I've been back at work for about two months now. And I really like it this time through. The commute is short, the office is nice, my cube is nice ... and the people are nice.
But people are people. I ought to know. I'm one of them. And people do stupid things.
Like all work habitats in the 21st century, people eat lunch. There's a cafeteria on the first floor of my building. And some people eat lunch there ... especially on quesidilla day. Other people bring their lunches to work and eat at their desks. If you're me, which I am, you bring a sandwich, some chippie things and a Rum & Coke. If you're not like me ... and you're a woman ... you bring in things that say "Lean" and "Low Calorie" and "Popcorn". And at lunchtime, you find one of the four thousand microwaves that sit in my building and you heat these things up.
And sometimes ... welllllll ... you leave them in there a little too long.
In the two months I've been in this building ... on this floor, I've been lucky. Nobody (woman) has cracked open a can of tuna, or homemade casserole, or some other stinky thing and polluted the atmosphere.
Until today. Today was the perfect storm. Right after noon, I noticed the air getting a little smokey. Then the smell started. I was sure someone had set their soiled underwear on fire. It got worse, and people started to notice. It sounded kind of like this:
Somebody suggested opening the windows, but surprise! There are windows, but you'd have to throw a chair through them to get them "open". Gradually the smoke and smell dissipated somewhat, and the search for the culprit started. Turned out ... it was Denise, who had accidentally put her Lean Cuisine in the microwave and mistakenly set it to INCINERATE. Denise, it was told, was very embarrassed.
By 2:00, my stomach had settled, a vigilante flash mob had stripped Denise naked, thrown her outside into a snow bank and shoved the tainted microwave up her ass. All was right with the world.
And then Tammy put a sack of Orville Redenbacher in a microwave and set it on high for 15 minutes.