Death Stalks The Cubicles

Someone is dying in my office. It's happening just feet from my door and I do nothing. A mans life is slowly slipping through his fingers and here I sit and wonder when the last breath of life will be drawn and the overwhelming din will finally cease. Boy, I sound like a pretty heartless prick. In my defense there is an office full of people and no one else is doing anything either.

What are you suppose to do about someone having a coughing fit in an otherwise quiet office? The occasional cough is accepted. We've all been there. A cough during a presentation, or while you're on a conference call. It happens, we're human. You cough, everyone stares at you, and then you move on with your day. If you're lucky you don't expel any bodily lubricants during the episode.

There is something quite unusual that happens when that single cough, that draws all the unwanted attention, turns into a full blown coughing fit. All the people who were just staring at you a minute ago pretend you don't exist. "Peter? Never heard of him? Annoying coughing sound? What are you talking about?" We just can't look at the offender now that it's a real emergency. So where is your fellow man when you need him?

I've heard it said the majority of choking deaths occur in a restaurant. Kinda seems obvious really, considering that for 95% of the time that you are in a restaurant you are putting things in your mouth. Hello! But if you also consider most restaurants you've been in, you will see how you should be pretty safe. You're ABSOLUTELY surrounded by people. Can you imagine dying while some idiot is sending back his meal for the fourth time because the steak isn't 'just' right.

"Hello. I'm St Peter. Welcome to heaven. did you die?"
"I chocked to death on a spicy meatball in the busy restaurant."
"No one even looked at you did they?"
"Yeah, what the hell?!"

At this point St. Peter starts searching for the proper transfer forms...

The office coughing fit has now ceased since I started typing this post. This means that Robert is probably dead. Or, it is possible, that he might be feeling better... I don't know. I went by his office just now and didn't see him. Which means he most likely keeled over and rolled under his desk. Sadly we won't notice for a while. He's a application programmer and rarely leaves is computer. He'll stay there till the janitor finally comes to empty the trash, sometime in 2012, or one day we will notice the smell of his rotting corpse. The latter is highly unlikely due the the constant odor of microwaved diet food wafting through the air system.

Still, at least the coughing stopped.


Steve Murphy said...

I'll remember not to attempt dying anywhere near you and expect help or at least the sympathy vote, as my dad always used to say "Do you want sympathy ? It's in the dictionary between shit and syphilis", that must be where I get my "caring" nature from.

Watch that white board Kludge !! ;)

kludge said...


Hello! Sounds like we had a similar rearing experience!

It's true about the cougher's though... I remember offering this woman a cough drop once and she was so embarrassed that someone was acknowledging her plight that she wouldn't take the Halls. It's a strange part of our culture here. (not sure if it's universal)

Mr. M said...

Coughing. That sounds like my life right about now... for the last two days. Not nearly as bad as my mother, though, who's been going into coughing fits for over a month now. After that long, all sympathy has been lost, and we just request that she quiet down.

kludge said...

Ah yes,

"cough cough"
"Just go on an die already!"

I conversation from my youth... :)