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Friday, December 19, 2014

Saga of the Office Plant

Sorry for the lack of blogitude lately.  It's the time of year.  Silver bells and snowmen and walking in a winter wonderland and all that.  Actually, this being Dallas, the weather's been a lot like spring.  It only got seriously cold in the last few days and the odds of snow are kind of remote.  Dallas is persnicketty like that.  One year it snowed six inches on the first day of spring while on Christmas it was 76 degrees and sunny.  I blame global warming.  And our weather guy voted for Mitt Romney.

Speaking of great seismic shifts in the fabric of reality, and my boss told me the other day that he's giving me more work.  He said that's the problem with doing a great job.  You do a great job, they give you more work.  It's fine, though, really, except that one of the cases goes to trial in three weeks and nothing, and I do mean nothing, is ready.  I'm frantically paging through my project management books over here to design a critical path and a PERT diagram so as to get it all done. (Project management stuff is great.  I'm giving serious thought to going back to school long enough to pick up a certificate in PM.  It couldn't hurt and it might help a lot.  There's just always so much going on.)

To really get an idea of how the new job is going, though, you'd have to talk to my plant.

This plant--I call him Robert and he sings a mean baritone--and I have been together for a long time.  Since about 2007, which is a long time for a plant.  A vendor gave him to me and he's been on my desk ever since, getting bigger, shooting out little baby plants and just in general providing greenery.  I think he's some kind of ivy but I don't really know.  What I have figured out is that if you water him once a week and keep his leaves trimmed, he makes a fine, if quiet, companion.

Robert Plant has seen it all; late nights and early mornings, crazy bosses and great big ugly deadlines.  And lots of ordinary days.  So I'm kinda attached to him, if you hadn't figured that out.  When I finally got my new desk, which took three or so weeks (there's a lack of desk space at this job, but it's getting better). I brought him in from home and put him in charge of the front counter space.  Then Monday came and I took him down to water him.  And that's when all the trouble started.

Robert's planter doesn't have a drip catcher.  I'm not sure why; maybe it was flawed from the beginning.  My MO for watering him has been to put the whole plant in a trash can and water him there, so that any drips run into the trash can.  Great idea, but the first time out of the box at the new job it flat out didn't work.  I put the plant into the trash can, expecting it to catch on the rims, and instead it slid all the way down and got stuck.  Kind of like when a glass bowl that's just the right size accidentally slides into your garbage disposal and--yeah, you can't get a grip on it to get it back out because--yeah.  So Robert's stuck in the trash can and I'm stuck trying to pull out the lining in hopes of jarring him loose.  Instead I tear out the whole lining by accident.  The plant stays right where it is.

There's an obvious solution to this problem, isn't there?  Unlike the glass bowl stuck in the garbage disposal, you can turn the fricking thing upside down and dislodge the plant.  Right.  Except that the plant's full of high-grade expensive dirt and it's a nice carpet, as industrial carpets go.  So I hunted down a box, took everything out of it and tipped the garbage can over into the box.  Er.  It didn't work.  Well, I mean, the plant was dislodged, all right, but I flat out missed the box and ended up with high-grade expensive dirt all over the underside of my desk.


Okay, I cleaned it up as best I could, and that night the janitor came in, probably scratched his head a few times and then vacuumed the rest of it up.  (Hey, I could be a vampire.  I need the native soil of my homeland under my desk or else I shrivel up or something.  It's possible.  I do work nights sometimes.)  And that was my first day at my new desk with my plant.

See above re: project management.  Yeah, there's a certain bitter irony to the whole thing, isn't there?
Well, anyway, if I don't blog before then, happy everything, everybody.  And have a blessed New Year.  And if you bring a plant to work, make sure he has a drip catcher.  Maybe I'll get Robert one for Christmas.

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