Wednesdays are filing day at work. I have to have an assigned day because I truly despise filing. It’s like a treasure hunt with really hard to find caches and really boring treasure. The weeks around month end or closings when I don’t have time for filing do not break my heart.
Sadly, this week is a slow week, and I have plenty of time to catch up on the filing I skipped last week, so this morning I collected a stack of files to return and marched into my cabinet cubby hole. In order to save space, the firm where I work has shelves on wheels that can compress together. I have to spin a dial to access my little alcove. Most filing days I make myself comfortable on the floor and sprawl out all the documents and files I am going through around me. For reasons I do not fully understand my coworkers find the sight of me sitting cross legged on the floor of a filing cabinet simply hilarious. I can never go in there without someone making a quip about how cozy I look or suggesting that all I need is a campfire and some marshmallows. Today though, when I rolled open my little hideaway, this greeted me.
I was instantly delighted. I went straight to the office of Jenn from Marketing and knocked on the door. Jenn’s office is right outside my fortress and she is the most frequent commenter on my campout habits, so I was absolutely certain she was behind this brilliant sign. Jenn had no idea what I was talking about, though she agreed it was awesome. Maybe Heather My Desk Neighbour did it?
Heather not only didn’t do it, she had no idea I even sit on the floor in there. Another round of quips ensued before Heather said that surely Keith did it.
Keith is one of my bosses. He creates 99% of the filing that goes into that fortress, although he never ventures there himself. Still, we all agreed the Keith was exactly the sort of person to create a funny sign. When he next came by we asked him, and he agreed, he is the sort of person to do that, but he did not, in fact create this sign.
I was getting more and more intrigued by this point, and so was Heather. Who could have created this sign? It had to be someone on our side of the office, someone who sees me in there often enough to think to make a sign.
I went to the person with the next closest desk to the hideout, even though I know Heather the Wills Paralegal is not the sort of person to make goofy signs. I was right on that front. Maybe it was Viv the EA? She’s nearby and our work overlaps a lot, but no, Viv also was not responsible for the sign.
Everyone who I had spoken to agreed; the sign was hilarious. None of them even knew what I was talking about when I asked “did you put up a sign in my filing cabinet”, so I knew no one was lying just to troll me. Why was no one fessing up? I only wanted to tell them how awesome they were!
Heather My Neighbour thought maybe Amanda the Event Coordinator did it. I was Amanda’s mentor when she was a new employee and we’re pretty chummy, plus she also sits nearby, but we couldn’t ask her right away. I resolved to ask her after lunch, and Heather said that if Amanda wasn’t the one behind it, this officially became weird. This only made sense of someone in my department did it, because who else would know about my fort? If Heather hadn’t even been aware, and someone from another floor or department randomly deciding to make a sign, putingt a picture on it, and taping it to the back wall of my cabinet went to cool to just odd.
Straight after lunch, before I even put down my bag, I went to Amanda’s desk and asked her. She too had no idea what I was talking about, but laughed when she saw the sign. Maybe Keith was the one to do it?
I returned to my desk not sure what to think next. Regardless of if it had been put up by some crazy person who wasn’t even aware as to why this was so fitting, I still thought it was cool, but I wanted to know who did it.
“Hey, did you put a sign in my filing cabinet?” I asked to first person to pass my desk. This person turned.
“Yeah, I did.”
What?! I sat up straight. Who was I even talking to?
It was Diana. The assistant who shares the compressed filing space with me. Diana, the matriarch of the tax assistants. She sits down the hall and I never even considered she would be the one to post it, but apparently two weeks ago she stopped by and saw me on the floor, and when she commented I said, “yes, this is my fort” without even looking up. She thought this was so funny she made a sign, and now she’s absolutely tickled pink that she’s created such a mystery in the office.
I sent the picture of the sign to my family this morning while the mystery was still unfolding. My mother replied to the post with a trip down memory lane, reminding me of when I was a teenager and I spent all my free time curled up on this little ledge built into my closet. It made the best reading nook, and despite how weird my friends thought it was, I loved curling up in there. Even now, when the world gets to be too much, I kick out my shoes and take up residence in my closet until the world starts to make sense again.
It appears I have always looked for hideouts in cramped spaces. Thank you Diana, for making my work one official.