The Courtesy Tampon Klepto

Many moons ago, the Place of Lawyerly Things’ Building Services decided to
go all Tree Hugger and overnight there appeared eco-toilet paper, green-friendly hand soap and courtesy tampons. But the feminine hygiene products weren’t really part of the save the planet initiative. Rather, there’d been repeated requests by a Lawyerly Colleague to have a stash of feminine products available in case of Girly Emergency. She argued that management already provided static cling guard, hairspray, a curling iron and floral-infused lotion in the loungey areas outside the restrooms; tampons were a natural addition to the amenities. After Lawyerly Colleague waged an email campaign as strategic and aggressive as the invasion of Normandy, building services relented and The Ladies got tampons.

The availability of free tampons hardly blipped my radar. Instead of the generic, one-size-fits-all versions that were now available in the bathroom, I continued to be a self-supplier, opting to take advantage of the flow-customization possibilities found within a Tampax variety pack. The Place of Lawyerly Things’ selection came from the Costco of the Building Management World and it struck me as ill-advised to stick a knock-off into my mee maw. After all, those applicators are rough cut. But apparently, Lawyerly Colleague loved the free tampons. In fact, she was such a proponent of the complimentary feminine hygiene products, she asked her admin to appropriate some. Lawyerly Colleague’s intention was have her admin grab a bunch, take them home and stock her bathroom via the freebies. The admin understandably declined to become a tampon klepto, so Lawyerly Colleague turned to her back-up secretary, Wonder Admin.

Lawyerly Colleague (thrusting a brown lunch bag towards Wonder Admin): You can see the Ladies’ Room from your desk. When the janitorial staff restocks the tampons, I want you to fill this up and bring it to me. I need it no later than the 13th.

Wonder Admin (flabbergasted): Uh?

And so Wonder Admin acquired a new job duty. Each month, Lawyerly Colleague would provide a discrete container and Wonder Admin would grudgingly stockpile. She pilfered such large quantities that Lawyerly Colleague began to prepare for a Tampon Apocalypse. Twelve cycles worth were stored in her desk; she put a reserve in her car; and her filing cabinet had such a large hoard that a first-time ovulater would be supplied until menopause. This continued until the fateful day Lawyerly Colleague handed Wonder Admin two sacks to fill. Instead of monitoring the comings and goings of the janitorial staff, Wonder Admin complained to the person she was actually assigned to support and therefore actually responsible to: me.

Wonder Admin (in her Martyr Voice): I refuse to do this anymore. It’s gotta qualify as theft and she can’t make me engage in misdemeanor behavior, right?

Me (having zero idea what she was talking about): Uh?

And that’s when the story came out: Lawyerly Colleague’s Kotex Campaign, her demand that Wonder Admin stock her with contraband tampons, and that Lawyerly Colleague’s tween daughter had recently become A Woman and now needed her own feminine hygiene pipeline. Instead of tampons, Wonder Admin had been told to pillage the courtesy sanitary napkins and that demand had pushed her over the line from Grudging Participant to Oh-Hell-No Righteousness.

Wonder Admin (on a tirade of indignation): I have an MBA. I am a professional. My job description should not include looting industrial strength pads from the Women’s Bathroom. And if it has to, I want a raise.

Doing my best to champion my All Important, Life Saving Admin while navigating the Etiquette Minefield arising from Lawyerly Colleague’s position in the Lawyerly Pecking Order, I went to talk to the Secretarial Supervisor.

Me (having just recapped The Story Of The Office Bathroom Thievery in my best Lawyerly Manner): And finally, there are two less obvious but still significant reasons why this can’t continue. First, Lawyerly Colleague makes enough money to bail out both Dakotas and tampons were not in the bonus structure last time I checked.

Secretarial Supervisor (trying to suppress a chuckle): And the second?

Me (all Angry Feminist): It is shameful that in this day and age, with all our dry weave and ultra-thin technology, a 12-year-old girl is being forced to wear a waddle-inducing pad because her mom is the Tampon Scrooge.

