The Players: (in order of appearance)
Rob — Industrial Engineer
Penelope — Dead Roach
Winnie — Cleaning Lady
Danny — Head Cleaning Crew Guy
Ian, Chip, David, Greg, Bob — Chorus
Mark — Muscle
Brian — Brains
The Back Story: Rob’s office is just outside the engineering side of the front office’s entrance to the cafeteria. Like most manufacturing front offices, the folks aren’t in actual offices they are in cubicles. Our cubes are nice, fairly new, blue fabric, 60″ high acoustical panels. Nobody has the actual slick cubicle furniture, but old 70’s desks with wood veneer overlay tops that have been painted gray along with the wide variety of mismatched bookcases.
A couple of weeks ago when Rob came into work he noticed a dead palmetto bug laying upside down on the top of the cubical wall that is next to the cafeteria door all the way up against the wall. He left it there, maybe out of fear of touching it (it might just be playing dead), but most likely in a little game of let’s see how long it takes to get picked up by the cleaning crew.
We have an outside cleaning crew that takes care of the building. It consists of a lady, Winnie, that empties the cubicle trash cans and keeps the rest rooms clean. She is as nice as you can be, but often times you can see bits of trash laying on the floor next to the just emptied cans. Either it because she is a little overweight and has trouble reaching the floor or maybe she has some eyesight issues and doesn’t notice the odd gum wrapper/used sticky note or just maybe she just can’t be bothered to be that thorough with what they pay her.
The cleaning crew supervisor is there most days to check out how Winnie is doing and maybe help out, but seems to spend most of his time sitting outside in the break area smoking and talking on his cell phone. Danny’s favorite trick is to play inspector general by walking around the front office, running his fingers along the top of the cubicle walls like he has white gloves on and checks to see if the second shift crew has done the dusting.
Rob noticed this Inspector General behavior several times and the fact that the dead roach is still there after two weeks. Having grown found of the insect corpse he has now given it a name, Penelope, pronounced Pen — ah — lohp and has spent all of the week before last telling the story of Pen ah lohp to all his surrounding engineer friends. This amuses Mark & Brian to no end.
The Plan: Kidnap the Roach
…to be continued…
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