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My mug is missing. At my new place of employment, we are not only able to enjoy previously unheard of luxuries as “adult lunch”; we are also privy to tea.  One of my coworkers keeps an electric kettle on a one of the deep window ledges in her classroom.  She has a drawer full of tea bags, and all the accessories you could need.  I was told to bring in a mug, so I could reap the full benefits of a morning tea break (with my animal cracker snack), so I brought in a big blue mug emblazoned with the name of a school I used to teach at, the kind of mug you can wrap both hands around on a cold morning, and could use for soup in a pinch.

I used it for tea exactly once.  I washed it afterwards, and left it on the drain board to dry.  The next day, when I went to go retrieve it, I noted that someone had graciously put it on a mug hook above the sink.  I let it be.  The next time I wanted tea, I went back to the sink, looked at the mug hooks, and it was gone.  I had assumed that my proprietary mug rights would be respected, that if I put up my mug, I, and I alone, would be the one to use it.  Even if there had been explicit instruction that all mugs were for communal use (please-wash-and-dry-when-done protocol), I would have expected it to return shortly.  Tea only stays hot for so long.  And then I would have promptly taken it back to my office, where I would have hid it in my desk for my own personal private specific exclusive use. 

I’ve taken to furtively glancing around classrooms I enter, scanning the shelves and desks for my mug.  Unfortunately, I’m only in 4 rooms besides my office, and so far – no luck.  I don’t want to send out an e-mail to the entire staff, since I think that would seem petty and stupid.  I was supposed to bring in a mug I didn’t care about, since an environment of children (no matter how old or disciplined) is always subject to running in the halls and impulsive sporadic movements.  I kind of don’t care too much about it, but I can’t get another one, and I want to have some tea!  I even brought in my own contribution to the (expressly communal) tea bag collection, and now I can’t use it!

Pray for my mug.  I won’t rest until it’s home safely.

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April 2020