I do not know what the deal is. There are three different custodians that work on our floor on different days of the week. None of them ever put the wastebasket back where they found it!
It’s not like I’m putting it in the wrong place, and they’re putting it back in its right place each time. Well, for one thing, it’s my damn office, so I would think I’d get to decide where the wastebasket belongs. But, even setting that aside, they never put it back in the same place twice!
This is a small office, not the sort of place that you could get lost in, or even lose a wastebasket in, Nonetheless, there are several places a wastebasket will fit: in front of the book shelf, to the right of my computer desk, to the left of my non-computer desk, in the corner between the two desks, or by the door.
I have observed that, after custodians have come and gone, wastebaskets might appear in any of these locations, but the most common place to find one is directly under one of the desks. You know, where normal, non-custodial persons would expect to put odd items such as feet and legs.
I once had the opportunity to observe this strange migration firsthand. I was working at the computer as the custodian came in. I greeted her with a cheerful “Good morning” and we made small talk about the weather. I watched her pick up the wastebasket from beside the desk, empty it, and then place it, not beside the desk–a location that was closer to her, incidentally–but instead under the other desk. What the hell is up with that? I was so confounded by this odd behavior that I wasn’t able to come up with a coherent comment before she had bid me adeiu and continued on her appointed rounds.
And, well, I feel like a bit of a heel complaining, since I guess I should be grateful that there’s somebody to come around each day and empty the wastebasket, but for heaven’s sake, why don’t they just put it back where they found it? It’s even more perplexing that, though I’ve had offices and workrooms at several different institutions, without observing the phenomenon of wastebaskets wandering about and seeking shelter under desks. Why is it that my current employer has retained not one, but three people who are so opposed to leaving the wastebasket in the same spot?