Several weeks ago, I came back to work after the lovely long weekend (which in my world means 2 days in a row off) field trip to Chicago with my kids, went into the kitchen to get ready, and discovered my coffee mug was gone from the day shift cabinet. It was not the best way to start 14 hours of work on a holiday.
This is the 4th time at least, over the years, that my mug has gone missing at work. The odd thing is, that with one exception, none of them were the kind of mugs anyone but me would even want to use.
There was a mug I had picked up on a visit to Salem, Mass., another from a Boy Scout event. If you hadn't been there, you had no reason to be interested.
Now I understand over 20 plus years a certain amount of carnage happens, but this is the second mug in less than 6 months. The first one was a "Starbucks helps save the enviroment" mug, that got 10 cents knocked off my 3.00 latte on the (very) rare days that I felt so inclined. But it was just the right size, and had the all important lid, and in fact looked just like a Starbucks carryout cup. In fact when it went missing I thought that perhaps some overly zealous cleaning person had tossed it thinking it was paper, not plastic.
But this time you, whomever you are, hijacked something special.
I purchased the mug from the Zazzle store of my friend Linda Roy at Elleroy was here. She is the queen of snark, and snark is an excellent self defense in the work place. Since my workday starts so early (7 AM) it was appropriate to say the least. And it was nice to have a reminder of the world beyond when I am stuck in Mundania.
Here's the thing. On the plain white side of the mug I had taken a permanent magic marker and written "This is Meg's mug" in great big letters. It was impossible to miss. Even had you shattered the mug you should have still seen enough of my name to figure out whom it belonged to.
I can only assume one of four scenarios:
1) You broke it and don't have the nerve to tell me.
2) You broke it and lack the common decency to tell me.
(In short you just don't care.)
3) You liked it so much you took it home with you.
4) You don't like it, but you knew it was mine so
you took it just to mess with me.
At this point I have give up hope of getting my mug back. I have even resigned myself to the inevitable, and acquired a new mug. This one is non breakable, says something cool about dispatchers, and I am carrying it back and forth every day.
But on the other hand, I want to thank you as well. Your jerkishness is a reminder to me, as I get closer to potential retirement, that a workplace is just a workplace. It's not my home and it's not my family. Random acts of thoughtless like yours will make it easier to walk out the door one of these days.