Most adults do not bring water balloons to work. I can not think of a single job title except for “circus clown” in which a filled water balloon is necessary. Yet here I am, in the upstairs lab, cleaning the equipment with one eye on the window and the other on my childish arsenal.
I have known our new dishwasher, Ryan, for quite a while. Yet, as he is figuring out the quirks of his new job, he must figure out the quirks of his fellow employees. Bless him for trying. We are a very quirky group. The range of personalities would make a good cast for a sitcom.
He has discovered that we appreciate light banter. He jokes with us. We joke back. He teases us. We tease back. He accidentally squirts us in the face with the dish washing nozzle, I plan revenge.
I do actually believe that both episodes were accidents. He is still learning about how sensitive the equipment can be. When Ryan squirted me full in the face with the hose, he looked horrified. Once I recovered from the shock, I started laughing. I toweled off and shared the joke with the rest of the crew who were drawn in by the commotion.
We all had a good chuckle. He shook his head.
“I sure am sorry about that. It really was an accident. I am glad you have a good sense of humor.”
“A good sense of humor? Oh yeah, I’m a good sport. You do realize though, that you are a dead man? I will let you have time to say good bye to your loved ones.”
I was joking but I did overhear him phone his parents during his break. I guess my icy stare was having an effect.
Ryan was edgy for the rest of the day. When I went to the sink to deposit a beaker, he stepped off the fatigue mat with his hands in the air. An random noise from behind him made him jump. He paused warily before walking past the area I was working in. The suspense was killing him.
By the end of the day, Ryan was ready to rent an ulcer. This was, of course, part of the fun. I could not, in good conscience, continue torturing him. This is why I am upstairs with a water balloon waiting for him to park his car. The door to the break room, his usual entry point, is directly below me.
Most adults would have enjoyed the joke, shaken hands and let the matter drop. I have enjoyed the joke. We both have. Heck, every one at my work has. Now it is time to let it drop … I am talking about the water balloon here. Welcome to the crew, Ryan. Next time, bring a towel.