The Cubicle Diaries VIII: 12 items or less

In my last blog post I mentioned the fact that one of my biggest pet peeves is when people bite their fork. Hate it. Can’t stand it. Moving on.

Another of my pet peeves is when someone goes into the “12 Items or Less,” the clearly marked “12 Items or Less,” lane in a grocery store... and they have more than 12 items.

Don't be facetious. You know I'm coming right back, Mr. Sign. Photo by Jake Miller / Gavel Media

Stupid sign with your oxymoronic messages.

The personal vendetta that I have against these numerically challenged evildoers stems from five long years spent working at Market Basket. I had to return there this week to pick up water for the office (I saw this sign on my way out and thought about how easy it would be to just keep driving and not come back for the rest of the day... and then how bad that would look. Stupid sign with your oxymoronic messages.) and was reminded of the existence of the most distasteful group of individuals on this side of the Mississippi. And I wasn’t even in Walmart.

I’m not talking about the people that have 15 or 20 things, because some people just can’t count and I feel more pity than I do anger.

I also don’t mind the cat women who head up to the register with their 200 cans of Friskies and Meow Mix – you could say I am once again overcome with more pity than I am anger. For that, the cashier can just scan one can and type in that there are 199 more. Then, the woman – whom I imagine grew out her facial hair to look more like her pet cats – can be quickly sent on her way so she doesn’t stink up the whole store. It’s as if she’s wearing a brand of deodorant spray specifically designed to attract cats and repel humans. Like this.


These people don’t bother me.


There’s always that one guy. That. One. Guy. The one who steps up to the express lane and starts unloading his cartful of groceries onto the belt and pretends to be oblivious to the fact that he is, at that very second, playing the part of the world’s largest dingleberry.

C’mon guy. I can see you and your thirty items. Don’t give me that look, you know all too well what I’m staring at.

*Cell phone rings, it’s my brother at work*

“Hey yeah, I’ll be leaving the store in about an hour, there’s a massive line. I might be on an episode of Extreme Hoarding right now.”

Passive aggressiveness is as much a character trait of mine as hats are to these llamas.


So I return, albeit slightly frazzled, to the office and Anna, who was showing a new employee around, greets me as I walk in.

“And that’s Jake, but you don’t have to remember that. He’s just a summer intern.”

Okay. Alright. Humor is one thing but blatant disregard for another human being’s feelings is something else entirely.

“Oh and by the way Jake, the printer’s broken again.”

If there’s one thing that I loathe more than Anna’s snippiness and Sal’s proclivity for lunch room dental reconstruction, it’s the office printer.


I sit fairly close to the printer so I can hear it go into R2D2 mode whenever it receives a printing order. When the paper jams, however, and it often does, it sounds like air raid sirens warning us that the Japanese are attacking again. And like last time, we didn’t get the telegram until it was too late. Or maybe that was what was sent to the printer to make it poop itself.

Either way, I’ve somehow been charged with the duty of fixing the printer whenever it breaks. Usually it requires getting on all fours and reaching in to take out Michelangelo’s first attempts at origami and getting my hand covered in ink.

The upside to being the only person that knows how the printer works is being the only person that knows how the printer works. I can use it as a bargaining tool whenever necessary.

So when Anna asked for my assistance regarding the printer, I replied, "Oh, I'm just the summer intern. I figured the Head of Invoicing Administration would know how to do that themselves."

It's the little things.

Photos and screenshots by Jake Miller/Gavel Media

This blog and all of its previous entries have been completely satirical in their intent. All names have been changed, but to be honest - half of the people you've come to know and love were completely made up. Also, much of my content was made up to entertain you wonderful readers because, let's be honest, who wants to read about me actually doing work at work.


School, major and year: Arts & Sciences, Economics and Environmental Geosciences, 2016

Hometown Billerica, MA
Favorite Beyonce lyric: "Everything you own in the box to the left"