Battle / by laurel

I work in a warehouse. The building is at least a hundred years old and immensely cavernous; each room looks like the next and perfectly mirrors the floors above and below it. Up and down, side to side, bursting at the gills with employees.

My office is a carefully planned network of desk-islands, two in all, with six desks per island and two desks by the window. I think it's commonly understood that most office workers operate in a kind of Santa Claus reality when it comes to the cleanliness of their workspace: You leave at the end of the day as the light from the sun wanes to the west, and you arrive in the morning to a clean desk. How did this happen? Did the sweep come pummeling down the proverbial chimney during the night and leave just before dawn, in his wake the sparkling clean remnants of a job well done?

It's a mystery, really. Or at least it was, until I started working here and found myself keeping the same hours as the cleaning crew. Once a day they descend upon the office in a fury of orange-scented disinfectant, brooms and mops.

And then comes the Feather Duster.

It's a fluffy, overstuffed bundle of feathers, foo-fooing it's way over surfaces and kicking up mayhem (And anyone who has dusted anything since the 1900's knows that feathers do NOTHING except send more dust swirling through the air). It's a damned apparatus of evil.

I was visited by the Feather Duster today and this is the conversation that ensued via that magical program called iChat with one of my fellow dust-gruntled coworkers:

He: Feather duster, just spreadin round the dust.

Me: GET IT AWAY FROM ME.

He: What in the hell anyway? She's wearing a mask for a reason.

Me: She'd dusting the floor. With the feather duster.

(pause)

Me: SHE'S DUSTING THE FLOOR. Dusting. The floor. She might as well perform open heart surgery right now and dust out my insides because all that dust is going to find its way inside me anyway.

He: Screw that. She's carrying a freaking mop, but apparently the feather duster is her tool of choice.

Me: let's just get it all at once. Foot dirt, desk dirt, toxins and dust mites alike. Let's all let them tango in a dizzingly spectacular display of "So You Think You Can Pollute?" I'm just breathing it all in over here. Come on in, the party's just getting started in here in Club Lung.

He: Pathogen party.

Me: Oh yeah, it's a regular Who's Who of the mite world: hayfever, allergies, coughing, pollution, dirt...they're all here, every last one of them. Sipping cocktails and milling about.

He: Some are even having sex on the balcony from what I hear

Me: yeah well the floor dusting put it over the edge. Did I say small fête? I meant BIG OL' DRUNKEN ORGY.