The Shining

“These are the times that try men’s souls.” – Thomas Paine

Our fastidious and at times persnickety CEO, the Man from Glad, has office furniture that can only be described as luxurious. And, perhaps, buxom. His desk is massive, more or less the size of Iowa. The wood is solid colonial cherry. Everything about the desk is high end, including the four corner English dovetailed drawers, with heavy-duty full extension soft closing ball bearing glides and triple ply drawer bottoms. The surface is polished to a brilliant luster. It is the finish that catches the eye, glowing eerily at sunset, scintillating in the light of day. A small notepad and fountain pen provide the only breaks to an impressive, if somewhat bleak, expanse.

At 7:12 a.m. on a quiet Monday morning, Miss Pigeon, with an inflated sense of self-importance that comes from being the executive assistant to the CEO, opened the door to her boss’ office to put the mail on his desk. A high pitch shriek tore from the room, shredding the empty calm and echoing down the executive suite corridors. Miss Pigeon stood froze in place, stupefied, uncomprehending, entirely unnerved. She tried to form words, but only gurgling sounds emerged from her throat. Then she slumped to the floor.

A high pitched shriek tore from the room.

Someone had keyed that pristine desktop. Or perhaps skated across it, performing several figure 8s and at least one triple lutz. It was a disaster. Who would do such a thing? I am generally loath to tamper with perfection. Here someone obliterated it. Whatever the motivation, it was laced with pure meanness. I could see no way that the desk could be saved.

When one must, one can. Someone apparently and appropriately dialed 911 and a team of specially trained surgeons appeared promptly. They worked their magic behind closed doors, a strange humming making its way through the walls. We could only imagine what sorcery would be required to restore the desktop to its former splendor. But restore it they did. And splendid it was again.

There is a Spanish proverb that goes: from a fallen tree, we make kindling. Give Ms. Pigeon credit. That was not going to happen under her watch.