It’s that time of year when we are just breaking in new calendars. I love calendars, and this time of year I can’t help but remember a little incident that happened to me a few years ago.
We played Secret Santa at work. My Secret Santa gave me a Far Side daily Calendar. One of my co-workers wanted one too. The word jealousy comes to mind. I think he got a photo frame, and it seemed to deeply wound him.
The year before, he took the past day’s page and placed it right behind the calendar. He kept them throughout the year, every last one of them, all neatly stacked. Since he didn’t get one the next year, he coveted mine. When I say he coveted it, I mean sincerely, he would whimper and make comments about my page a day calendar. Constantly muttering about it, he couldn’t rest unless he got one too. He told me he searched the stores and could not find one to his liking. Plus, they wanted nine dollars!
I’ve been to his house. He could afford it. One of the nicest homes I have EVER been in, so money wasn’t the issue.
He wanted to keep my old pages, I said I wouldn’t mind, but I had no idea what I was in for. Now, I liked this guy a lot, but I think you can tell he was a little obsessive compulsive about stuff.
He was also the kind of person who came to work thirty to forty minutes early. I’m the kind of person, who arrives right on time, or five minutes before. My trouble with those “early” people is how much they need to be congratulated for how efficient they are. With their spare time, they hang out in the break room watching TV & eating French fries. I don’t like to be late, and I don’t like to be rushed, but I’d rather be home. Personally, I think I should be congratulated that I remain in my pajamas for as long as humanly possible.
I came to work and he had already ripped off my daily calendar and had it sitting on his desk when I arrived. Apparently it’s too much work for me. Then every day the same thing, he already had read the new calendar cartoon.
The weekend arrived. I came in and he had removed the Saturday/Sunday color cartoon. So, I reported to his desk. “Do you have my weekend cartoons?”
“Oh, yes.” They were in his new stack of cartoons. I could look at them, if I wanted, at his desk. So, I read them in front of him. I couldn’t sit down or take my time. Suddenly, I’m under the microscope of my co-worker. When I finished reading them, I placed them back on the stack, but you see, I told you he was obsessive compulsive, so I didn’t place them back in the right order and they weren’t stacked properly. I think you can see the problem. He had to straighten them.
I happen to particularly like the extinct dinosaur cartoon. The one where dinosaurs are smoking, and the caption reads, “The real reason dinosaurs are extinct.” I wanted to tape it to my desk, but you see that can’t happen. He had his little stack, and the stack cannot be disturbed.
This went on for a couple of weeks. I found the whole thing amusing, so as a joke, I locked up my calendar at night. The next morning, he reported to my desk and….catastrophe! The man really had a fit. He didn’t speak to me. Then, I started doing it every night. I offered him the cartoons, after I read them, but it wasn’t enough. I told a friend of mine about it, and she said, “This could be a Seinfeld episode.”
Finally, one day, we went on break. He turned to me, in all sincerity and said. “We need to talk. We need to get this out. Now, I really like you and don’t want this calendar thing to come between us. I just really like your calendar and want to read it every day…” The conversation continued, so I let him read it first. I suppose I could have let him have the calendar, but I didn’t want to hurt the feelings of the person who gave it to me. For the rest of the year, he ripped off the cartoon every day. When I returned from vacation, I would go to his desk and read all nine missing days. Of course, I couldn’t take them back to my desk and read them at my leisure. It would mess up the pile. Who am I to stand in the way of someone else’s compulsion?
Now, I keep my page-a-day calendars at home.