Birdwatching at Work

My recent foray into birdwatching in Central Park failed for one reason alone. Trying to peer through binoculars while wearing glasses proved to be an impossibility. Given the rate of speed and unpredictable movement of birds in trees, I could not keep up with them, as earnestly as I tried.  I wear eyeglasses 15/7. Not while sleeping or showering, of course, but during every other minute of every day because  seeing the world clearly is important to me.

In Central Park, for the time being, I’m destined to watch robins, sparrows, bluejays, grackles (they hop right up to park dwellers looking for bits of their hamburger, pasta or bologna — and turn up their beaks at sunflower seeds and whole wheat bread and anything resembling bird food).

Not that there’s anything wrong with those birds. But it would be nice to add a few more colors to my palette.

However…after my failed attempt at birdwatching, a funny thing happened. I found myself attributing to my coworkers’ specific behaviors and traits of birds I’m familiar with. Call it overcompensating.

For example, one individual (who was once my enemy at work but is no longer as we’ve reached a weird sort in-denial detente — for survival purposes) is most definitely a Bowerbird.

Its cubicle is cluttered with cheesy souvenirs picked up from just about everywhere; gewgaws other gifted to him from vacationers; a tiny American flag waving from his monitor; empty souvenir coke cans from parties he’s attended; photos push-pinned to his cubicle wall after running them through the B/W printer. Its screensaver changes with each Hallmark-created holiday. He holds an “unveiling” on that particular day by summoning anyone who happens to be passing by to stop, gaze at and praise his cornball taste. For instance, his most recent desktop-wallpapered homage was to Iced Tea Day (June 11th).


Another who shall remain unnamed that inhabits the space behind the high cubicle wall backing my desk (I like to think of it as my very own “Berlin”), and who played the starring role in our office’s most recent dramatic meltdown (see blog post dated:  June 14th) is absolutely a Hummingbird.

A sugar freak, each morning, with a pop and a hiss, imbibes a can of Coke for breakfast. Then orders out for pancakes, eats them like a bird, never finishes anything, is as skinny as a twig. Beware if something about the breakfast order is slightly wrong, the restaurant is called. An obnoxious harangue into the receiver before slamming down the phone and ruining someone’s day. Shortly after that, it’s back to giggling at nothing in particular and hopping up and down out of the swivel chair. Either that, or a lot of speeding and buzzing around corners and narrowly crashing into others who are walking at a normal pace. Unable to sit still for more than 2 minutes.


Then there’s the Dodo Bird (extinct).

A bird seed muncher (mentioned in blog post dated: June 10th); hates change; knows everything; is bitter.

* * *

Lastly, the Red Hen.

Never leaves the chair; perennially on the phone. Rolls to any destination via the office chair. Never gets up, not even to retrieve papers queued in the printer. Waits and waits (all the time in the world) until someone else walks to the printer to get her own material; at which time the Red Hen extends her hand to accept the printed matter — but only after an insignificant other has separated the stack of paper into mine and yours


So what kind of bird does that make me? What else…

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3 Responses to “Birdwatching at Work”

  1. Thomas Jefferson Says:

    “Her hips meet her neck.”

  2. maryellenlavelle Says:

    Very astute and funny. You are a swan 🙂

  3. JC Says:

    I really love this. It is perfect in every way. Even though I thoroughly enjoy the lunchtime walks, and can’t wait for the next one, this is the “best of the best” for me. So brilliant. I can’t stop thinking about it!

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