I carry a backpack to work. Perhaps not the vision you have of a lawyer going to the office, but it’s really not out of place here. It may be the Pacific Northwest’s version of a briefcase. Or maybe it’s the fact I work for a government agency and things are tad bit more casual than if I worked in private practice. Or maybe it’s the fact that I work mostly with biologists and engineers and I fit in better when I accessorize my suit with a backpack.
The backpack certainly has utility. I need as many hands free as I can get when trying to wrangle two children into daycare, carry a purse, a lunch bag, and a cup of coffee, not to mention on Mondays, I’m also carrying the kids’ blankets and jackets. I have a couple of briefcases and they aren’t deep enough to hold much of anything – it’s so much easier to throw everything in a backpack.
Yesterday was only Tuesday so my hands were not quite as full as Mondays. Not to mention, I wasn’t coordinated enough to get my cup of coffee to go in the morning, so I had one less item to carry. After pulling into the parking garage under my building at work, I gathered the kids and my belongings. I muttered to myself at my forgetfulness to bring sunscreen for the kids (daycare asks that we apply it before they arrive, so I usually keep it in the van and apply it before we go in). We took the elevator up to the lobby saying hello to the security guards and smiling at the people walking through the lobby. I’m sure I even apologized to someone because G ran too quickly through the lobby to the entrance to his daycare.
As I dropped the kids off at daycare, I said my greetings to the teachers and parents we passed in the hall. When I got in the elevator only one other person, a co-worker/high level manager, was inside. We made some small talk on the way to our floor. As we got off, I know I said hello or good morning to at least one other person. I walked into the office, said hello to the secretary and then entered my own office. I slipped the backpack off my back on to the floor. To my utter amazement, I saw that the front pocket of my backpack was completely unzipped, with a flap hanging over revealing (among other things I’m sure) crumpled papers, E’s head band, and one stray nude thigh high nylon (you need a spare!). I gasped and laughed and I’m sure I turned beet red.
No one said anything to me?!?!?!