The tiny coffee room on our floor at the office is barely as big as my walk-in closet. It's big enough for a fridge, a microwave, some cupboards and a sink. Daily offerings include prepackaged coffee packets to be used in a fancy packet-using coffee machine, cookies and biscuits of the Peek Frean variety (with the occasional Oreo or Chips Ahoy!), and about ten varieties of black English tea, for the benefit of my many British or British-schooled coworkers. One sample of the coffee left me in digestive agony for the rest of the day, and not being a huge fan of the teas offered, I brought a stash of herbal and green teas to keep in my desk for those days when I needed something warm. Which, in an office as heavily into air conditioning as this one seems to be, is often necessary.

The first time I went to drink my tea, I realized that I didn't have one of the office essentials - a mug. Luckily, like every single office I have worked in before this one, the cupboards in the coffee closet are stocked with the mugs of employees long since departed from the Firm, and perhaps even from this life. They are often adorned with the logos of radio stations or office supply stores, a grassy marsh with some cattails and a loon (these usually have a gold rim), kittens, or, my personal favorite, a clever one-liner such as "This isn't an office, it's hell with flourescent lighting" or "Second Place is the First Loser". Ah, office humour. Anyways, every single office has at least one cupboard full of these relics from times long since past. I know I've left mugs of my own in at least 4 different offices.

The day I went to drink my first cup of tea at my new desk in my new office, I scrounged around to the back of the cupboard to find the mug I would deem most unlikely to have an owner still working here (and using it). In the back corner, I found my winner - a large black mug with a Vegas hotel logo. I considered the risk, with the locals being pretty big on travel and Vegas being a pretty popular destination, but figured that its placement in the back corner, combined with the apparent dust on the bottom, meant that I was in the clear. I quickly assumed it as "mine" until I could get out and find a mug of my own.

Over the next few weeks, I got quite comfortable with the mug. I'd fill it a few times a day, it kept my tea quite hot, and it had a great handle on it. I was in no rush to go spend $15 on a new one, so I decided to start keeping the mug at my desk when I was done with it, to make sure it didn't go into the mug pool. This was obviously a premature decision.

One morning, I had just refilled with my second cup of steaming hot herbal tea. Most likely a lemon blend. I'd gotten up to grab something off the copier and returned to my desk to find a somewhat irate looking coworker standing there, holding the mug. She asked me where I had found the mug and I told her that it was in the very back corner of the cupboard, that I was new, and had assumed that it didn't belong to anyone. In no uncertain terms, I was informed that it did, in fact, have an owner (her), it was not, in fact, available for anyone to use, and that in the future I was to keep my hands off of her property. As if I could have known. She stormed off with my mug full of tea, dumped it out in the sink (a bit dramatically, I might add), and huffed her way down the hall back to wherever she works. She hasn't spoken to me since. I can see where she was coming from, but it really was an honest mistake. It's not like I stole it off of her desk.

That afternoon, I went to the local kitchen supply store and spent $13.95 on a beautiful tall, ivory colored English ceramic mug. Deliberately wanting to keep it out of the cupboard, I kept it behind my computer (where it was out of plain view) and it has outshone its Vegas counterpart in every imaginable way. So, imagine my disappointment when I reached behind my computer yesterday morning to find it gone. Vanished. I let it go for the day, thinking that perhaps the cleaners may have removed it from my desk, washed it and replaced it in the cupboard but cue this morning...still no sign of my mug. After having a strip torn off of me for showing bad office etiquette and taking a mug not rightfully mine, I decided that I wasn't going to go all Canadian and just let it go. I crafted and posted a 'MISSING' sign in the coffee closet, right on the cupboard, complete with a hand drawn depiction of my mug. I posted it anonymously, asking only that the mug be returned to the cupboard as soon as possible. It was funny, in an ominous kind of way.

Three hours have now gone by and there is still no sign of my mug. I've done the obligatory walk around the floor, checking out the desks, but so far...nothing.

I'm annoyed.


Heather said...

I bet that Vegas mug loving bitch has it.
You should check her desk and if you find it cause a SCENE, Vicky Todd style.
Make sure there is a lot of huffing involved.

Anonymous said...

Wait, all of that over a mug?
Wow. That's a little crazy. I hope you do find your missing mug soon. And if "Vegas Mug whackadoo" does have it, I really hope you take Heather's advice! :o)

Kristin. said...

I'm really more bothered by the idea that someone was fiddling around behind my computer, where the mug was, than I am about the loss of my mug itself.

Oh well. Two days and still nothing. I think it's officially lost forever. Next time I'm getting one with a kitten on it.

Anonymous said...

With the next mug, you should smear boogers all over the outside. No one will dare touch it. Maybe no even you.


Anonymous said...

a kitten? Then you run the risk of someone stealing it because it's cute. We'll find you one that says.."Canadian Girls kick ass!" no one will willingly touch that thing. Just remember to carry it with the text facing you when you leave to get tea so no one thinks your a moron! *lol*

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