Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Below.
The Slasher is back.
I donâ€™t know who it is, but this person creeps me out. Because I work Â with them in my day job…or at least in the same building.
Iâ€™m not sure when it all started. Sometime after Iâ€™d left my current building back in the fall of 2002 for a position in the Acquisition Center of Excellence, Â doing what was essentially Â consulting/advisory Â work. Â For Â the Â next Â 2.5 years, I was shuttled from working in the Generalâ€™s building Â to a gargantuan Â private Â office Â in theÂ building Â next door and finally back to the Generalâ€™s Â staff in his building. But though my desk changed a lot and the position of my supervisor Â changed even more often, I was rarely in my office unless I was doing research. Most of the time I was â€œin the field,â€ out visiting my different Â teams and rolling up my sleeves to help out.
It was Â during Â those years Â that Â I noticed Â something
creepy going on in the elevators when I visited several teams who reside in the building I work in now.
It Â started Â with Â an Â occasionalÂ Â slash Â across Â an Â 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 Â was safe, even for a lost puppy, a motivational Â 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 IÂ rode Â down Â 10 Â minutesÂ later Â in Â the Â same Â elevator, Â a workshop Â Â Â Â Â announcement Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â wouldÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â have Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â been Â Â Â Â Â 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 Â 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 Â to Â 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 donâ€™t care for razor blades and scalpelsâ€”I like â€˜em big. Make mine a sword!)
But The Slasher couldnâ€™t be caught. There were several times Â when I was within a few minutes of being in the Â same Â elevator. Â On Â one Â hand, Â it Â seemed Â silly Â that someone was defacing Â and mutilating Â paper Â 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. Â There Â was Â some Â contention Â over Â whether Â the cameras were Â real or just there to scare people. Iâ€™m not sure, but The Slasher didnâ€™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 couldnâ€™t pick their noses in private. Women couldnâ€™t hike up their skirts and adjust their pantyhose without wondering if they had a voyeur.
Iâ€™m not sure why, but about two weeks ago, the cameras came down. Last week, The Slasher was back. Just another reason I donâ€™t much care for working late.