And Wonder Admin never had to steal a courtesy tampon again.


18 Responses to “The Courtesy Tampon Klepto”

  1. PQ Says:

    Wow, really?

    We have courtesy pads & tampons in my bathroom but I don’t use them unless I absolutely have to.

    At my old job, the woman who had worked there before me had a major storage of tampons. In the filing cabinet. That discovery on my first day in front of my boss made us both just sort of cringe.

    Filing cabinet? Why people? Desk drawer is the way to go.

  2. deutlich Says:

    I am utterly flabbergasted that someone would actually DO THAT. GAH!

    I’ve got stories about this woman that would render you speechless.

  3. Maxie Says:

    OMG i am such a tampon stealer. I stole at least 15 from the spa that time I came to DC. LOL


  4. LiLu Says:

    In my best Al Pacino circa “Scent of a Woman”:

    HOO rah!

    I’m making you do a live imitation tonight.

  5. LiLu Says:

    @Deutlich Wait. You’re friends with Maxie right?

    Just checking.

  6. Angela Says:

    My sister had a boyfriend who worked at his father’s janitorial company. He pilfered a CASE or two (close to a thousand) of individually wrapped in cardboard tampons for my sister. She didn’t buy tampons for years. And neither did I thanks to that. Then there was that dollar store that was closing and everything was $.25. I think I bought 7 or so Boxes of boxes of tampons. And then a year later had a hyst and have since given them all away. That is what I get for buying in advance.

    A thousand tampons? And those didn’t last until 2068?

  7. lyssabits Says:

    Be a grown up and steal your own tampons, lady! Sheesh.

    LOL, clearly you don’t work around attorneys. The things they expect their admins to do…

  8. Pithy Says:

    my cooter demands only name brand tamps. Those courtesy tamps scare the poor thing.

    And seriously??? That’s like those reusable pads I’ve seen. No need, people, no need.

    This is 2009. Not 1950. Why do we still make those things?

  9. Lusty Reader Says:

    Wonder Admin sounds totally deserving of her name. I can’t believe she would put up with it for that long. Chuckled at this part: “ill-advised to stick a knock-off into my mee maw.”

    If there’s any part of your body that deserves name brand products, its your mee maw.


  10. Jennifer E. Says:

    Ok, a few extras, to make sure you have an emergency stash EVERYWHERE, is understandable. Who wants to stash name brand tampons in the back of a desk drawer, only to have them forgotten or ruined by a paperclip/ink pen mishap?

    But that… That is crossing a line. A cheap-feminine-product-tyrant line. Once her daughter figures out that not all pads/tampons are made equal, she’ll buy her own.

    Paperclip/ink mishap? Never thought of that. Mine just get squashed in my Gigantor Purse.

  11. Laina Says:

    Unbelievably tacky. Just another sign that money doesn’t buy class.

    Ha! You said it; I didn’t.

  12. ella Says:

    i’m still impressed that they agreed to supply the tampons to begin with.

    Never underestimate an attorney with an agenda.

  13. gilahi Says:

    FINALLY! An explanation of why legal services are so expensive.

    Yup. Those sanitary supplies add up.

  14. Herb Says:

    For some of us (read: men), this post is very educational.

    I do my best to inform.

  15. freckledk Says:

    They supply a courtesy curling iron?!? Really?!?

    You should petiton for some sort of, ahem, back massager. Or emergency tequila.

    Let me know how it works out.

    Emergency tequila? Wouldn’t last long in Lawyer Land.

  16. hopelessly devoted Says:

    love it!


  17. J.M. Tewkesbury Says:

    Classsssssssy. Really, really classy. People like that should be smacked. Hard. And often.

    But on the upside, she just cut her hair and it’s a MULLET. Love.

  18. Zandria Says:

    You are entirely, incredibly awesome. YAY for sticking up for the girl who has a Tampon Scrooge for a mom! (Oh, and also the Admin.) 🙂

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