Standing in the lobby of my building, delicious soy chai and cinnamon scone in hand, waiting for the elevator. Barely awake.

Elevator arrives, I step on, and swipe my badge (it’s a secure building) and press my floor button… and a cute blonde woman in a sharp gray pinstripe jacket and skirt walks in the front door, her high heels tap-tapping on the tile floor, her hair bouncing around her cheeks.

The elevator is closing so I stab at the “Door close” button – oops, not thinking – I fumble for the “Door open” button and, just as the doors close they reverse themselves and open again.

The blonde notices and smiles and steps on. “Thank you!” she says brightly.

“No problem,” I say. “Just bein’ friendly.”

“Well, it’s such a long ride to the top,” she purrs, “I hate to miss the bus.”

“Funny, I don’t see you as a bus rider,” I say. “I figure taxis and limos are more your speed.” And as I say this, she swipes her badge and punches for the top floor.

She swipes her Qwest badge.

And punches the button for the Qwest Executives’ floor.

She laughs, although, now, to me, her breath smells faintly of dead babies. “Take a taxi to work? That would be expensive!”

My blood feud with Qwest is amply documented elsewhere on these internets. A battle that I had, in fact, won but has left such a bitter taste in my mouth that I have sworn never to even acknowledge their existence.

Imagine my discomfort at being forced to work in a building that my employer shares with Qwest. And not just run-of-the-mill Qwest employees, poor damned souls, no; there are Qwest executives on the two floors directly above me. How they must have schemed and plotted after their defeat at my noble hands to gain the ultimate position of superiority over me. However, my purity is not tainted by their soiled presence in the belfry of my office building. No. My honor is enhanced that they would continue to poke at me from such a perch.

Until this day, however, I had not had to interact with one of them. And, in my moment of weakness prior to partaking of all that is good and soy and chai and cinnamon-y, I actually conversed on a friendly, almost flirt-y, level.

I hoped that my sudden disapproval didn’t show too baldly on my face; I just wanted to avoid any further contamination. “Right, spendy,” I murmurred, “money, heh. Right.” I then courteously studied the display of floor numbers, willing my floor to arrive as quickly as possible.

“Have a nice day!” she taunted me as I stepped off.

Wow. I feel… dirty. I need a shower.