Maintenance-man Mark plodded into the office, his heavy boots leaving a trail of dried mud in their wake.
“Too damn hot in here,” he growled. “Who’s been messing with the thermostat?”
Sweet Sally stammered, “I don’t even know where the thermostat is to mess with it.”
She actually felt quite comfortable without her customary heavy sweater and scarf, a little warm maybe, but it beat the alternative of freezing. She thought and said these things with no small amount of resentment that her warm, little office mecca of 85 degrees was about to be adjusted in the wrong direction.
“Don’t be messing with it,” he barked at Sally.
Innocently, Sally looked at him thick glasses and magnified eyes and appeared very much like a concerned insect. At that moment, Sally’s coworker, Murph walked in and casually strolled to his desk, returning from an extended and unexcused break from which he hoped that Sally did not notice.
Nothing got past those big, buggy eyes, especially not extended and unexcused breaks.
In that moment, Maintenance-man Mark became judge and jury, he found the guilty party.
“You’ve been messing with the thermostat,” he declared sizing Murph up in his baggy khakis and wrinkled sweater.
Murph nonchalantly replied, “No way, man.”
Mark had his culprit, now for the confession.
“I wouldn’t touch that thing,” Murph continued unconvincingly.
“Yeah, well it was set for 87 degrees and it didn’t adjust itself. So one of you two did it.”
Mark stared and Murph, neither willing to concede.
“Well its back to 68 degrees, right where our building owner wants it. It better be that way when I come back.”
The next day, Sally walked into the office and sighed. She took off her coat and left her heavy sweater and scarf on. Too cold for comfort, like usual. However, by midmorning she took off her scarf as the office warmed and by lunch, her sweater was hanging over the back of her chair.
Murph was missing, like usual, while the temperature climbed one degree at a time. Sally didn’t notice as the room became hotter and hotter, like a frog placed in warm water slowly turned up to a boil, she didn’t think to jump out until she was cooked to a sacrificial fritter.