I have a new cube mate. Wide-eyed, wrinkle-free, possessing a pleasing and amiable demeanor, she now sits at the desk once occupied by Intern Boy.
Intern Boy will be missed, and it is only fitting that we take a moment or two to reflect upon him before we launch into our plan to mentally abuse the new intern.
We are gathered here, in the sight of our fellow workers – and well out of sight of Human Resources – to remember Intern Boy.
Intern Boy. What can be said about him that a thorough ransacking of his desk would not make clear?
He was neat, Intern Boy was. Pens in a cup, a calendar of the world’s best golf courses on his wall, IB sat with me at the end of the row, on the 48th floor, for six months, and yet how well did we know him?
Well, we know he enjoyed knowing where his pens were, and knowing what day of the week it was. That’s important, in an intern. A further review of his top drawer discloses that he enjoyed tiny paper parcels of salt and pepper, napkins from Starbucks, and the softgel tablets of a popular extra strength gas relief medication.
Intern Boy was polite.
Not once did I catch him in a compromising situation. Unlike work colleagues in my past, he was prompt, kept his pants on at all times, and never once asked to borrow money.
Intern Boy enjoyed blue post-its, clear push pins, and your standard keyboard.
Intern Boy was an intern among interns, and the back of his head – the part I saw most – will be missed.
And now we have Female Intern, a clear-eyed, earnest, smiling woman who has assumed Intern Boy’s pens and gas-relief tablets. A half-day into our relationship, I can report that she walks upright, has perfectly sculpted eyebrows, and seems to have both a working brain and a sense of humor.
“I shall crush you,” I whisper.
“I’m sorry,” she says, removing her telephone’s headpiece. “What’s that?”
“Oh, I was just saying that I’ll probably ignore you most of the time,” I say, “but it doesn’t mean anything bad. I just respect a person’s right to work in silence when they need to.”
“Oh,” she says, “I’ve had so many roommates in my life I don’t hear half of what’s being said.”
We both nod. Been there.
“Unless there are plans for crushing me,” she says, smiling. “I would totally listen in on something like that.”
And now we are both smiling. With a brisk nod, we turn our backs, go back to our respective computer screens.
I shall still crush her, of course. It is, after all, the way of my office people.
But I think I’m going to like her, too.