Sunday, July 19, 2009
My Suspicious Mind
Just to give you an idea of how madly suspicious I can be, I’m going to fill you in on the Great Key Incident (which is technically still a Work-In-Progress):
I have a pretty extensive set of work keys, that grant me access to everywhere in the plant but two locations; because of this I have many, many staff requests throughout any given day to borrow my keys, access to which I by-and-large grant with no troubles. There are so many keys on this keychain that it is completely separate from my “real life” key chain (which itself is pretty full … I may be a key nut).
I have the outer access doors key, the office master key, the Security Room key, the PPE (personal protective equipment) key, the supply closet key, the locker room key, and the petty cash key, not to mention a myriad of filing cabinet keys, to name a few … but it’s the supply closet key that sees the most use from my key-borrowing staff. In general, if a staff member has cause to borrow my keys repeatedly, I simply authorize one of his/her own for him/her. So s/he will stop bugging me for mine at the most inopportune times (an “inopportune” time being any time s/he asks for it once s/he’s reached my patience limit).
So, a particular staff member, who shall henceforth be known as “Cuhrazy”, seems to absolutely delight in asking for my keys, almost daily, sometimes multiple times a day, right when I am in the midst of something that requires my full attention. I tend to signal the staff that I am working on something of this nature by closing my office door … and locking it … partially covering the window from the inside (so peepers have to stand on tippy-toe to see in) … scheduling the time as “busy” in my Outlook calendar … and sending all my calls to voicemail.
None of which seems to phase Cuhrazy in its quest for a pen, or folder, or staples, or any number of other office supply It simply must have, right now. Of course, this is the same It that inserts itself into any conversation involving it’s support staff, apparently of the erroneous opinion that just because they report to it, it has every right (It was recently reprimanded for accessing it’s people’s Outlook from their desks when they were elsewhere and not only reading through their e-mails, but forwarding some to itself and then holding disciplinary meetings with the "offending" employee … It was thoroughly spanked for that invasion of privacy, but you get my point: It is wildly inappropriate and lucky to still be employed).
So, Cuhrazy has been employed with us for a number of months now, and the rest of us have worked the kinks out of dealing with its oddities and personality quirks. I’ve been telling It for a few weeks now to get it’s own key (which I’ve already authorized), ostensibly so It won’t have to wait ‘til I’m available, but really to get It off my neck when I can’t afford the aggravation and wasted time). It has yet to do so.
Wednesday was the last straw. I had twice the work to do this week, having been on vacation the week before and not having a backfill, but It just had to have the keys. So I declined and sent it to Key Master for its own (Key Master's office being less than 30 feet down the hall). It grimaced, muttered under it’s breath, and harrumphed off.
A while later I watched as It harassed one of its support staff, then asked if It had had any trouble obtaining the key. It informed me it hadn’t yet (interesting, since it simply had to get into that supply closet badly enough to interrupt me … again … earlier). I offered to get the key for It from Key Master. It refused. Later in the day I checked with Key Master that It had gotten a key: yes. Good, all’s well that ends well. Except.
Except that when I was packing up to leave for the day my keys were gone. My keys that are stored throughout the day in my desk, and that only three people have ever removed without my express permission: 1) First Person, who has blanket approval to take them whenever needed (but who always lets me know anyway); 2) Second Person, who only took them once in an emergency and only then because Third Person assured her it was okay); and 3) Third Person, who happens to be Cuhrazy, and to whom I read the riot act when It lifted the keys without permission, and who knows never, never to do so again.
I know for a fact I had the keys that morning, I know I had them when It asked for them, I know they were gone after It was in a snit for not being allowed to use them. And yes, I suspect It took them.
So I sent a BOLO e-mail to all staff members for the keys, and spoke with the Sanitors to ensure if I did somehow drop them unbeknownst somewhere in the plant they’d be returned. And both Thursday and Friday Cuhrazy made it a point to smirk … er, ask … me, more than once, “Did you find your keys yet?”
Thursday afternoon, when I was grumbling to a colleague about the sitch, said colleague filled me in on some other It-induced shenanigans of which I wasn’t previously aware involving seemingly klepto tendencies and episodes of light-fingered-ness. Hmmm. Then It asked again if I’d found my keys yet … again (the "yet" is what really sets me off).
So, when Bossman came back from a business trip (forgot to mention that), I confirmed still no keys and asked if I needed to get some of the locks changed, and the conversation grew to include the entire story from my perspective (all he’d had prior to that was my general BOLO to staff) … and he asked me if it was my "gut feeling" that It took the keys. So I had a micro-second heart-to-heart with myself and said that if It did take them, then It was either stupid or evil … and that my gut feeling was that it was too much of a coincidence, so yes.
And Bossman then chuckled and informed me it wasn’t the first item that had come across his desk of this nature involving Cuhrazy. He said he’d jump on the e-mail to shake the tree and we’d see what fell out. And within five minutes of his RE e-mail, It came and asked if I’d found my keys ... yet … to which I replied, “It’s not have I found them yet, but rather has the person who took them returned them yet. And the answer is no.” Because I was far to the right of "peeved" by then.
Bitchy? Yes. Justified? Perhaps not. I had kind of expected them to be back in my desk at some point, with no one fessing up (we discovered during a review of the security footage that my end of the hall is currently off-line, natch). But here's the deal: unless someone says, straight to my face, that they had the keys and can provide a plausible explanation, I will continue to believe in my bones that this nutjob took them and is either toying with me or is just plain mental. Neither very enticing prospects, eh?