May 03, 2005

Not just once, not just once in a while, BUT EVERY DAY!

Sitting here typing and eating my lunch at my desk in order to get something done, and here he comes. Same routine every day.

Older fellow, built exactly like Dilbert, walks with a shambling sort of squirrelly civil-service gait, who comes down to our side of the building to use the toaster oven. It's on a table right outside my door, along with the microwave. He pops in two pieces of bread, and leaves. Since he does this every day, by now I should just get up and go turn it off before it burns, but I'm usually preoccupied with mundane goop and don't realize he's been by until I smell the tell-tale sign of singed bread. And every day, he comes back and acts surprised that his toast is burnt. He stands out there and mutters to no one and gets it and goes on back to his office.

I think one or the other of us needs to get out more.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at May 3, 2005 01:05 PM

I hate to break it to you, but that man is actually the wisest being in the Universe. He's just disguised as a civil servant, waiting for you to ask him why he burns his toast every day.

If you ever do, he will unlock for you the secrets of life, the universe, and everything, which is actually slightly MORE than 42.

Or else he'll tell you he's working on his own Moron project.

Posted by: skinnydan at May 3, 2005 03:35 PM

But, Dan, you don't understand. If I ask him a question, it will require talking to him. I've tried that before, and frankly, I'd rather have burnt toast shoved up my nose by a macaque than try it again.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at May 3, 2005 03:41 PM

ha, that's like the people that leave dirty dishes in the sink and think that the dish fairy will clean them up. And then they act suprised that the mug/dish/bowl/whatever is still right where they left it, and just as dirty.

Must be a trait of civil servantude...

Posted by: Leah at May 3, 2005 04:42 PM

He also can't figure out the connection between his turning on the toaster AND the microwave and the breaker tripping outside my office. "Hmm. The toaster's stopped. I wonder what happened WHAM WHAM to it?"

"Bill, you tripped the breaker, you're going to have to turn it back on again."

"Oh. The breaker?"

"Yes, Bill."

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at May 3, 2005 04:48 PM

(I forgot to mention he tends to hit things with his hand when they quit working. He tore up a color copier.)

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at May 3, 2005 04:49 PM

Have you considered that maybe he comes from a family of really bad cooks and that is the only way toast has ever been served? He might not like it but knows nothing else.

Posted by: jim at May 3, 2005 05:53 PM

When my father was a kid, he spent the nights at his Grandmother's house. Every morning, she burned the toast, then scraped it into the sink.

He was in High School before he learned that there was any other way to cook toast.

Terry, have you thought of adjusting the timer/rheostat or whatever that model of toaster oven has, so that it doesn't toast as hot/long?

Posted by: Eric at May 4, 2005 11:06 AM

Well, I know the "burnt toast just the way Mom cooked it" theory is attractive, but he gets mad when he burns it. He doesn't like burnt toast, yet seem entirely oblivious to the fact that the toaster refused to watch the bread carefully and stop toasting at the moment of perfect doneness, but rather just continues on its jolly inanimate object way, just burning and destroying all in its path.

It does have a little timer and temp dial.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at May 4, 2005 11:19 AM

Here's a thought - if you get the chance, once he's started it & walked away, go over to the toaster & move the dial up a little bit so it ends lighter than he sets it for.

If nothing else, he'll be confused by the lack of doneness when he gets back.

Posted by: skinnydan at May 4, 2005 01:27 PM

Hmmm. Then he'll think something's wrong with it and start pounding it with his big meatfists and break it. Thus sparing me from further burnt toast stench! Brilliant!

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at May 4, 2005 01:29 PM

Glad to help.

Posted by: skinnydan at May 4, 2005 02:28 PM

Sneak out and replace the bread with untoasted slices before he gets back.

If he leaves again while waiting for the second set to toast, do it again.

Hilarity ensues.

Repeat daily. Or until he springs for a nice new toaster.

(I can provide lots more ways to torture your office mates. For a small fee, of course.)

Posted by: James, LOPM, etc. at May 4, 2005 06:24 PM

Well, see, it IS a brand new toaster. The old one got to the point where the door wouldn't stay closed without the use of a large concrete paver sample to hold it in place.

And I really don't want to have any interaction with him. He's slightly askew.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at May 5, 2005 08:30 AM