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Not Mousing Around With This Boss

, , , , | Working | June 26, 2018

(It is in the early 90s, before computer mouse pads are dime-a-dozen giveaways at conventions. My company’s office has two main departments: engineering — my department — and ship support. We’ve just installed Windows 3.0 on three of our department’s computers. We need mouse pads for them, so I write up a purchase order and buy three at an Apple store: a bright pink one for a female friend and coworker’s computer, and two blue ones for a male engineer and myself. They are $8 apiece. Soon after I buy them, my female friend’s duties are switched to the other department. She still uses the same computer and sits at the same desk, though. One morning, she comes in and her mouse pad that I bought is missing. I am a bit peeved, but I am not sure what to do but buy another. Before I do, I am walking around the office after hours that evening, and I see the missing mouse pad on her new boss’s desk. I walk in his cubicle, take it, and set it back on my friend’s desk. The next morning, my friend sees her mouse pad back, and thanks me for finding it. Word gets back to her new boss, and this exchange happens between us.)

Boss: *angrily* “[My Name], did you take something off of my desk last night?!”

Me: *innocently* “Like what?”

Boss: “A mouse pad!”

Me: “Hm… The only mouse pads we have in this department are that blue one on [Engineer]’s desk, this one on my desk, and the pink one on [Friend]’s desk.”

Boss: *inhales to begin a tirade* “…”

Me: “…all three of which were bought with–” *picking up a purchase order form* “–this purchase order, charged to engineering task number 3034, for use on these three engineering department computers, which were also bought with engineering contract funds.” *crosses arms and looks at my friend’s boss*

Boss: *breathes five or six heavy breaths at me, glaring, before walking away*

(I never heard another word about a missing mouse pad again.)

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