Monday, March 11, 2013

Well, this one pretty much got away from me...

There's a dry erase board by one of the busiest walkway intersections at my old workplace.  This board could be used to relay useful information, but I think people usually just used it to write clever phrases or post cute pictures.  At one point, someone wrote the phrase "FREEDOM IS NOT FREE" on the board.  This phrase stayed their for quite some time.  Eventually, another coworker got cute with it and changed "NOT" to "FAT", which was pretty funny. Apparently it didn't amuse the original poster, because it was soon changed back to "NOT" and left alone for another couple of weeks.  Eventually the whole thing was erased and replaced with something work-related, and that particular message never came back. 

For some reason, that reminds me of the time I went into the restroom at the same former workplace and saw a slip of paper that said "You're looking handsome today!" taped to the mirrors by the sinks.  (I'm pretty sure this had something to do with a campaign the local Christian radio station was doing at the time)  I wish I could say that it made my day or lifted my spirits for even a brief moment, but really it just sort of puzzled me a bit. If it'd been a verse of encouragement, say, from scripture, or even the sort of positive-thinking saying you'd see on a motivational poster about looking for the best in each day, then I could have gone with that.  But a random slip of paper complimenting my appearance?  It just seemed sort of random.  Now if an actual coworker would have looked at me and then said I looked nice, I might be a bit flattered, or at least appreciative that they'd taken the time to say something nice to me.  But you, random slip of paper?  You can't even see me.  You don't know what you're talking about.  (I'm pretty sure I even said aloud, "How do you know?" after looking at the paper every time I washed my hands for a few days)  Yet no one took the papers down because whoever posted them had meant well and because nobody wanted to possibly offend whoever had gone to the trouble to try to brighten our days. 

And to this day, I should mention, I really do appreciate the intent of both of the above examples.

Anyway, back to the papers.  One day, my ornery side got the best of me.  I enlisted the help of a female coworker and posted new complements in both the men's and women's restrooms (after confirming that the ladies' room had also been rather complimentary the previous week or so).  Now anyone washing their hands after a successful trip to the loo were met not only with "You're looking handsome today!" but also with "Your penmanship is most favorable!" 

A couple days later, all the slips of paper were removed, and ever again were random compliments taped in public places at work. 

This is not what I originally sat down to blog about tonight.