? Good to know...

At 6:07 PM, Blogger Scott in Washington said...

I'll post a pic of my succulents to my blog tomorrow at work. About the only unforgivable sin, as far as they are concerned is not letting them get enough light. They can put up with pretty much anything else - coffee with "creme," annoying laughter, poor choices in soil, etc. Not having a window in my bunker of an office, I have to devise devious strageties for how to double back after the cleaning people to leave the light on all night. My favorite is that the motion sensor and timeout functions on the light switch are controlled separately. I can set the motion sensor to turn the light on when there is movement, and the put a DVD in the burner. After several hours the DVD finishes burning, the tray opens, knocking over the ruler with styrofoam cup balanced on top, and viola, the light is still on in the morning. Of course I only do this when I need to burn a DVD...

At 9:58 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

My Gawd, you sound so much like me; messy, with papers all around (but there is organization in my madness), spilling things, have to move my cat's butt off the keyboard because he likes to sit on my desk while I'm writing, your attentiveness to spelling, word! You may want to delete this; I wanted to e-mail you but couldn't find one, so had to comment instead. But I'm Darlene, in St. Paul. Recently started a nature-lover's site,, and I be so grateful if you'd check it out, and share some of your gardening knowledge (or ask a question) under one of my categories. Good to meet you! Looking forward to hearing from you. Dar

At 5:43 AM, Blogger Kasmira said...

Keyboards of the world, you are now safe! Thanks to a recent employee function, I have a sippy cup for my water. I feel like a 3-year-old. :)


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