Peoples, good friend and funny gal Parul Sharma has another book to offer us! Its called By The Water Cooler and promises to be a total hoot, even more than her first one, Bringing Up Vasu. Here is a post from her giving you the details.
While at it, she is also holding a contest at Radio Parul for anecdotes and stories related to your (or his, hers, or their) office. With prizes to be won! Yippee!! Here now is one of my office stories, reminiscing, of course, about my graduate school days.
I have always had something against having refrigerators in offices. I mean, whats the need, I say. Its not as if anyone would dare to store beer or white wine in it. And in those days, I never drank cold water so I really felt no need for something small and white in the corner, occupying precious real estate. But then, they convinced me. And as always, I got convinced. We even purchased a coffee maker, and mugs and so on.
I was sharing the office with some three guys, and just easily got brow-beaten by them. They came up with some new craziness every week. One time they brought in a soccer ball and declared the afternoon as 'dribbling practice afternoon.' Many were the days in which they played Warcraft on the LAN, making that 'zup' noise every few minutes, forcing me to invest in a pair of headphones for the sake of my sanity. And one memorable afternoon they played a game involving chasing each other around while sitting on the chairs, having invited this super crazy dude friend of theirs as a special guest. Seriously, I could not wait for the day when I would have my own office. Though now that I have it, its quite boring, I never hang out there. I even schedule meetings in other people's offices, because mine is so boring.
So anyway we were generous, we in Room 239. We invited guests to chair-wars. We routinely made coffee for lots of folks and fed it to them. We even offered them a choice of powdered creamer, milk , or hazelnut flavoured creamer. We always had tons of sugar, too (this was back in the days when I used to drink coffee with sugar, so I needed that for my own personal consumption as well). We also allowed people to use our fridge, if they so desired...
One day this girl from the next door office walked in and asked us in a sweet voice if she could store her dinner left-overs in our fridge. Of course, we said, sure. I was in my corner cubicle, and though I did stand up to see her, I did not see what she put in there (because of my, well, vertical-challenged-ness). It was a bit late in the night anyhow so we locked up soon after and took off for home. Next morning, as the first people in, P.B. and I started asking each other "Dude, did you like not shower this morning?"
P.B., in his usual style, started going on about Indians and curry and so on, while I stepped in to remind him that the French are famous not only for not showering, but also for trying to nastily mask that by using stinky perfume. But I actually bent down and smelled my boots (cheap-ass $10 stuff must have picked up some cowdung, I thought. Though where one could come across cowdung over there?). We went around sniffing the whole room till we reached the fridge in the corner.
Chinese Food. Oil. Cardboard Take-Out Containers. Leaks. Old Fridge. Not exactly air-tight.
"Damn that girl!" we screamed. We fished out the containers and threw them out unceremoniously. We tried desperately to open out the windows, but couldn't. We left the door open the whole morning. But still when the Bear-Man sauntered into office at noon (just in time for lunch, eh?), even he could still smell it. Ugh. And then some time later the girl came back to the office, we had gone to lunch, unable to stand it any longer. It was a number lock so she let herself in and obviously could not find the offensive food of hers. When we came back she started haranguing us, actually having the gall to assume that we had eaten that stuff! The little fridge never really recovered from that, and no amount of baking soda that I put in there, could help....