Small Sadness/Cubicle Life

It’s been a couple of months since I last blogged and I’d like to reenter the blog world by sharing a story with you.

It was a typical day at the office: Just imagine me getting my work done at my grey-white cubicle in my grey-white chair surrounded by grey-white walls and a low and cozy grey-white ceiling. In case this doesn’t sound pleasant enough, now imagine all of this grey-white glory illuminated by the persistently burning bulbs (tubes?) of a million grey-white florescent lights (fixtures?). It was wonderful in that institutional kind of way.

As usual, I was hungry by 10:30am. I tried to convince myself that 10:30 is way too early to eat lunch, but the day’s lunch was particularly attractive: A frozen Tandoori chicken/basmati rice combo from Trader Joe’s, the greatest store on earth for the socially-conscience, progressively-inclined working professional who doesn’t get paid enough to shop at Whole Foods. Anyway, I couldn’t help myself: I needed that tandoori chicken and I needed it now. So it’s no surprise that I was drawn to the kitchen by powers greater than my self-control. Happily – and with great anticipation – I plopped the frozen meal into the microwave (which I set at three minutes and thirty-three seconds) and stared blankly at the microwave while smells of lightly processed tandoori chicken filled the grey-white kitchen. I believe a smile may have spread across my face at that point but I can’t be sure because there were no witnesses.

Then, somewhat unpleasantly, I was awakened from my tandoori trance by the beeping of the microwave. I opened the microwave and enthusiastically (ferociously?) stabbed the chicken with a grey-white plastic fork, a little bit like I was murdering it. But the chicken was still a little frozen. I was getting impatient by this time, but set the microwave at one minute and eleven seconds and stared aggressively at the microwave clock willing the seconds to go faster. Another beep, another enthusiastic fork stabbing and relief: My lunch was ready. Never one to eat out of those sad little frozen food plastic plates, I transferred the chicken and rice to a regular plastic plate and spread it out a bit to make my lunch look a bit more voluminous. Triumphantly – and with great expectation – I marched out of the kitchen, into the hall and around the corner towards my cubicle, holding the plate with both hands as if I were carrying a 20-pound Thanksgiving turkey.

And then it happened. There was no obstacle in my way, no unexpected coworker in my path or distraction to speak of, but suddenly, I tripped over my own feet and the tandoori chicken/basmati rice formerly frozen lunch went flying into the air (in slow motion) before spreading – quite impressively – over the grey-white linoleum floor of the hallway, those million grey-white florescent bulbs mercilessly illuminating my loss. There I was, the heroine of this story, staring down at the mess with a look of utter defeat on my face.

Pity Party.

Pity Party.

It just wasn’t my day, and the loss of that recently defrosted tandoori chicken went straight to my heart and I couldn’t help feeling that nothing in my life was going right. So on my lunch break, I went to Trader Joe’s and bought 12 Tandoori-Basmati frozen lunch meals so that if anything like this ever happens again, I’ll have backups.

Categories: Uncategorized

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