I was starting to become the office joke – the woman obsessed with the idea a squirrel was in the ceiling above her office. “Maybe it’s a ghost,” one co-worker offered, snickering. “Are the voices talking to you again?” another one joked.
“Haha, maybe you’re just jealous because you have to work downstairs and I have a nice office with a view?” I countered, lamely.
Truth was, the squirrel was starting to drive me nuts . . . pun intended.
I was one of the first employees in the building every day, and I’d walk up the central flight of stairs to my second floor office. My space didn’t really have that great of a view, and only one very small window, but it was still one of the better offices in the building. I enjoyed tackling my stack of paperwork early, when the phones weren’t ringing and no one was giving me more work to do.
One morning, as I scooped my yogurt into my mouth while looking over a legal document, I heard a very quiet “pit-pat-pit-pat” right above my head. I put the yogurt down, and sat very quietly until I heard it again. “Pit-pat-pit-pat-scrape-scrabble.” Eyebrows raised, I guessed it was probably a squirrel, and I decided to inform the office manager when she arrived.
I let her know. She said she’d look into it. I thought that was the end of it.
The office manager didn’t want to look into it. Her budget was kind of tight, and calling someone to investigate, much less call someone for squirrel removal. Her option was to just pretend it wasn’t happening. After all, no one else was complaining, so maybe it’d just go away on its own.
At first, it was kind of amusing. I would be interrupted from my work with a scrabbling sound coming from above my head. But, as each day wore on, I stopped imagining a cute little creature and started grinding my teeth, thinking it must be doing this on purpose. How had I offended this little squirrel to justify its constant harassment?
My work definitely suffered, as did my office relations. I scowled a lot more at the office manager, who avoided my calls and deleted my emails, unread. I stopped coming in early, and I was one of the first employees to go home each day, just to get that stupid scrabbling out of my head.
When it got to the point where I was considering finding employment elsewhere, I finally hit upon the most genius idea. I convinced my boss I needed a larger space to house all my files, even if it meant giving up my coveted office. The owner’s son inherited my old second-floor office.
It’s likely squirrel removal happened shortly after that, but I really didn’t care. I finally had my peace and quiet back and could focus on my work again.