The ‘boys’ in the office

I get funny looks when I refer to them as “the boys.”
Forget, for a moment, that all three of my officemates are well past the age of majority.
They’re still the boys to me.
With the recent move of the Towne Crier staff into the Democrat’s main office here in Callicoon, I’ve been shifted into a new workspace.
With that has come a new set of office buddies – it’s now three guys and me in one big, refurbished room.
In almost 10 years of working on and off for the Democrat, it’s the first time I’ve been based somewhere other than the back room overlooking the Callicoon Creek.
But the old darkroom has been recast as clean, bright new digs with bigger desks, empty bulletin boards for me to fill and a whole new view.
And, of course, those officemates.
I’ve always shared my workspace with at least one guy; from the days when I worked as my dad’s secretary through my days in the newsroom of The Tidewater News down in Virginia.
But now I’m officially outnumbered.
Remember, it’s three guys and little ol’ me.
Three burping, pooting, belly-scratching guys… and, well, this good old country girl who at least has the good grace to say excuse me after a belch makes its escape.
Three guys who equate cold with the North Pole and a reasonable 68 degrees with the equator.
I’ve adapted with three layers, but these fleecy gloves sure do make it hard to type.
Not that the new department formations is without its benefits.
I now crank up the iTunes radio rock stations because I’ve got two on my musical side in the battle for the tunes to work by.
Our sports editor has no way to miss my puppy dog eyes as he makes his way past my desk and on to the grocery store, then back again with my caffeine injection bottled up by the folks at Pepsi-Cola.
And I’ve got a fountain of knowledge to draw from when I’m penning a story for the sports section.
But I’m still the only girl, and like the only daughter finds herself organizing the surprises for her brothers, I’ve gotten to learn a thing or two about doing it my way.
This season, it’s fallen to me to bring the holiday spirit to our little corner of Catskill-Delaware Publications.
Nary a twinkling light or candy cane was strung up by the boys who hold down the fort five days a week to my part-time two.
So off to Target for four stockings, a fake silver tree and the requisite ornaments.
I carefully selected the candies I don’t eat, protecting my waistline while abusing theirs.
The snowman appliqués of the stockings winking from their perches on the desks of my colleagues, the disco ball ornaments glinting from the miniature tree atop our pile of potential stories, I surveyed my work while the boys gorged themselves on their candy gifts.
Almost, but not quite, I decided.
I sat at my computer for a moment and quickly typed up a sign.
“Welcome,” it reads, “to the land of the misfit toys.”
And they heard me exclaim, as I dashed out of sight, “Merry Christmas to all, and to all… you better have something good for me next year!”

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