King Of The Office / 7 August 2003

A tiny key on the table catacorner’d from my cubicle, a table that was mercifully dragged away from immediately behind my cubicle which resulted in a sharp decrease in impromptu bull sessions and/or loud post-meeting backslaps, a tiny key with subtle teeth. I palm it and it gets caught in my lifeline. It heats up. During a conference call I make it appear between index and F.U. finger. I suddenly remember the bottom drawer in my filing cabinet, the one that’s been locked since my first day on the job. The key slides in soundlessly and my hands shake. But nothing doing, it won’t turn. “Son of a gun,” I say, and my cubiclemate turns and asks what the problem is now. I gesture helplessly at the filing cabinet and she says her bottom drawer has always been locked, too, and so is everyone else’s. “Liar!” I cry. I try the key in her drawer, and then in the neighbor’s, and then to the northwest and around the corner into extensions 7721, 7792, and 7092. Fruitless. But now my afternoon agenda is clear: fit the key to the lock. There are only 200 to try. And I know when that bottom drawer finally slides open, and when the fluorescent lights shine down upon 200 near-identical keys, I will then be King of the Office.

Joshua Green Allen

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