Sometimes, I wonder what my purpose is. Where did I come from? Where am I going?
Why am I here?
I had wandered away from my desk in the grips of a looming head cold. ‘I’ll just lie down a bit,’ I said to myself, ‘just for a little while…’
… and opened a door to just one of my life’s purposes.
It is shortly after that that Liz walks by my desk.
“Hey, you want to see something gross?” I am adjusting the top buttons on my sweater when I say this, and Liz looks at me, at the location of my hands, horrified.
“Uhhh,” she says.
I laugh. “Oh, not me,” I say. “The days of taking my shirt off at work are long gone, believe me…”
I lead her away from my desk.
It is gross, and I have to show someone.
If you have worked for a company of any size – and perhaps even those without size – you’ll eventually run across what is known as the “Wellness Room”.
And as an aside, there is something about “wellness” that bothers me. I will accept “Sick Room”, “Privacy Room”, I can even accept “Pump Room”, as one wag recently put it in reference to the number of nursing mothers at work, but “wellness”, along with the national cry toward ensuring that one stays “hydrated” or, heavens help us, a recent ad campaign on “how to awesome”, leaves me frowning and pursing my lips in a disapproving manner.
I lead Liz toward the room in question, a small room with a door, a futon, a stand, a telephone – and the kind of foul stains you don’t expect at work.
We stand in mute horror, disbelief curling the edges of our lips into what, at the briefest of glances, might appear to be smiles.
The floor is a mottled and unsightly mess, thousands upon thousands of droplets of moisture spurted in an arc from the surprisingly clean futon and then trod on by someone in rubber boots, perhaps just in from the barn. The phone is covered in grubby prints, sticky and insolent, the kind of squalid contamination one expects to find in a place where the rooms are rented by the hour.
It is both disgusting and, somehow, impressive. That there are people that use this room and leave it in this condition, without reporting it to Facilities is remarkable.
“Seriously?” she asks. “Who sits here, making this kind of mess, without thinking to clean it up?”
I shake my head, grinning. “The same people who leave toilet paper on the floor in the bathroom.”
Liz grins back, steps away from the room. “I have to go boil my head now,” she says.
And I return to my desk, head cold still on its way, but full of reason, of purpose.
“Dear Facilities,” I write, “It appears that there’s a bit of a mess in the Wellness Room…”