The Bat Returns…Dun Dun Dun!

After writing The Bat a few weeks ago, another co-worker read the post and emailed me her own harrowing story about encountering one of the furry, flying beasts in the same attic at work.  The following is her terrifying tale.  As with the last post, names have been changed.

It was after hours and the attic had cleared.  Ted’s ladies had left for the evening and Becky was safely in her car on her way home.  Cindy and I were working away and chatting, as we often did.   Cindy went to the washroom and then to collect a print job when she was done. I tapped away on my laptop.  En route to her office Cindy stopped at my desk and stood, staring at me. I peered up.  “What?”  She said:  “Go look above the fax machine”.   I was leery, yet curious.

My “Why?”  garnered no response.  With a sigh I heaved myself out of my chair.   Around the corner I crept – at a snail’s pace.  Upon reaching the fax machine I looked at the wall.  And I stared.  And then I considered what I was staring at.  I tilted my head, to ensure that I was considering what I thought I was considering.    And then I let out a blood curdling scream.  It was a bat!!!!  A very large killer bat with big sharp teeth.   The winged rodent stared at me with it’s dark beady eyes.  I whipped around and ran smack into Cindy.  By then she had stopped laughing at my initial reaction. Clearly, my own terror had incited panic in her as well.  We ran back to her office (as I only had a cubby for crying out loud!) and slammed the door with a bang. We then picked up the phone and hit the page button.

In a raspy, fear laden voice I said:  “Will any male still in the building please come to the attic of 551?”.

The clock ticked.  No one came.  We tried again.  “We repeat, Cindy and Ruth really need the assistance of any able bodied male still in the building”.  Before I hung up I added:  “Please get your ass up here in a hurry”.

My desperation must have been apparent.   Barney made his way up the stairs.  We told him where the beast was and tiptoed behind him while he went to check it out.  When he turned the corner, with us in his shadow, I swear the damn thing flapped its wings to mock us.  Cindy and I screamed and tore back to the office.  Before we could slam the door for a second time Barney tried to come in.  Hell No!!  We locked him out and told him to catch the damn thing.

Hearing the commotion Steve finally made his way up.  He scoffed at Cindy and I who had not only locked ourselves in her office but were hiding behind a partition.  Steve grabbed a garbage can and trapped the bat.

I wore a hooded sweatshirt for the next three weeks and put the hood up every night after hours.  No way a bat was going to get caught in my hair….  I kept a binder at my desk to swat away any unexpected visitors.  No way a bat was going to get caught in my hair……  (See, those who haven’t worked at our office would think me paranoid.  But we know better don’t we?)

How I did not go on short term disability for emotional distress is beyond me.  I still shutter at the thought of it all.  This chick and bats do NOT get along.

We haven’t seen a bat in a very long time, but re-reading these stories makes me laugh all over again, but at the same time it makes me slightly wary…


Death of a Squirrel

I love chocolate covered coffee beans.  I love coffee in general but those delicious little beans covered in chocolate are a treasured item that I only get once in a while.  One bag of them at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory costs almost $10.  So you can imagine that I hoard these delicious little beans whenever I get my hands on them.

Someone bought me a bag of them a few years ago and I took them to work, keeping myself caffeinated throughout the week and thoroughly enjoying my gift.  Then Friday rolled around and I pondered taking my treat home but decided against it, twisting the bag closed and leaving them on my desk.

I don’t remember what my weekend was like at all, I suppose it was probably your average weekend.  I’m sure television was watched, I probably ate some food, I might have gone to a movie.  This is beside the point.  The focus of this post is what happened on Monday morning.

I arrived at work and was the first one on my floor.  I put my purse down, I grabbed a coffee, I did the general morning routine.  Then I went to boot up my computer.  I frowned because something was off…askew if you will.  I concentrated on my desk for a bit before I noticed that there were bits of coffee beans all over the chair and the floor and there were little, chocolate footprints across my desk and the scanner I worked with every day.  Upon further investigation, I discovered the remains of the plastic bag they had once been contained in on the floor.

I was still standing there in confusion, knowing the footprints were too big for a mouse, when a co-worker arrived and suddenly commented that something had eaten half the apple she’d left on her desk.

The Half Eaten Apple

We both stood there pondering the situation until we heard a sound that lead to the revelation of the entire situation.  Another coworker had arrived and discovered the culprit.  A squirrel had somehow made it in through the attic.  It had quite the time over the weekend…more memorable than me apparently.  He ate a little apple and scurried around and the little bastard found my precious chocolate covered coffee beans and nibbled them all up.  He devoured the deliciousness and partied by himself all weekend.

As sometimes might happen, the squirrel partied a little too hard.  The coffee beans were too much for his little body and we found him on a spare desk chair, having tried to get out of the window and given up, passing away on someone’s empty laptop bag.  It was rather a sad scene.  We disposed of the little guy and from then on, I always put snacks away in the drawer overnight…just in case.

Also, never feed a squirrel chocolate covered coffee beans.  Just don’t do it.

The scene of the crime

Workplace Halloween Shenanigans

Well friends, another Halloween has come and gone.  Candy is handed out, children are hyper and feeling the sugar hangover everywhere and the costumes are put away.  It’s a rather melancholy feeling when you say goodbye to such a fun holiday every year.  I love Halloween and have since I was a little kid.  I look forward to it just as much as Christmas every year.  Who doesn’t love an excuse to dress up in a costume and parade around like it’s totally normal?  I fight the temptation throughout the rest of the year to dress up and wander into the workplace and just be like, “What’s up?  Yeah, that’s right.  Today, I’m Batman.”  Ah…to live the dream.

