Calm down, I told myself.
But my nerves flared. My power cord was missing. And my memory doesn’t betray me. The moment that I found a label maker in the office, I punched in my first and last name. Then I printed another label. I put one on my power cord and another on my chair. I was one of the first in the office to do it.
I call myself possessive. In my apartment and nearly any living situation that I share, I know what is rightfully mine. The borders of my room, my bed, my desk, my chair, my shoes, my clothes. It’s not that my sister has ever borrowed my clothes or the like. She knew (or perhaps never wanted) not to cross that boundary. But when the door was opened or left open out of my control, a screech would wail from my mouth. “Close the door!” I roared.
The door must remained closed, because I closed it. And it is always closed when I go to sleep. It must be that way, because it is.
Now, I have loosened up about doors.
Despite my inability to clean up my room, I do know where the important items lie. And that pertains to my desk.
So after a presentation, I came back to my desk in the office and found my power cord missing. After broadcasting video, my laptop’s battery was at 50%. “Has anyone seen my power cord?” I wailed, keeping the volume to a sensible note.
“No?” clueless colleagues said.
I whipped around and scoured each row of desks, breathing. I will find it. But I tried to limit my insanity. The presentation of insanity that was boiling at the surface. In this case, perhaps, it bothered me more not that it was company property, that it was personal property. My personal property that I had been reluctant to use for work purposes. But because of the extraordinary requests I made, I decided that was the price I had to pay.
But my power cord. Perhaps one of the visitors took it? Out of my desk? But how would they look to take it from the third desk from the wall in the middle row? Or was it a fellow colleague? I danced from conference room to conference room, staring at people. One smiled and waved at me, always a cheery one. Another glanced up from his serious conversation with the phone and sent a blank stare. I made a note to myself to burst into the room as he finished to check that power cord. Did it have my name on it?
Then I went from desk to desk, pulling out power cords, searching for my name. I took deep breaths, hoping my anger didn’t burst open in awkward words without fear of consequences. Then as I walked back and forth, a colleague who I had fenced with about bikes in the city, suddenly called my name in his usual singsong voice. “I took your power cord!” he said.
“Did you see how wild I was?” I said, incapable of containing my displeasure.
“No,” he said and led me to my power cord. “I took it because it was the only one lying on top of the desk. And I was going to your meeting, so I figured that you didn’t.”
I said nothing and returned to my desk. “I found it,” I said to nobody and plugged in my laptop.
The laptop loved the electrical juice.