You had me at “Free donuts”.
It’s been almost a year (at the end of this month) that I have been at my job. In a (confusing) nutshell, I design call flows for a telecommunications company. I had extensive experience doing just this very thing, which made me a shoo-in for this role.
I had an English degree.
I will be forever grateful to my boss, who decided to take a chance on a kid from the streets, who had no idea what a person in this role did, and had twelve to eighteen months to get over the learning curve and be a contributing member of the team. In that time, I’ve entered into the wild world of call flow design, learned a fair amount of geek-speak (though on a scale of “Rosetta Stone” to “fluent”, I’d say I’m about “where the person debating on buying Rosetta Stone online is, sitting open-mouthed in disbelief at the price tag”. Srsly, learning languages is already hard enough, but you gotta make it that expensive, too?), and met some really super awesome people along the way. People that I’m happy to say I work for and with.
Appropriately, our team is called “Creative Services”, and truly, we are just that. I’m one of a couple writers on the team. We’ve also got an actress/set builder/knitter/all-around freakishly talented person, a musician, a singer, a publisher, a comedian. We are all creative in our own rights, and we’ve brought all that psychotic energy into one little office.
One of the neatest (and by neatest, I mean dangerous) perks of working for this company is that every Friday, free donuts are offered. Like, scores of donuts. Donuts as far as the eye can see. Bagels, too. It’s a carb candy land.
After weeks of indulging my donut addiction, I realized, coupled with the fact that I’d started school and had done the Freshman 15 ALL over again, that donuts and I needed to break up. I stopped answering Donuts’ calls and texts. I avoided the places I knew Donuts would be. I asked our mutual friends to stop speaking to me about Donuts and giving me their life updates, how their parents were doing, the new job they’d taken, etc. Cold turkey.
But then, National Donut Day happened on Friday, and in a moment of weakness, I decided to give in, just that once.
And then, like there was no tomorrow, I wrecked an Old Fashioned. (P.S., is that what they’re called? A co-worker and I debated the name of the donut pictured, and I’ve never known what the proper name is. I’ve always just said the one that looks like a glazed ring with the bits around the outside you can break off and eat as an appetizer.)
Between designing call flows and eating donuts (and various other treats, because another member of our team is, like, a gourmet cook and baker and always brings us things on which to nosh) my team also engages in a healthy dose of mischief.
I learned early on that taking extended vacations on our team is not safe, and you should plan to be the victim of some kind of prank when you return. Approach cube with extreme caution and lots of trepidation. Trust no one.
Case in point: Last October, my boss made the unfortunate decision to take some time off of work. Before he was due to return, an email circulated around our team discussing ideas of the best ways to devil his cubicle and also his Monday morning when he returned. The result?
He got Caged.
Most of us showed up early that Monday morning to hide inside our cubes and pretend to work, all the while anxiously rubbing our hands together in glee while we waited for The Boss to show up.
When he did, the groan I heard erupt from his throat was a cocktail of amusement, heartbreak, fury, and resignation.
He’s still picking Cages out of file folders and desk drawers, almost eight months later.
So, when the mastermind of this prank announced she was taking her yearly two-week vacay into the great outdoors, it was time for a little sweet retribution. By last Thursday, conversation had started to determine how the get-back was going to be got. Someone suggested spiders, though real or fake wasn’t specified. The co-worker in question is one of the most even-keeled, unflappable people I’ve ever met, so I didn’t think that’d do the trick. So, I offered an innocent suggestion.
What if we Trump her?
It started as an uncaffeinated, bleary-eyed, one-sentence email from me in the early morning. And by four-thirty in the afternoon, this had happened:
So, Chloe. Um. Welcome…back?
I’m honored to be part of a team that not only works hard, but also really commits themselves to making someone’s first Monday after a long vacation suck that much more.
Note to self: Never take vacation on this team. Like, ever. ‘Cause payback is a bitch.