It has been an eventful week at Woe Is Me, LLP, where all the woman are underpaid, all the men are Alpha, and all the disfunction is above average.
News Flash 1:
$100 in cash and a Metro Card were stolen from the wallet of I See London I See France, the youngest of the Firm’s receptionists.
Human Resource’s first response was to cite I See London’s hemline:
before firing off an infantilizing Mother Hen Life Lesson to staff via email:
While we may know and trust our co-workers, we need to be mindful that many strangers pass through our offices daily and nightly. The Firm is not liable for stolen property. Please adhere to the basic principles of security inside the office.
Word spread fast as to who did the robbery. The Firm’s most recent hire, The Skulking New Temp in IT. After this revelation, a paralegal admitted once seeing The Skulk rummaging through his desk. Other Metro Cards, it seemed, also had gone missing from women’s purses.
Shirt half in-half out, face a rictus of mid-yawn, wobbly-legged inside his untied Nikes, The Skulk was never, ever on time for work — I be late because of my Baby Mama, I once overheard him say, serendipitously, via speaker phone.
Each time you passed The Skulk in the corridor, he would extend his hand, deliver a limp-wristed-finger-graze, and mumble, “Hi. I’m the new tech,” even though he had passed by you five minutes earlier and said the same thing.
Keeping it under the radar, H.R. told The Skulk there was no more work for him. He left on his own and a richer man for it. The temp agency was not notified of the theft. Less messy that way.
News Flash 2:
Goodbyes being the order of the week, Fiery Magpie (of the estranged sibling duo, Fiery and Cool Magpie) abruptly gave two weeks notice. Because she and sister Cool are still not speaking, Cool was forced to join an assembly of staff-whisperers milling about the cubicle of Carvel Soft Serve to learn the details of what happened.
Reveling in all the attention, Carvel exploited her moment in the harsh glare of fluorescent light by audibly counting her blessings before the assembly, grateful that her mega bag of chips and noxious smelling hand lotion with the crusty spout had been overlooked by The Skulking Temp in IT.
But there was new business of the day to dish on, that of the impending departure of Fiery Magpie. Voices were lowered. Intense whispering abounded.
Dreadful Dreadlocks, however, weighed in vociferously, calling Fiery Magpie “mean.” Her formidable tone of voice, easily heard by me in the adjacent cubicle, conjured this image:
All fired up, Dreadful’s locks took on on a life of their own. Bad thoughts seeped through the parietal bone of her cranium, pierced the pores her scalp, and sent crackling electrodes of ire through the follicles and down into her dreads. She was lit like a telephone pole struck by lightning:
The staff-whispering that ensued after Dreadful’s voltaic outburst was of an exceedingly faint volume, rendering all further utterances audible only to staff-whisperers and canines, but not to me. Any further insults after “mean,” even though I was right next door, regrettably, did not reach my ears.
New Flash 3:
The Dark Force, our immediate supervisor, who had just opened the door to her office, thus releasing from her mental grip a fellow lateral supervisor/distributor of useless documents, namely:
Miss Joe Palooka Sand Bag (always ready to accuse; check up on people not at their desk like a prison warden; and, most important, reformat a Microsoft Word document at the drop of a hat, because that’s how much work she has to do)
The Dark force thundered over to our cubicle neighborhood like the 50-foot woman. The staff-whispers scattered, frightened as mice. The Dark Force summoned Carvel Soft Serve into her office. Once inside, door closed, she reamed her sugar cone. But good.
I learned this after the fact when Carvel Soft Service emerged from the office, a sloppy melting mess of goo, and staff-whispered the details to me.
The real “meanie” in the firm is The Dark Force. When not waxing pitch-black; or ducking behind the potted philodendron in her office, which she has positioned in front of her face; or fanning out Born Again pamphlets displayed on her desk, as if the Firm were a church (or subway station), she is nit-picking Carvel Soft Serve to death.
Maybe she should try reading her own pamphlets!
Her hunting down and hatred of Carvel Soft Serve reminds me of the scary shadows chasing Willy around the Bronx in The 1990s movie “Ghost”:
You can run but you cannot hide