Uncivil Servants

Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Below.

The Slasher is back.

I don’t know who it is, but this person creeps me out. Because I work  with them in my day job…or at least in the same building.

Attract Him Back

I’m not sure when it all started. Sometime after I’d left my current building back in the fall of 2002 for a position in the Acquisition Center of Excellence,  doing what was essentially  consulting/advisory  work.  For  the  next  2.5 years, I was shuttled from working in the General’s building  to a gargantuan  private  office  in the  building  next door and finally back to the General’s  staff in his building. But though my desk changed a lot and the position of my supervisor  changed even more often, I was rarely in my office unless I was doing research. Most of the time I was “in the field,” out visiting my different  teams and rolling up my sleeves to help out.

It was  during  those years  that  I noticed  something

creepy going on in the elevators when I visited several teams who reside in the building I work in now.

It  started  with  an  occasional   slash  across  an  announcement for a retirement party or a training session, a single sheet of paper tacked to the bulletin boards in the three elevators. This was more than drawing a beard and horns on the boss. After a while, no announcement  was safe, even for a lost puppy, a motivational  seminar, or a cholesterol clinic.

There were several times that I rode the elevator to the fourth floor to deliver something to a team and when I  rode  down  10  minutes  later  in  the  same  elevator,  a workshop       announcement            would                                         have                       been       freshly slashed.

I came back to my current building, to my new position, in June of 2005, doing essentially the same job as in the ACE office, but with a  slightly different focus. The work of The Slasher was a daily occurrence by then.

No matter how many people retired or which offices were moved  to  other buildings, someone who remained in the building was still a little too happy with a razor blade in small spaces. We never knew when getting on an elevator with a group of people or one lone person if we were in a tiny space with someone who loves blades more than I do. (For the record, I don’t care for razor blades and scalpels—I like ‘em big. Make mine a sword!)

But The Slasher couldn’t be caught. There were several times  when I was within a few minutes of being in the  same  elevator.  On  one  hand,  it  seemed  silly  that someone was defacing  and mutilating  paper  so readily. On the other hand, it was kind of creepy that someone among us might be truly dangerous.

Eventually, our security people put cameras in the elevators.  There  was  some  contention  over  whether  the cameras were  real or just there to scare people. I’m not sure, but The Slasher didn’t take any chances and the mutilation stopped.

Of course, the rest of the building residents hated the cameras. Always that Big Brother feel to being watched. Guys couldn’t pick their noses in private. Women couldn’t hike up their skirts and adjust their pantyhose without wondering if they had a voyeur.

I’m not sure why, but about two weeks ago, the cameras came down. Last week, The Slasher was back. Just another reason I don’t much care for working late.