It's official. My office is a Stephen King movie.
While some people might be misled by the elegant mahogany desks, gleaming floors and sparkling glass, the only real purpose those things serve anymore is to reflect my sickened expression each time a disease carrying varmint jumps out of my printer, leaps across my desk, dives off a ficus tree, or drops out of the copy machine.
We're a regular Mouse du Soleil around here. These creatures are acrobats, contortionists, and hurdlers. Each day, they spring, sprint, swing, and swoop in and then leave their feces breadcrumbs behind to remind us of their superiority (and to tell their friends where to find the donuts). I'm not sure how they avoid all the traps and still manage to get away with the bait but I suspect they have regular organized stealth training and watch Mission Impossible movies in the break room at night.
One mouse rode the lightening when he got caught in the coffee maker. The general opinion is that his death was an accident and he was going for the Starbucks' Caffe Verona but I think it was a botched suicide. Think about it. The chocolate in the Caffe Verona would have killed the mouse so he clearly had destructive tendencies due to self loathing and feelings of inadequacy.
Remember this? Well, my boots just aren't enough anymore. Sure, we've managed to kill a rodent here and there but our efforts have been about as effective as a little Dutch boy holding back a crumbling dam with his index finger. We're outnumbered. Plus, I think the mice are carrying knives now.
The infestation stems from an abandoned lease space next door that owners have only just obtained legal authority to empty. When the tenants, a dollar store of some kind, skipped out in the middle of the night to avoid paying rent, they left a rodent's paradise of cigarettes, snack foods and paper products.
The exterminators said that while my little electronic doohickies might help with common house mice, they wouldn't deter the Norway rats and roof rats which had chewed the dollar store from one end to the other over the past couple of months (now we know where they got the knives). The rats are searching for more resources and invading my building via pipes.
Get the picture now? These rats are jacked up on Cheetos, nicotine, and pantyliners and looking for a fix!
Since pepper spray, tazers, and shotguns are off limits in government buildings, my options are (a) file my first ever workers' comp claim based on the mental injury caused by extremely cruel and increasingly hostile working conditions or (b) make sure a Starbucks moves in next door.
Either, way, I had the exterminator go to the abandoned store and bring me a ping pong paddle.