Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My Special Cubicle Buddy

When I first started my "real" job escapade I had a partner in crime. Mary Kate. Mary Kate started working here 3 days before me and lucky for both of us there was a spare desk in her pod that I occupied from that day on. She was a temp, part of a Study Work Abroad Program --she left her homeland in search of new people, experiences and adventure and wound up working here. We quickly hit it off through our love of movie stars, sarcasm and mutual disdain for working conditions here.

But soon Mary Kate's visa was up and she had to return home.So Mary Kate's desk was now empty. Although I tried to persuade my superiors to place an equally fantastic person beside me, my entreaties fell on deaf ears.

Let me now introduce you to my new cubicle buddy, Maurice. Maurice is a 21 year old male, recently left his parent's home and alone in the outside world for the very first time. He is an actual employee here, which means that he is entitled to vacation, sick days and benefits. It also means he is impossible to get rid of.

Maurice is a nice guy, doesn't talk a lot at first but once you get to know him...he does begin to speak. Maurice, however, lacks a lot of real world skills.He arrived about 9 months ago I would say. And in that time has become proficient at a wide variety of nothing.

Perhaps my biggest gripe is our shared printer. We have a beautiful state of the art printer with 4 trays of different coloured paper. So that when you print you can select the appropriate tray and it will print on the appropriate paper. Genius no? In theory it is. But in practice, this concept is too much for Maurice. Especially the direction of paper loading. Generally the paper is loaded into the tray face down with the paper header closest to you. It is the same for each tray and has been the same since the printer was made.Today I spent a half an hour reprinting all my invoices from the morning because Maurice loaded the paper incorrectly.

It was not the first time, it will not be the last.

Maurice's vocabulary could also use some work. Like I said, he's not a big talker but sometimes all I can do is shake my head.Our tiny mail girl has to carry these ginormous bags stuffed full of the day's mail past his cubicle every day. The first time he did nothing. We harassed him about letting a tiny girl carry all that mail herself. The next time he helped. So I acknowledged his chivalry.
Me: "Look at you being all chivalrous Maurice"
Maurice: "I did what?"
Me: "You were chivalrous? You helped Tiny carry the mail?"
Maurice: "I don't even know what that means."
Me: "Chivalrous? you don't know what it means? To act with chivalry?"
Maurice: "Why do you always have to use big words?"
Me: "Its not a big word! It means that you are being courteous and/ or gracious towards women?"
Maurice: "Why don't you just say that then?"
Me: "You want me to say 'Good job Maurice for being courteous and/or gracious towards Tiny?"
Maurice: "I dunno, I guess so"
Me: "Good talk Maurice."

But he's not all bad. He's a really snazzy dresser for example. The first day he came to work he was dressed in head to toe black with a fantastic bright pink tie. A stand out in any room. Or there is his lime green shirt combination. With his (now grown out) red faux-hawk he's a definite head turner! He has fabulous white pimp shoes and a gorgoues beaded bracelet, like those prayer beads that Buddhist monks use.

It's the little things that unhinge me though, even if he is a snappy dresser, and I can't help but think that I would give just about anything to have my Mary Kate come back.

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