The Office

Submitted by Karla Valdez to Contest #3 in response to: Write a story about an ordinary day in a person's life. Use their internal dialogue to make the story interesting.... view prompt

 Wednesday afternoon, an hour to quitting time and I was stuck having the most boring conversation with one of my co-workers. His name was Rick and he worked in the accounting department, that is all I knew about him and frankly, that is all I needed to know.

All I wanted was some water, that was all. I didn't want to start a conversation about televisions but good ol' Rick decided that he would choose what I wanted this afternoon.

"The funny thing about owning a TV that large is that everyone wants to watch everything on it."

Haha very funny Rick, please quit your job and start working as a comedian. 

"What can you do?" I shrug and start to inch away from Rick. Thankfully he doesn't try to continue things and for that I am grateful. I make it three feet away from Rick before I bump into Greta. Just what I needed after a stimulating conversation with Rick. 

Greta had a habit of showing you pictures of all the wonderful places she's visited in her youth. It was hard to let go of the past, but I don't think Greta knows that she's pushing 50. I think Greta is under the impression that her job here is to talk about things that nobody cares about.

"Are there more A1 forms?" Greta's question makes me let out a sigh of relief. Her question was work-related so it was safe to talk to her. I gladly answer her question and walk back to my desk. 56 more minutes of work and I could go home. 

I wasn't even sitting for five full minutes before someone came to my desk to ask about something stupid. At times it truly did feel like I was the most competent person around. I do too much work for what I get paid to deal with. 

I look up and I instantly cringe. 

Tom. It was freaking Tom. 

I don't think the man has heard of a toothbrush, I tried to keep anything I had to say to him to a minimum and if it could be turned into an email, then the conversation was done over email. There was no need to be exposed to people with bad hygiene, there simply was no need.

Tom decided to tell me a secret on this fine Wednesday afternoon. I knew this due to the fact that he was starting to kneel next to me. I tried to keep my chair turned away, but he wasn't having it. He turned my desk chair to face him and with his hot foul breath whispered, "can I ask you something?" 

I wasn't prepared for the smell this time and my eyes started to water. His breath smelled like what a rats nest would smell like if the rats were hoarding peeled onions, and the ranch dressing Tom used on his salad for lunch. 

"Sure," I answered, making sure to lean back a bit to inhale, not that it made the smell any better. 

"You talk to Kimberly right?" He asks, referring to one of our co-workers. I knew exactly where this was heading and all I could think was, God help poor Kimberly. 

"I do, yes." 

I hope you don't talk to Kimberly though, or anyone else for that matter. 

"Do you think she'll like me better with the suit jacket on or without it?" Tom then proceeds to remove his grey suit jacket to uncover the most ungodly armpit smell. It reeked so bad I started to cough, I couldn't help it. 

"Are you okay?" he asks. He leans in closer and places his hand on my shoulder, causing him to raise his arm again, making the smell become nauseating. 

"Yeah, you can put the jacket back on you look way better with it on." I manage to get out after my coughing fit comes to a halt. 

"Really?" he smiles. 

"Positive," I reply. 

"Thanks for the help," he says and starts to walk away but I stop him before he can get the chance. 

"Wait up, Tom."

He heads back and leans in even closer, "what?" I think I can feel my eyebrow hairs burning off due to the way his breath fanned over my face. 

"You know what Kimberly really likes," I lean further back when I see he leans forward in interest.  I try to continue without breathing in the air he's exhaling, "she likes guys who wear lots of cologne, and the taste of mint when she kisses someone." 

I knew it was probably mean, but I was doing Tom a favor. 

"Thanks so much," Tom wraps his hands around me and squeezes me in a hug. I think I might die. The smell was so foul a tear actually slipped out. 

He leaves and I'm finally able to take in a deep breath without having to worry about vomiting all over the floor. 

"That was mean," my desk mate Wendy tells me with a side-eye.

It wasn't mean, I was only doing my duty as an employee.

"Sorry," I tell her and try to finish my work in peace. With 30 minutes left on the clock, I remember I have some expense reports I need signed and rush to my boss' office. 

I knock softly and hear a come in. I walk in to find my boss looking out of his window holding a pair of binoculars. If I didn't know he liked to bird watch then I would have called him a creep. Even then, who birdwatches during work hours, who bird watches at all? 

"I need these expense reports signed," I say after closing the door behind me.

"Did you know that birds are technically dinosaurs?" He asks while walking over to take the expense report from me.

Yes, I did. Even my 5-year-old nephew knows that, weirdo.

"No, that's very interesting sir."

"It is," he nods along as he signs the sheet. He hands it back to me and glances at the clock. "You can tell people if they are done they can start heading out." 

I do just that and rush out of the office building as fast as humanly possible. I didn't want to stay here any longer than I was required to. 

This was usually the part where a normal person would say that they didn't hate their co-workers or their jobs, it was just difficult to deal with people. Well, I'm not a normal person.

I hate my job and most importantly fu—

THE END


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