Losing the Lost Ladle

“Cry Havoc and let loose that lady’s ladle!”

I work in the Bishop Ranch Office Megaplex. It is an enchanted dominion of beige and white office buildings, stretching two miles through the heart of San Ramon, CA. Our own building has a variation on a theme of steel and glass and fountains with abstract steel sculpture. We have a suite on one of the five stories, my private office has a view of Mount Diablo, and any time I pace the walkways around the open inner court I can spy somewhere the lady assigned to keep our spotless shiny building clean, dusting a steel handrail or some other task critical to structural shinyness.

It is like something out of Star Trek. We even have aliens: smaller, browner Indians from somewhere deep inside Mexico, who are always outdoors, somewhere around the complex, planting flowers, fixing the fountains, replacing shrubbery with other shrubbery. I’m told that every few months the plants in the lobby are replaced with other plants. Some plants are plastic, some plants are organic. All the plants share a common destiny: they will only stay a while in our lobby, before moving on, probably to another lobby.

When I started here in November they had opened a new cafe in our local complex, which was replacing the cafe that had been there previously. This cafe is called the Lost Ladle, and I have bought many morning pastries and lunch time sandwiches there. Good quality, good value, and some friendly faces. I’m told that it was better than the cafe that was there before.

This morning my pastry was half price. Today is their last day. In a couple of weeks, a new cafe, the Cactus Cafe, will open in its place. Rotated out of the complex, some Alliterative Alternative, to keep my own race of pasty-faced desk jockeys from becoming too complacent or bored with our office environment. Or something like that. I suspect the space is contracted out and whomever is there is often underbid. Anyway, for better or for worse, it shakes up my view of my little planet.

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