Rarely do I write about stories outside the normal SF Tao of Pao realm (eating, drinking, being active, restaurants, recipes, etc). However, on occasion a story is so over-the-top and entertaining to me that I break the rules and decide to include it here for your reading pleasure. A past example includes my entries on the Phantom Food Stealer (http://sftaoofpao.com/pao-chow-parent/the-return-of-phantom-food-stealer/) that has been plaguing my company’s kitchen for the last several months.
I did not think there would be another story that could trump the sheer ridiculousness of that ongoing battle. But…I was wrong. I feel this story relates, because while it is not set in a restaurant, saloon or outdoor setting, it did happen this very day in my company’s cafeteria.
My colleague Jacki and I headed over to the cafeteria for our usual noontime grub fest. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. The sun was shining, friendly greetings were exchanged between us and fellow coworkers, we both felt in great spirits. I would not say there were any signs of a disturbance of the natural corporate order.
We walked through the door to grab our lunches and on our way, we crossed paths with a short, plump, red-haired older woman who was bolting through the cafeteria at top speed. Jacki and I both stopped to avoid a collision (which let’s admit happens every once in a while in hallways or cafes at work – NBD – until today that is). The woman lightly grazed by Jacki, then spun on her heels, shooting us both an icy look that could turn water to ice. I was taken back by the look, and said apologetically, “Oh, I’m so sorry!”
That’s when the “you know what” broke loose. The woman (who we have now aptly call Cafeteria Wench) shot us a look of death, like we’d just stolen the last cream puff from her private stash. She looked at me and snarled, “Not you, HER!” Then she motioned to Jacki. Before we could comprehend what was happening, she followed up with a second snarl directed at Jacki, “What is your problem?!” I write double punctuation marks so you can hopefully appreciate the full nastiness and tone of this person’s words.
Jacki and I stood back, dumbfounded, incredulous over what had just happened. Were we secretly filming an episode from “The Office?” This is a small company! Things like that don’t happen here! This is worse than honking at a coworker in the parking lot (you don’t know when you’re going to have a meeting with them again! Etiquette people.) I have to say, Jacki and I both looked at each other with a look of sheer bewilderment, and then a couple minutes later, burst into laugher at just how ridiculous this all was. The most preposterous part? That woman was barreling through the cafeteria and would have slammed into us! If Jacki had not stopped, it would have been a full-force collision. Just imagine our cafeteria adversary’s response then!
So in determining next steps (by the way, we have no idea of that woman’s identity) we opted to follow in the footsteps of our hero, Stephen Colbert. We put that Cafeteria Wench on notice for unnecessary roughness and copping an attitude in a small, public setting. You may already know about this concept, but just in case, occasionally things or people anger Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report so much that he puts them “On Notice.” That is the last step before being moved to the “Dead to Me” list. We realize that the woman from today may have just had a bad day. Maybe she received some bad news (which in no way justifies her egregious behavior) so that is why she’s not yet on the “Dead to Me” list.
Check out the other items on my “On Notice” list in the image above. This is an ever-changing list. If you would like to make your own feel free to update this link with your Top 8 On Notice offenders.