Gossip is always a part of any workplace especially now with my recent divorce. I bet everyone is talking about it. In my offices’ case, it happens over at our water cooler. Every morning, a lot of my coworkers start the day by greeting one another, asking the weather and initiating small talk conversations that end by the time our water is filled up.
The water cooler directly sits in a zone where no cameras can see, a blind spot if you might say. Of course, no bosses and seniors of the offices come to that area because they have receptionists that can bring them iced water whenever they please.
Unlike us who use it daily, this space had become our source of gossip and heated conversations, having discussions on the most hated person in the office to Mark and Lindsey who married three months ago being that the fire in their relationship is still new. It has also become grounds for ridiculous things like drug trades and your everyday sexual harassment from the office creep. It is very apparent that all the rumours spread in this area.
One day, I was late for work because I had to sort out some papers and talk with my divorce lawyer. Good thing my friend recommended one of the best family law attorney in Houston. As I entered my desk space lost in thought, a note caught my eye.
“Meet me by the water cooler,”
I laughed it off thinking it would surely be Alison, my best work buddy. Knowing her, I thought she was going to play a prank, writing with her less dominant hands to make her penmanship unrecognisable. Surely enough everybody in the office knows that as soon as I walk in, the first thing I do is refill my empty water bottle. Part of my morning routine also is to chat with Alison as I am refilling my water bottle.
As I passed Alison’s desk space, to my surprise, it was empty, eerily clean and tidy. Like she never came to work! My interest in the mystery person started to spike. Sure I should have been concerned about my friend being absent, but the anticipation kept me on my toes! Once I arrived I tried my best to look presentable at least then quickly stopped since everybody in the office can see it.
Given the comfort that the blind spot brought, some often forgot that other people could see them. I started filling up my water bottle, casually trying to see who might jump up and use the opportunity to talk to me.
“Who did I want it to be?” I whispered to myself.
After a few seconds of standing with the water bottle already full in my hands. I started to feel horrified. I did not have anybody in particular that I liked. And only a small portion of the office was my generation or age. I started to walk away from the water cooler. I noticed a little note at the back of the ceramic dispenser.
It read “Meet me at your desk.” in a slightly menacing font
I sat back down in my chair and suddenly felt acutely aware. I had to shrug it off, So I started to work. As I approached the computer to turn it on, I again noticed a bright yellow note.
“Meet me by the stationary cupboard.” the note read.
I sighed as I have had enough of the games that this mystery person made for me. I found no merit in doing what he tells me to do, so I started to crumple it and throw it in the bin.
“The last one, Promise!” the letters were written at the back, large enough for me to notice.
I thought to myself that since it was the last request, I did what it told me to do. Telling myself that I had to give the person who did this a piece of my mind, at the same time I was still curious, so I went.
“Surprise!” Allison yelled, Jumping out of the cabinet, stretching her neck.
“I have been in there for bloody ages!” she scowled.
I was aghast, and so was half of the office which heard my scream.
“I wasted 20 minutes this morning following your stupid hunt” I shook my head.
“Oh, I don’t know, I thought it would be fun!” she winked.
“I have to talk to you about something, it is important,” she added. “By the cooler just before the lunch break,” she said walking away.
She left me hanging for the next part of her water cooler centred gossips. Maybe she heard about what happened. I guess, I also need to talk to her about my divorce. It’s hard to keep it in.