It was only ten minutes before noon when our office was struck by a sudden and unexpected tragedy. A few of my coworkers are hovering over the walls of their cubes like an impromptu gathering of Jack-In-The-Boxes to discuss it:
"We're trapped." an owl faced woman sighs helplessly to the group.
"How long are we gonna be stuck up here? I'm getting hun-gry!" her friend snarls lighting off a chorus of discontent across the floor.
"Someone needs to do something and quick!"
"It's just not fair..."
"...yeah I mean what're we supposed to do? Sit here and starve!"
"I can't believe this is happening to us..."
"Hi. I need to place an order for pick-up. Uh-huh... yeah I need a Tuna Melt on wheat; lettuce, tomatos and pickles... ten minutes? Alright..." I hang up and see that the Jack-In-The-Cubes are eyeballing me all shock and awed like. "What?"
"You know the elevators broken right?" the Snarler says looking at me suspiciously.
"Yeah... figure i'll just take the stairs and walk down there ..."
"You're crazy!" one of them almost hisses.
"Never mind that... what I wanna know is how you gonna just do us like that?" The Snarler accuses and before I can say 'do you like what
?'"you're just gonna abandon your coworkers and let them go all hungry!"
"We're only four floors up." I say.
?" The Snarler says shooting me the stink eye.
"Well.. um... you could just walk down..."
"You're crazy" the Hisser practically shrieks in disbelief.
"I ain't walkin' all them stairs"
"That's too much like excercise"
Yep it's almost lunch and the two elevators have broken down. Now we're all apparently prisoners of the fourth floor. Some of my coworkers are on their cell phones pleading with delivery men to walk the four flights of stairs and cursing them out when they refuse. Others are resigned to dining from the vending machine and those of a more charitable disposition have decided to share their bagged lunches with their less fortunate coworkers.
I'm sitting here at my desk trying to figure out when my life went from an episode of The Office
to the latest spin off of Survivor
"Look there's only thing to do." the Snarler declares with the level headed authority of an Emergency Worker, "Rob... you have to get us all lunch."
"... it's the only way we can all eat."
"You can't just walk..."
"I told you he was crazy..."
"I'm not gonna spend my entire lunch break playing delivery boy..."
"So you're just gonna do us like that, huh? I mean I thought we were friends Rob."
They all stand there now quietly waiting for my answer.
45 minutes later and i'm climbing up the fire escape stairs, my arms stuffed with styrofoam cartons packed with various sandwiches, lunch specials, combo meals, plastic silverware, napkins and four dollar slices of chocolate cake. It occurs to me that i'm not on Survivor
as I speculated earlier. I'm actually on Lost
and i've been given the role of John Locke, the groups hunter-gatherer-survivalist-shaman.
'Oh well' I tell myself approaching the landing to the fourth floor, 'at least i'm not the Comic Relief for once...'