Saturday, June 11, 2005

Pardon Me, Your OCD is Showing

I'm working a straight 12 hours at the desk today, from 6a to 6p. Due to a rather heavy mail day yesterday I didn't have it all done by 2, when my shift ended. I let the next person know about the remaining mail and she seemed to understand what needed to happen; namely, two plastic crates of magazines and stray letters to be forwarded or returned.

This morning, when I relieved my fishing buddy A (who worked overnight from 6p to 6a), the mail still wasn't done.

Now, this isn't a really bid deal. H was probably too busy with checkins yesterday afternoon, and A probably just spaced it or was distracted by dreams of 15 inch rainbow trout snapping at his lures. Either way it gave me something to do this morning.

So I sat down to do the mail, a process which is actually kind of therapeutic: first you sort out the "presorted standards," which don't get forwarded and in fact get tossed into a recycling bin, then you look up names in little rolodexes, write out their forwarding address on the envelope/magazine, and finally cross out the little barcodes and the incorrect address with a permanent marker. If someone isn't in the rolodex their envelope goes in the Whiskey Tango Foxtrot box (WTF - get it?), which then gets investigated via UW's online student directory. If there's no listing there, it gets returned.

The best part for me is writing out their new address. Somehow I find weird satisfaction in writing tight, neat script on an envelope. Dunno why. Just do. The trick, though, is that I have to write that script with my Very Special Pen.

You see, Dearest Readership, I'm a little picky about certain things: coffee, the volume of my TV, and perhaps more than anything, my writing instruments. Weird, I know. Obsessive even. I know. But for some reason the "Uni-ball VISION EXACT Micro" (Micro, Micro, NOT, for Christ's sake, the Micro's sloppy and undignified first cousin the "Uni-ball VISION EXACT Fine") writes exactly like I want a pen to perform.

And this morning when I sat down to do mail and looked in my bag for my Very Special Pen, it wasn't there. Suddenly doing the mail seemed like a very problematic task indeed; writing addresses with a pedestrian ballpoint Bic was a thought too horrifying to contemplate. Oh sweet Jesus, tell me my pen is in here somewhere . . .

Sure enough, it was hiding beneath a few books. 45 minutes later, with the mail done, I'm sitting here with my iPod playing my Grateful Dead playlist and surfing the Net. 10 1/2 hours to go. . .

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know Paul, I actually felt bad when I didn't get the mail done before the end of my desk shift. Had I known you find it to be therapeutic, I would have just left the mail for you every Friday.

Kathryn

11:28 AM  
Blogger P said...

Good. You should have felt bad. Doing mail over at Orr sucked. Summer mail is an entirely different beast - no boxes to worry about, just tons of forwarding, etc.

10:24 AM  

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