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Charlie Hatton
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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Why, This Office Is Juuuuuust… Wrong

A quick baseball diversion over at Bugs & Cranks before today’s missive:

Atlanta Rising — Another early-season swoon for the Braves? Not so fast.

Now on with the show.

As my role has changed at work, I’ve temporarily become a ‘floater’. I’m moving into an older, already well-populated building, and there’s no permanent desk available yet. So where I hang my laptop is home, at least for a few hours.

I’m okay with that. But sometimes I feel a little like Goldilocks, looking for a place to work that’s juuuuuuuust right. Some days it works out, but it can be a crapshoot. Some office areas are higher-traffic than others. Some are louder than others. Some are too hot, or too cold, or too bright, or too dark, and some look and feel and smell like janitors’ closets. Probably because they are janitors’ closets.

And then, there’s the office I tried out yesterday.

“Some office areas are higher-traffic than others. Some are louder than others. Some are too hot, or too cold, or too bright, or too dark, and some look and feel and smell like janitors’ closets. Probably because they are janitors’ closets.”

On the surface, there’s nothing much wrong with the office. It’s a shared area, with a few machines that people use intermittently during the day. But it’s not often loud or crowded, it’s nice and comfy, and there’s a little space where I can set up my computer and get cracking. Most importantly, it’s in an area where we’re allowed to have food and drinks.

(Some of our other offices don’t have that advantage, which is frankly damned maddening. It’s one thing to have to find another office — or closet — where you can have your lunch.

But trying to write code without caffeine anywhere in a twelve-foot radius? You might as well dunk my fingers in porridge. Too-hot porridge. It’s unpossible.)

I’d been encouraged to use this particular office space for a few weeks. The only drawback to the area — and the reason I hadn’t ventured there earlier — is that the network connection can be a little flaky. But I didn’t need the network for a few hours yesterday, so I gave it a shot and settled in.

And it was nice. My chair was comfortable, the lighting was good, and the room was nice and cool. There were only two other people in the office, conferring quietly at one of the other computers. In my head, I was already making a note to visit again, early and often, when there was work to be done. What, I thought to myself, could possibly go wrong in here?

Just as I was zoning in on my work, one little snippet of conversation from the computer nearby wafted in my direction. From out of nowhere (so far as I know), I heard the guy working there say:

Jeez, my pants are wet!

Now, that’s eyebrow-raising enough. Perhaps there are better men and women than me out there who can shrug off a wet-pantsed man sitting behind them while they’re trying to work. Even a wet-pantsed man who’s happy to announce the fact to the world at large. But I’ll admit — it threw me off my game a little. I’d have had an easier time concentrating with the three bears breathing down my neck. But my anxiety and mild intrigue took a grizzly-sized boost when I heard his female friend’s response:


That’s enough for me. I don’t know how the dude’s pants got wet, or when they got wet, or which particular bits of his pants were wet. All I know is that they were wet, they’d been wet for some time, apparently, and the wetness of said pants was common knowledge. Maybe there’d been a rainstorm I didn’t know about, or an unfortunate coffee accident, or a tussle with an overeager cologne spritzer at the mall. These are the possibilities I can consider without losing sleep over the exchange.

(But there are others. Many others. Some of them involve sinks. Or water pistols. I’ve got one scenario that involves a bar bet, a road trip, and an overdue dairy cow.

No, I didn’t sleep a wink last night. Why do you ask?)

Whatever the cause of the long-enduring waterlogged leggings, I took the first chance I could to subtly excuse myself and run screaming willy-nilly from the room. And I’m afraid the soggy sordid exchange may have nixed the room for me for good. It was a nice room, too. I thought I might be happy there. But if it’s the sort of place where people sit around and compare their soggy pantaloons, then I can clearly never go back. I’m not even allowed to see that sort of thing on the internet; I sure as hell can’t have it in my office.

So I guess it’s back to the janitors’ closet for me. I just hope they’ve cleared out the dirty mops, or soon I’ll be waxing about my own wet pants. Eep.

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