As my mom would say, “maybe it’s just me” (in the context of, maybe it’s me who’s crazy because this just can’t be).
I work at a public window. I went out into our lobby today, sat at my station, and took a picture of what the public sees when they sit.
Not just because the reflection itself makes me look like I don’t really exist in the human world, but even more so because of the irony of it considering my name. (If you don’t already know my name, look up in the upper left corner of this page above the water picture at the word in bold in front of Thinkboxer.) Come on people! That’s epic!
Here, take a closer look at my station. Do you see anything that would confuse you if you were sitting there?
In the picture please direct your attention to the brilliance of my homemade, high quality, super professional strip of white cardboard on the bottom under my reflection, held up masterfully by my even more high quality piece of packing tape on the window.
A little history on that piece. I was actually about the third person in the office to do it. The glass stops just about where the top of the cardboard starts. Without the cardboard, you’re free to pass just about anything, including a small baby if you wanted to. Unfortunately you were also free to pass on, uh, let’s say things that we can’t see. So when I had someone at my window who smelled so bad I’m pretty sure my nose hairs formed a middle finger, right before they voluntarily committed suicide by jumping out of my nose, I figured it was time to plug that hole up.
The cardboard actually does an excellent job of keeping smells out. It has become my new best friend, while simultaneously becoming a new enemy to so many.
Post homemade cardboard contraption, the first irritating thing I noticed is the constant need of the public to question its existence.
“What is this for?” or “why do you have this?”, they ask.
“NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!”, I yell back, but wisely only in my head. “Don’t worry about what I hang up in ‘my house’ you walking reason for the existence of birth control”.
Oh like I’m the only one to ever go off on someone in my head.
But alas, I haven’t completely crossed over to the looney bin (yet), so in reality, sometimes I’ll just ignore them and ask what can I do for them. Or, I’ll tell them politely it’s there because I want it there and ask what can I do for them. Or some may get the truth…”to protect me from evil, life-threatening smells”…and then I ask what can I do for them.
Depends on my mood.
But here’s the biggest problem I have, and ultimately the reason for this post. I can’t figure out why, but it seems to confuse the absolute hell out of people.
And their confusion confuses me.
I started really paying attention a few weeks ago. Someone would come in with a paper we sent them in the mail in an effort to resolve whatever they need to resolve with us. As they complete their explanation of what’s going on, I watch them literally move the paper around in the air looking for an opening to slide me the paper, in much the same way an old man is frantically looking for his glasses located right on top of his head.
Seriously. I’ve seen them so desperate to find an opening that they stand up. I don’t know what that’s supposed to do. Maybe it’s a source for extra concentration.
You would be surprised at the cold sweats and near panic reactions I see, trying to figure out exactly how on Earth they will get me this sheet of paper. Is it possible? Why would he make it so impossible to get paper? Maybe he doesn’t accept paper at his window. Those are their thoughts just before they stand up, look to the Heavens and scream….WHY!!!!! PLEASE WHY!!!!!!!
I laugh to myself watching them fumble around feverishly as this innocuous piece of cardboard completely kicks their ass.
Finally, after I can’t watch anymore of this stupidity, I solve their problem with a simple clue, mixed with a whole lot of my trademark sarcasm…
“Dude, it’s not made of concrete!”
Some of them laugh as the light goes on in their thinkboxer to either push the light-as-a-feather piece of cardboard or just slide it under (paper is, well, paper thin correct?).
Some look embarrassed. I give those people a pass. We all have our ‘duh’ moments.
Some still look confused and keep the paper in their hand still unsure of how to get it to me. I DO NOT give them a pass. Some people are just stupid forever and there is no cure.
Others look at me with a crazy, irritated look. Oh right. Like I’M the idiot.
- Fun with Cardboard (ssimplyme.com)
- Cardboard box play: make an imaginary land (nurturestore.co.uk)
- Cardboard (dothegreenthing.com)