Packing Up: Office Edition

Packing Up: Office Edition

A coworker from my department disappeared. He’d been gone for a week when our boss received an email stating that the employee would not return. Speculation ran rampant in the office on what had happened – and who had predicted when that this one would leave us.

Only one coworker declared that they’d known he’d leave from the very beginning: the investigator. Despite the fact that the two men had worked on different floors and, as far as I know, spoke only once. Still, the investigator was definitive; “I knew he’d leave.”

I found the assertion specious. But I humored him with a “How?”

“He didn’t have any personal belongings here,” the investigator said. I pictured the office. The investigator was right.

However, the mental picture lead me to point out that the vanishing coworker wasn’t the only person to do without the photos-and-figurines cubicle personalization. “I don’t have any personal belongings on my desk,” I remarked.

The investigator started to explain that away. I interrupted; “There are a lot of papers on my desk. That’s all work-related, not personal.”

“You have a lot of food,” he said, once I’d finished protesting.

I stared at him.

“I sat at your desk one day,” he slowly explained. “You were out, and I needed to be in your department. I noticed that you keep a lot of food there.” He paused. “You also have a few mugs.”



 my mugs. and some papers.

I had to concede the point. As the agency is moving soon, we have all been packing. My boss requested that we post an “empty” sign on each drawer as we finish packing it. I finished boxing up what I could; only 1 of my 5 drawers read “empty.” I popped into my boss’s office and explained. I left 1 drawer for the files I had to access, and 3 for food. He was ok with that.

I guess that means I don’t plan to leave the agency too soon.


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