Widgets Magazine

Feb 10, 2012

Snakes, Part 2

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Yesterday I told you about the horrible first job out of college I ever had. It does have a Part 2.

It wasn't long before the mama snake had little baby snakes appearing around the office. Some of the guys thought it was funny to chase them around and I saw one slither past my desk one morning while three engineers chased it with a stick. It was only about a foot long, but it was obviously still a snake.

One guy knew that they terrified me and he enjoyed torturing me. He took one of those little snakes and actually tied it around his hat...it's little head and bulging eyes right above the brim, kind of what you imagine somebody from ancient Egypt wearing right before they were placed in a tomb. Yeah, that's right where I wanted him to go...

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And when it wasn't the snakes, it was the mice. There were all kinds of engineers and technicians working there. One of the guys had big heavy work boots that he wore down to the site but he took them off when he was in his office. One day he slipped his foot in to find a mouse had taken up residence while the boots were unoccupied.

Since this was a government-run installation, it was full of inefficiencies. One day the head of the writing department pulled me into his office. I had finally been given a computer and I was working hard. He proceeded to inform me that if I didn't slow down and take a little more time on my documents, he would have to fire me...I was making his guys look bad!

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When I mentioned this to one of the secretaries, she asked me if I'd seen the soft chair that was set up inside the women's restroom. Yes, I had seen it. "Well," she commented, no one would notice if you disappeared for an hour or so every morning." Then she smiled. Come to think of it, I had seen several people snoozing away during working hours. There were only a few women, so there was no trouble reserving a little time for myself.

I was never happier in any workplace than the day I walked away from that job for the last time! Now, almost 24 years later, it almost seems like one of those nightmares that you can't believe you actually survived. After that, no matter how bad my boss or how tedious the work, I'm just grateful.


Emma Frances said...

Eew! Snakes and mice?! Gah! So glad this story has a good ending where you finally got to leave!

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

Not a wonderful statement about the government, is it? *sigh* Glad you're outta there!

mCat said...

And these days you would have such a case for hostile work environment!

Arkansas Patti said...

Snakes and mice I could handle, Lazy, slacker employees would have done me in. So glad you escaped.

Crystal Pistol said...

The very mention of snakes give me a shiver. I hate them. So much. What an awful thing for you to endure!


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