I Can't Believe I Work Here: A Photo Essay

The newspaper office where I work part-time is...um...interesting. Some things about the place crack me up. Other details would horrify me if I stopped to think about them, but I try to do that as little as possible. Anyway, here's a glimpse into the building where I spend about 20 hours each week...

1. This is the office where I work. To avoid looking at the unbearable clutter, I sometimes close my eyes and curl up in a fetal position on the 40-year old vinyl desk chair.
(Yes, the wall is purple. The former owner was a huge K-State fan.)

2. We have this great filing system for our back issues. Patent pending.

3. At some point in the building's long and grim history, an individual (I'm guessing a pre-pubescent girl, from the looks of the exclamation point) cheerfully set out to bring order to the chaos. Just one box into the process, she was apparently overcome by the hopelessness of the situation. I can't blame her. Her efforts are preserved and stand as an enduring monument to the frailty of the human spirit.

4. Something tells me that even if the bathroom sink were to give forth water with any sort of regularity, it would not be the sort of water one would want to wash one's hands in.

5. This is the ceiling directly above the toilet. The ceiling panels are being held up by the light fixture--none too secure itself. It does lend a sense of urgency when doing one's business.

6. I should have laid a coin beside this rat trap to give size perspective. It's massive. For months, I had vaguely wondered the dark reason for its existence. Today, a lady who used to work here told me the story. One day 5 years ago, she heard noises in the bathroom; this led to the capture of what she claims was "a cat-sized rodent." Since no others of this size have shown up, she thinks it probably wasn't a rat; her guess is a renegade prairie dog. At any rate, the trap has stayed since that day.

7. This is a yellowed document nailed to the wall, titled "Safety and Health Protection on the Job." One line reads, "The Williams-Steiger act requires that each employer furnish his employees a place of employment free from recognized hazards that might cause serious injury or death." I can't help but wonder if Mr. Williams and Mr. Steiger didn't mean to imply caving ceilings and gargantuan rat traps as forms of "recognized hazards." Actually, I think the constant, insurmountable clutter is more hazardous to my mental health.

8. Oh the irony of it. The irony! This sign hangs high on a wall--faded, smeared with dirt, splattered with paint--but still boldly proclaiming its long-forgotten message: Neatness Counts!

1 comment:

Jonathan said...


Boy, did I crack up laughing as I read your run down of the newspaper office. It is surreal. Almost too funny to be true. Unbelievable.

Boss Man Potiphar