I just Googled “what to get a coworker who just found out she has to share a desk with me” because thanks to some of the policies enacted in my workplace, there’s some poor woman walking around tonight, cursing her Lord and Savior because she just got that spectacularly awful piece of news. It probably went something like this: “We love you and value you, so we hope you won’t take this the wrong way, but you’re going to have to start sharing a desk with Outlaw Mama.”
Google was no help, by the way. I don’t think a bouquet of flower-shaped fruit on sticks is going to make this woman feel better about drawing the shortest stick ever drawn in the American workplace. The stick a worker draws that results in them sharing a desk with me is nothing more than a splinter. Or a chip. Or a wooden grain of rice that says, in teeny print, “You’re screwed.”
I wasn’t there, but I can only imagine that when she got the news she smiled like the professional she is and acted all team-player-y. But she had to be DYING inside. Right? Like a million stubbed toes after dancing on pointe for the entire filming of Black Swan. Because the thing is, my work process takes space– lots of it, and I’m less-than-tidy. Also? I need a minimum of three drawers for my snacks. And I’m going to need all the space under the desk for my seventeen pair of shoes.
How am I supposed to tell her I’m sorry?
Here’s why her life is hell: I’m seriously messy– like crumbs and dollops of lotion and gum wrappers messy. I eat two meals a day at my desk on my work days, so there’s a lot more than dust between the keys on my keyboard. I think there are approximately 40 Weight Watchers points between the first two rows of keys alone. Also, I cry a lot, so she won’t have tissues when she needs them, and I think she may be a sniffler. And when I am working on a project, I spread out like I am setting up camp, except instead of useful things like tents and stoves, I surround my work area with print-outs of inspirational sayings from Deepak, Maya Angelou, and Pee Wee Herman. My process is messy, takes up space, and smells funny.
Thus, in an effort to get on her good side before we “consolidate our work spaces,” I’ve made her a goody/survival/apology bag. I’m hoping it will soften the blow ever so slightly. If nothing else, maybe she’ll hide it in
her our desk, and I can use the stuff in it.
Here’s what she’s getting:
- Costco-sized hand sanitizer
- A surgical mask
- Extra Zoloft that I never took (expiration date: 10/15)
- Whoopie cushion (she can use it on me!)
- Air freshener to hang from the computer monitor
- Febreeze For Office Chairs (does this exist? it should)
- A meditation book called, “How To Breathe Through Difficult Situations Like Sharing Your Desk With A Co-Workers Who Snacks All Day”
- A copy of Escape From Camp 14 about a prison camp in North Korea with a pink post-it note that says, “See? Could be worse.”
- Miniature safe to store stuff she doesn’t want me to touch or eat or steal
- Gloves so she won’t have to touch the surfaces I soil
What am I forgetting?