OK, a note of honesty here. Compared to the horrible incidences I've been hearing and reading from (mostly contributed by Fat Fingers), my workplace is a veritable heaven. No a pinch of office politics can be found.
Why? Because we really work independently of each other in the laboratory. We may work in the same field but we don't do the same projects, so no cause for one dog to eat another and definitely nothing to fight about among us. And everyone is on each other's side because no one is on the side of the BB (Big Boss). This is an ordained fact and created by Natural Selection. Office politics occurs very frequently, but only when there's 1 person, just 1, who sucks up to the boss. Thankfully, we've already...ah...took care of the situation. (I never said nothing. There was never a Jerad in our Lab. Nope, you must have been mistaken. BTW, what's your name and where do you live?)
The BB: He is this Big (no, actually, quite small sized...), Wily (pretty much), Old (not that old..) Fox. Ok lah, I guess when you are as accomplished as he is in research, you can probably be able to think 1 thing, but say another all the time....
But he is still the only person I know, Prof/student/chicken rice Uncle/kopi auntie or otherwise, that actually thinks Science is 'sexy'. We, that means I, never really knew what he meant. I mean, how can Science, the study of logical and technical function of our World and the equivalent of a smack-in-the-face to Myths, Deities, Fairy Tales, Superheros and all things creative, be compared as something like SEX, that all exciting, hitherto unmatched taboo-ically, frenzy-causing, caveman-historical act of Nature, which against all scientific thinking (in-shoot-out), manages to possess unimaginably creative inputs and outputs. I mean, look at the porn industry, will you?
But enough about Sex and the BB, today we are going to discuss about the pantry. Yes, the pantry, the place to relax and take a breather, to hide from the boss behind a cup of Milo, the place to stash your cookies and of cos, the place to eat someone's stash of cookies. My lab has this tinny pantry that we all take our meals from. It spans 1 bench width and has a PC right beside the hot water flask, powerpoints overloaded with multi-way sockets.
Like an old garang guni's HDB corridor, it is a real serious fire hazard zone. As there are about 10 of us, so you can imagine the no. of cups, water bottles, bowls, cutlery, 3-in-1s, digestives, newspaper, magazines, containers that we have over there. Space can get really cramped.
Added to that, ever since CNY 2004 and 2005, we have been dumping unwanted CNY goodies onto the pantry table for desparadoes to tuck in during times of need. No kidding, we'll eat just about anything when
a) we are broke,
b) the canteen closed too early/on hoiliday and we are not.
c) the 1 yr-old cheese went bad in the fridge and we have to evacuate all the food from it and ourselves from the pantry
d) there's no more instant noodles to coax out of hiding underneath the bench anymore.
It worked great, having these CNY goodies, because when we're hungry, a look at the expired pineapple tarts melting on the plastic is enough to make you full. But still, it meant that the food kept increasing and the space kept decreasing.
So the pantry is in a glorious mess, with half opened packages of biscuits, unclaimed lunchboxes with mouldy food, flat kueh bangkit, finished cups noodles still filled with soup, dirty chopsticks and spoons lying beside unwashed cups. Yuk.
And I'm now sitting in the middle of it all, trying my best to ignore the leathery Love letters and avoid glancing at wads of tissues left on the table. While I'm typing away on the laptop, I'm also trying very hard to squint ferociously at any ants that dare to rummage through its circuitry...
Hmm...maybe later I'll clean the place up (which I usually do, with a few conscientious collegues of mine). But right now, I'm finger-dipping on my sweet precious laptop and am hynoptised by its ergonomically designed keyboard too much to stop. Also with a hot steaming cup of coffee beside me and ensconced in my imitation Polo Ralph sweater with a storm raging out there, I'm feelin' kinda warm and fuzzy and am enjoying myself.
The ant legions are coming....