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They Deserved That Scare

, , , , , , | Working | February 2, 2023

I used to work for a company that made network communications software. I regularly attended trade conferences, and it was common for me to come back with various marketing giveaways.

Several weeks after one such conference, the office administrator stormed in, demanding that I clean my office immediately. Now, I’m not the tidiest person by any means, but my office wasn’t THAT messy.

Me: “What prompted this?”

Administrator: “The cleaning staff walked off the job, claiming it was unsafe because of a massive spider infestation!”

At first, I was confused, but then I realized what must have happened. We’d been having a problem with coins and other small items disappearing from employees’ office desks but hadn’t identified the thief. I opened my desk drawer and directed the admin’s attention to it.

In the back of the drawer, there was a bag of small plastic spiders — giveaways from the conference. (The Internet sort of resembles a spider’s web.) I hadn’t closed the bag securely, and some of the spiders had spilled out into the drawer. The only way anyone would have come across this spider “infestation” was if they’d opened the closed drawer and felt around in it.

The administrator stood there for a few seconds, staring at the plastic spiders. Then, without a word, he turned on his heel and stormed out of my office. The office trash didn’t get picked up for a couple of days, and then a different company started cleaning the office. 

Oh… and the petty thefts stopped.

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