Frank Moldstad is the only 50-something at a west coast digital marketing firm comprised almost entirely of 20-somethings. This is the ongoing story of his travails....
Our workplace is quiet as usual, except for the din of a perpetual construction project on the street below. Puncturing this calm, a blood-curdling scream sends everyone running to our boss Marci's office. She is standing on her desk.
"Get them out, get them out," she cries, stamping her foot.
Apparently, she has lost it. Or perhaps this is some new management exercise.
"You want us to leave?" asks Erin, one of my many Gen Y co-workers.
"No, no!" says Marci. "There are mice in here. Get them out. One was just on my desk, and I saw another one running across the floor."
We all look around under her desk and behind the curtains.
"Sorry, don't see any mice," says Ringo, leader of the search party.
"I'm calling the building management right now," Marci says, sitting on the edge of her desk. "We need an exterminator."
We start to file out of the office. Ringo, standing at the door, winks at my cube-mate Evelyn as we walk past. What a Lothario.
"It was him," whispers Evelyn as we walk down the hall with her friend Jane, who sits in the cubicle next to ours.
"Who?" I ask.
"Ringo. He's always pranking people," she says. "Didn't you see the look on his face?"
"I thought he was flirting with you," I say.
"He wouldn't dare," she says. "No, I'm sure he let the mice go. Probably didn't think they'd end up in Marci's office, though."
"Don't you know he was the one who put the out of order sign on the coffee maker last week?" Jane asks, marveling that I am so clueless.
"This time he's gotta pay," Evelyn says.
"That's just what I was thinking," agrees Jane. "C'mon."
They walk off like grim-faced mob enforcers. Maybe they're going to the HR person. I'd better stay out of it. Ringo never pranked me. But before settling into my chair, I check around the cube for mice.
After half an hour, Evelyn returns with a triumphant look.
"So what did you do?" I ask.
"We told him that he would probably be fired, or at least get in a lot of trouble, if we told Marci," she says. "But we said we wouldn't turn him in if he promised never ever to prank anybody in the office again. He said OK, and then he volunteered to do the metrics report for me every week. I hate doing that."
Not bad, I think. Millennial justice.
"We also glued his mouse to his mouse pad after he left," she adds.