Female Intern – our recent corporate upgrade from Intern Boy – is fitting in nicely here at Acme Gravel and Grommets.
Having sworn, on her inaugural day, to crush her, I find myself unable to do so, and, instead, in a display of motherly attention I have not exhibited since The Boy put his fingers in a burning candle, have commenced with the giving of advice.
Well just look at her! Could you resist that little face? With the eyebrows of a young Sophia Loren and the bearing of a tabby kitten in office-appropriate clothing, she has wormed her way in to my cubicle-ensconced heart.
“What was that keyboard shortcut for page break again?” she asks.
“Control, enter,” I say, unable to control my delight. The shortcuts are one of my favorite keyboard-related topics.
She’s a curious little thing, this one; and we’ve covered all the office basics: how to staple a fallen hem, the recipe for office fudge (four packets of hot chocolate mix and far too little hot water), the difference between “carbon copy” and "blind copy" on an e-mail and the implications therein.
But there are generational roadblocks.
“Why do you have Elmer’s Glue on your desk?” she asks one day. “Will there be pasting after recess?”
We smile at each other. “It’s useful when you have a run in your nylons.”
She looks at me blankly, blinks slowly. “Nylons?”
“I hear they’re making a come back, nylons,” I say somewhat lamely. “Kate Middleton wears them.”
“Hmm,” she says. “Yes.”
She came in yesterday morning, a tiny frown on her adorable little face. “Argh,” she says. “You ever get a song stuck in your head just before work?”
“All the time,” I say. “I’ve had the fourth movement of Beethoven’s Pastoral wedged in there since Starbucks.”
She stares at me. Blink. Blink. “I’ve got a Katie Perry song stuck in mine.”
Now it’s my turn: Blink. Blink.
We share a cube, she and I, a common area – and view it from two different points in history.
Only three weeks into our relationship, and already, perspective is needed.
Surely it’s not too late to leave a coupon for something delightfully inappropriate in her mail slot?