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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

On the Other Hand, I Now Have a Dance Floor

 Somewhere close by, someone’s phone is buzzing.

“I think that’s yours,” I say.

Nevertheless, Tamra and I both turn, open our respective desk drawers.  And as we do a dozen times a day – and usually erroneously – we check our phones for messages.

Tamra stares at her screen, disappointed.  “I think we’ve been trained,” Tamra says, putting her cell away.

I nod.  My screen is blank.  I put my phone back in my purse.

“I’m going to miss these times,” I say.

Tamra nods, and we are silent.  Tamra, a woman who once told me “I have five pounds to lose” and then – get this! – ate smaller portions until she had lost those five pounds; a person who sometimes hums what may or may not be hymns when she is stressed; a coworker with whom I share an unspoken agreement that we will always “dress” for work – that we will always accessorize, when possible – is leaving our shared Double-Wide Cubicle of Infinite Corporate Happiness.

Leaving.

She told me, bright and early on a Monday morning.

“Well that can’t be true,” I had said.  “Why do you lie to me?”

She had shrugged.  “For sport, mostly.”

But she hadn’t been lying.  And now, just a short two weeks after letting me, her work life-partner, know of her intention to move to greener, more lucrative pastures, the end has come.

“Do you want my highlighters?  My staples?  Here – I know you collect those little salt and pepper packets.”

Tamra, digging through her desk drawers and knowing my plan to hunker down in skyscrapers when The End comes, hands me the small pile of seasonings she has collected over the years. 

“When I’m salting my meals during the Apocalypse,” I say, “I shall think of you.”

She smiles at me.  “Oh, you’ll think of me more often than that,” she says.

And it’s true.

I’m not at all happy about this.  And I shall think of her often.


Good-bye, Tamra.  Your new company is lucky to have you.  

26 comments:

Shelly said...

Hale and farewell, Tamra, but this begs the question: Who will be your newest cubicle mate?

And I still have all the little condiment packets that had accumulated in my desk over the years. I couldn't bring myself to throw them out when I retired, but I also don't quite know what to do with them...

BLissed-Out Grandma said...

Awww, a sweet tribute. I always hated it when a kindred spirit left my workplace, leaving me to battle on alone. Enjoy your dance floor, though!

Buttons said...

Oh Goodbye Tamara and good luck filling a new office drawer with needed items. Hugs to Pearl it will be OK:) B

Jacquelineand.... said...

Fingers crossed you don't get a slob who thinks Casual Friday runs all week long!
Best of luck to Tamra (and you).

Steve said...

That was short, but entertaining. Dump the condiments and get some new ones.

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

"Double-Wide Cubicle of Infinite Corporate Happiness"
made me very happy.

vanilla said...

Bittersweet. Happy for a friend; sad for oneself. Nah, "self" trumps friend. How could you do this to me, Tamra?

NotesFromAbroad said...

When I used to get worried about Change, in locations where we lived, types of houses , cars or shoes .. my husband would always tell me, wait and see. If you hate it, you can change it.
Tamra is a treat ... you might find the next person to be a treat too. But in her way.

One thing is for sure, whoever the next person is, they are lucky You will be there.

Daisy said...

Yes, what "Notes" said! Whoever next shares your cubicle will be interesting - and we can't wait to hear all about him/her! Because... "they are lucky You will be there."

Surely you have more than condiments in your drawer? maybe some of those Milk Duds, or O Henry - something chocolatey.

Ray Denzel said...

There is a finite supply of good work partners indeed.

jenny_o said...

'She smiles at me. “Oh, you’ll think of me more often than that,” she says.'

Was Tamra given to practical jokes? Because that sounded like a warning to me ... you may want to be careful opening drawers and whatnot :)

I hope you get a congenial new work life-partner. They are gold.

Vicus Scurra said...

Is there a vacancy? To whom do I apply?
You probably don't need an application, just tell them that I said "whom" - with an English accent.

wellfedfred said...

I still haven't put away/disposed of the Christmas cards from past co-workers, assistants who were too smart for their job, nice guys who were ok with finishing last but not at the Graveyard of Infinite Despair. Funny, I never hear from the Summer Interns Who Were Too Good To Work Here.

Delores said...

Perhaps you'll get phone calls from her as you do from Mary and Liza Bean...strange unfinished sentence phone calls with hysterical laughter on the other end. Why would anyone want to leave Acme Grommets and Napkins?

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Picking up on NotesfromAbroad...
One thing is for sure, whoever the next person is, WE are lucky because You will be there...and that means we will be entertained by your interpretation of who they are!!! YAM xx

Elephant's Child said...

And Tamra will think of you too. Traitor that she is.

Gigi said...

NotesfromAbroad's husband is very wise. I'd never looked at it that way.

Now though, you must mark your "half" of the cubicle to make yours larger...before the next one makes an appearance.

Geo. said...

Yes, decidedly inspired.

Daisy said...

Aw, so long Tamra. It's hard to lose a coworker that you click well with. I hope her replacement is someone you like too.

Eat smaller portions and lose weight?--really? Well, now. Who would have thought? I should try that. ;)

Linda O'Connell said...

Aww, it's sad to lose a friend who can actually lose five pounds by eating less. Seriously, hope her replacement is as wonderful.

Leenie B said...

So sorry to hear of your cubicle-pal loss. May your Double-Wide Cubicle of Infinite Corporate Happiness soon be blessed with another occupant of similar interesting and friendly qualities.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

One's desk stash is so telling, isn't it? I hoard notepads.

The Chicken's Consigliere said...

Aw man...not Tamra. She was one of my favorites. Hope another window (into your double-wide cubicle) is opening for someone as we speak. Someone who doesn't yet know how lucky they are about to get.

River said...

"Double-wide cubicle of infinite corporate happiness" almost makes me wish I worked in an office. almost.

I hope your new cubby partner is well able to fill Tamra's shoes. Or at least can be trained to.

Blake Maria said...

i hope your new office companion will be as kindred spirits as tamra was. think of it as an exciting new chapter, an adventure with a pair of new eyes whom will view the office and your double-wide cubicle of happiness with fresh eyes. i also hope they'll share and collect condiments packets for you too.

xxx
dancing in black

Bossy Betty said...

I hate losing good workplace people. It's hard breaking in new ones too, but if anyone can do it, you can!