Jerry left Mr. Company all the way back in January.
We all knew the end was coming for our business unit, but he found another opportunity he couldn’t pass up, so he beat the rush. Once he was gone, I got to nab his seat. Finally.
Our department is set up in two rows of cubicles, divided by a walkway. The back wall is enclosed, and all the cubicles face forward. This means that nobody can sneak up on you in my department. Traditionally, seniority means a seat further back in the row.
When I came back to the US in late 2014, I was not given the second seat from the back. It should have been mine by right of seniority, but Jerry had been sitting there for a while and the powers that be didn’t want to do a multi-person move. I wound up a few seats ahead, with several newer people between me and my proper seat. Over the course of that first year, people moved to other departments and other rows, but Jerry kept his seat until he left at the start of the year.
I moved in after a suitable mourning period of at least ten or fifteen minutes. While I was getting set up, I discovered that he had left an enduring gift. It was plasticware. Lots and lots of plasticware.
In our main lunch area, the company provides plastic utensils in a little fork-knife-spoon combo, contained in a cellophane bag with a tiny crappy napkin. For the past year or so, Jerry had been eating his lunches at his desk. He used the spoons for his little chocolate puddings.
A quick aside about those puddings: Kozy Shack briefly made these little dark chocolate “Indulgent” puddings which were surprisingly low in fat. They were also fricking delicious. And super addictive. Jerry wasn’t the only one who ate these; I bought them every time I went grocery shopping. And then one day, they stopped appearing at the grocery store. Soon, I couldn’t even find the lame flavors of the “Indulgent” line. Jerry and I were both completely verklempt! These little chocolate puddings were that delicious. After a few weeks of no restocking, I reached out to the Kozy Shack company via their Facebook page, and they confirmed that yes, indeed, the Indulgent line had been discontinued. No explanation was given. I still weep for their unforgotten flavor.
But I digress. Wildly.
Jerry had been taking the little fork-knife-spoon packets from the atrium, and he would use the spoon for his pudding. The fork and the knife went into his top desk drawer for later usage, in theory. Or maybe he just wanted to see how many he could collect. By the time I took over that desk, it was really quite a lot of plasticware.
I decided right then that I would try to use as many of them as I could before the end. Most of the forks were used for my own lunches over the next few months, and the spoons were always a scarcity. The knives, though, they just kept going on and on.
This blog post was nearly called “Every day, I use a knife.” That title has been in my little list of bloggery reminders for months. It’s true, though- every day I do use at least one knife. I use it to stir things into my tea or water. I use it to mix up instant oatmeal. Sometimes I even use them to cut things.
My last day is a month from tomorrow, and I’ve gotten Jerry’s Fork Drawer down to just a little bit less than what you see in this cup. Even using one or two a day as creatively as possible, I really don’t think I’m going to make it.
What’s the most pointless challenge you’ve ever set for yourself?
Editor’s Note: I’m attempting to blog every day in November with CheerPeppers. I don’t expect to succeed because life be crazy, but any blogging in excess of my previous post-free month is a win, right?