Wednesday, December 5, 2012


"What are you doing here so late?" a colleague poked her head in the door and asked.

I looked at the clock. It was 5:15. "I'm always here at this time," I told her.

We laughed a little ruefully, and she shrugged. Although we have worked together for 15 years or more very, closely at times, her job is Latino community outreach, and so her hours are not the same as mine-- early morning conferences, evening parenting classes, truth be told, we're actually a tag team of sorts.

"I don't want to go back to my office," she confided.

I nodded, sure of where this conversation was going. It seems like everyone in our building feels overworked. Nobody wants to go back to their desk.

"The last time I was there so late I saw a ghost," she finished.

Now she had my attention.

"What happened?" I asked.

"It was after a meeting, around 9 o'clock," she said. "I went to the office and it was dark."

Her space is in the main office complex, and it's usually closed down after 4 pm.

"I didn't bother to turn on the lights," she continued. "I just unlocked my door and put my papers down on my desk, but when I looked up I saw a ghost!"

She told me she backed out of the room and headed to the main hallway where she found a custodian who asked her what was wrong. When she told her tale, the custodian was not surprised. "I always turn on all the lights and open the doors when I clean in there," she said. "It's like someone's with me."

And then the custodian told of a time when she was working in that area and felt a light tap on her shoulder. When she turned around? Nobody was there, but the papers on the bulletin board behind her were fluttering in an invisible breeze.

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