For reasons unclear, my office at work attracts a variety of foul creatures – and I’m not referring to my students.
It all began last March, when I noticed strange squeaking noises emanating from my printer. I opened the paper tray to discover this:
Yes, folks, a mouse converted my printer into his vacation home.
A few months later, my coworkers and I were enjoying lunch together when one of them concernedly asked, pointing to a spot on the floor, “Uh, what is that?” You know what it was? Cat poop. There was cat poop on the floor. How in the hell it got there, I will never know. I immediately wigged out, seeking something, anything, that could purify the air particles around me. My supervisor, on the other hand, who after 40 years in education is apparently fazed by nothing, simply walked over, picked it up with a tissue, disposed of it in our trash can, and then continued eating.
And then came the Great Fruit Fly Invasion of 2012. This time not just my office was affected – the entire upper school was wholly infiltrated by fruit flies. I attribute this infestation to two causes in particular:
1. Children are disgusting. They discard their teenage shrapnel all over the school – items ranging from chunks of challah bread to underwear (yes, this actually happened) – inviting all sorts of insects and critters into our hallowed halls.
2. The head of school’s dog is a jerk. He’s developed a habit of entering our office after all of us have left and knocking over our trash bin in his quest for leftovers.
After appeals to the maintenance staff and the CFO to spray down the building or institute a rule banning students from eating food outside of the cafeteria went unanswered, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I spent an entire morning designing multiple types of homemade fruit fly death traps to spread around the office. My most effective trap – a glass jar filled with apple cider vinegar and a couple pumps of dish soap (to break the surface tension) – killed over 100 flies in 6 hours. My least effective trap – ersatz flypaper (honey spread on cardboard) – killed one. But every death counts in this war of attrition, y’all.
After 3 days, the flies were fully eradicated. My actions even provided a learning opportunity: a few students asked me for help in establishing their own fruit fly death traps. I thought my office space woes were over until I arrived at work this morning, only to discover that mosquito season has begun; I got bit within seconds of sitting at my desk. It never ends…