Completing a Mischief-Birthday Sandwich: To B. E. or Not To B. E.?

I started the week with mischief and spent the middle looking at art.  I think I’ll complete the mischief-birthday sandwich by making a little annoying surprise for the human female.

She has received a box. This is not out of the ordinary.  The box is from a manufacturer she has ordered things from before, which is also not out of the ordinary.


There is only one problem with this box.

She has not ordered anything from this manufacturer recently.   Examining the box reveals that it is full of TSA petri plates.  The human female says TSA stands for “Tryptic Soy Agar, a goopy jelly which is used as a general growth medium for the isolation and cultivation of microorganisms.”

She is very, very sure she has not ordered TSA plates.  Ever.

But something about this mischief feels familiar.  Ehehehe!  Look at her!  I can practically see the gears turning in her tiny brain.  I can hear a tinny grinding noise and she’s screwing up her face.  Almost has it… Almost has it…

And now she remembers:  Last fall, I arranged for a box of plates just like these to show up unordered and unannounced.   After a lot of poking and calling and thinking, she figured out that that batch actually belonged to B. E., a colleague who works in an entirely different building.  The Vendor Who’s Responsible had simply pulled the human female’s name out of its hat as Someone in the Biology Department who often Orders Things and slapped it on the box.

A quick call to B. E. confirms that yes, ladies and gentlemen, at my behest, the Vendor Who’s Responsible has done it again.  Many of their products–such as this one–ship directly from the manufacturer, meaning that there’s one more step along the purchasing path where information can go astray.  The vendor, Hardly Diagnostic, is still laboring under the impression that the human female is the only person who ever orders from them.

So here comes B. E. now, to retrieve her parcel and reveal to the human female more details of my mischief.  First, since the wrong recipient was indicated on the box the last time B. E. made this order, this time she asked the Department’s purchasing officer to make the order for her, so that it would not look like a repeat order from B. E. and hopefully not go to the human female again.  Ha!  I have hexed the purchasing officer’s office as well, and Hardly Diagnostic just once again pulled a random Biology Department address from its collective bum and sent the box to the human female.

Because that worked so well last time. 

Second, the human female has noticed that the actual P.O. number is actually on the outside of the actual box.  B. E.  is telling the human female that she has ONE ongoing, open P. O. with the Vendor Who’s Responsible.  One. P.O.   As in “can just call them up and tell them to put any/everything on that one P.O. number.”

The human female is sitting here with her mouth hanging open, which, let me tell you, is NOT a good look for her.   She is imagining a future with just one lovely P.O. number for all her dealings with the Vendor Who’s Responsible, and now I am so torn.

On the one hand, I don’t want her to try to make the same arrangement with the V. W. R., because I really, really enjoy making her go through the whole process of getting a separate requisition number and P.O. number for every purchase.  But on the other hand, imagine all of the tangley mischief I could accomplish if I kept messing up her orders and every time she tried to straighten something out with the V. W. R., she had to refer to the same snafu’d, ever-more-convoluted mess of a mis-directed, mis-packed, mis-delivered, back-ordered, P.O. And all her scanned packing slips she sends to the bean counters would have the same P.O.  There’d be no way to match up invoices with orders, and she’d be a gibbering mess inside a fortnight…

Rats!  I hate it when I have two conflicting mischiefy ideas and can’t choose between them!

Oh, well.  I suppose I’ll let B. E. keep her one magic number and just keep having various vendors send all her stuff to the human female, and I’ll keep tinkering with the human female’s orders.

One doomed P.O. at a time.

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