But anyway, I’ve wandered from the point.  This year was no different and I rose quite early on Friday morning to put my costume together.  I chose to be Medusa this year and let me tell you, applying little rubber/plastic snakes to long, semi-curly hair is not an easy thing to do.  The boyfriend was not impressed when I woke him up on the only morning he gets to sleep in and asked him to assist me with this task.  In fact, the boyfriend stood there and watched me in confusion while I ended up completing the task anyway, blinking in the light before I sent him back to bed.  I did feel bad about that.  I got dressed in my pretty black toga that my

This was the winner of top prize this year, a dead bride complete with skull for husband and dying rose bouquet

friend helped me put together and I put on some sandals and did my makeup before I headed out to the car.

DAMN! It was effing cold that morning.  I was basically wearing a sheet and sandals and it must have been zero degrees Celsius.  But I powered through and made it to the office, eager to see my co-workers’ costumes for the day.  Some of them I knew of ahead of time and others were a marvelous surprise.

Below are some pictures of the excellent creations of the day.  The complete list of costumes were as follows: Death (with awesome red eyes), Medusa (that was me), a dead bride (see picture on right), an army person, Linda Blair’s character from the Exorcist, a Gypsy, a Biker, a Leafs fan (Go Leafs!), a Grecian Princess, a Throw Rug (she threw a rug at you), Charlie Brown, a psycho with a cleaver, a flapper girl, a Plaintiff (we work in a law firm, a cat, and some kind of person with a dead child of some sort on their back (I never received the full explanation of this costume.  Oh, and the ultimate awesome for the day, a Irish Press person/Leprechaun/We weren’t sure exactly what except that his pants were too tight.  See photo at bottom.

Me and the ever awesome Stacey, sporting the Death and Medusa look. Inset are her red eyes and the snakes in my hair.







And now, folks, for the grand finale.  The epic tight pants.  Awesome costume, we were all loving it.  I give you IT Mike:

How he managed to function in those pants, we will never know. A brave man going the distance for Halloween. I'm reminded of Howard from The Big Bang Theory.

A Coffee Mug Gone Astray

When things go missing in an office, it causes a ruckus.  When you work with the same people day in and day out, you become somewhat of a family, albeit, a dysfunctional one.  When you suddenly come to the realization that something of your own has gone missing, it causes a horrible feeling in your stomach somewhat akin to betrayal (or possibly like you just ate at Taco Bell).

It’s a well documented fact that such behaviour from my coworkers doesn’t just annoy me, it drives me into a rage-filled frenzy during which my head spins in circles and I start to foam at the mouth.  It’s not a pretty sight.

Previously, I have only experienced the thievery of coffee (see here and here) and office supplies (see here, here, here, and here).  These were technically things paid for and supplied by the higher ups and were easily replaced.  These were not my own personal property and we all know how well I took it when these things we missing:

This is what it metaphorically felt like to find out that my stuff had gone missing

Today, however, was something different entirely.  Today the item that went missing was something of my own that I had brought in from home.  Something that was a birthday gift from my sister.  Let me set the scene for you.

As you may or may not be aware, I am a HUGE fan of the movie “Office Space“.  In my opinion, it embodies the exact way of life when you live half your day in a cubicle (with humerous exaggerations of course).  For my birthday two years ago, my sister gave me the “Office Space Survival Kit”.  There were many goodies inside, all relating to the film, but my favourite was Lumburgh’s coffee mug with the Initech logo on it.

I love this mug because I makes me giggle every single time I fill it up at the coffee machine at work.  I always hear Lumburgh’s voice saying, “Yeah…”  It makes my morning.  So if you couldn’t tell, I’m pretty attached to this particular conveyance of hot beverages.

Today, I was on my way down to cover the break for our receptionist.  I put the mug in the little receiving part of the machine, put the coffee cartridge in and hit the button before I went to do a few other things.  I forgot about my coffee until I got downstairs to the reception desk and I decided to get it when I went back up to my own desk.  Well, imagine my surprise when I reached my destination and there was nothing sitting in the coffee machine, waiting to be consumed.

At first I thought someone had needed to use the coffee maker and simply set it aside or dumped it and put it up on the shelf, as this has happened before.  I checked the surrounding area and oddly, did not find any sign of my beloved mug.  So then I pondered, “Who in their right mind would take a mug of coffee off the machine that they didn’t make?”  This seemed like a ridiculous notion and I thought, “No, I simply must be very scatterbrained from my allergy medications and put it on my desk.”  I checked…it was not there.  Then I thought, “Surely I actually took it down to reception with me and left it behind.”  I went and checked…not there either.  I then retraced my steps, my anger building with each new area explored only to discover a lack of awesome coffee mug.  Eventually, I got angry and started mumbling and ranting as I again checked all the places I’d been that morning.

Someone finally asked me if I was alright (they probably thought they should stop me before I had a complete meltdown and went Office Space [yes…my friends and I use the movie title as a verb to describe freaking out in the workplace] and tore the floor apart looking for a coffee mug).  I explained my situation and the dire need to have my precious mug back in my hands and someone started laughing and told me that one of our higher ups (we shall call him Bob) had been talking about coffee and had probably taken mine in an fit of absentmindedness.

I went to Bob’s office and there it was, my awesome mug in all it’s glory.  When I explained the situation, Bob was very apologetic and nice enough to even wash the mug for me before giving it back.  I trotted back to my desk, happy as a clam (after filling it up with delicious coffee of course) and sipped at the life giving beverage as I continued my daily grind.

So this story actually has a happy ending, unlike those of the stolen coffee cartridges (which is still happening now and then, this time by the entire box) and the missing staple removers (though I am happy to report that tying mine to the desk has actually managed to keep it around thus far).  So thank you Bob for so nicely returning my mug and keeping my head from actually exploding.