10-little words

Submitted for Contest #76 in response to: Write a story told exclusively through dialogue.... view prompt

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Jan 13, 2021

Contemporary Sad Drama

Got time to chat, Caro?

Jen… well… not really … mmm … what's up?

They're at it again!

What now?

Caro! Complaining that they don't know what's happening. Complaining that you chose favourites. Complaining. Complaining. Complaining.

Yup…

Don't you find this depressing?

Nothing is ever good enough for them. That's one of the reasons I chose you to be on this committee, to be receiving this training, so that YOU, as a peer, could facilitate some of these growing pains.

So, you're dumping this on me?

No, Jen, I'd suggest you bring Rachel into your confidence, she's your go-to person. Now, not to be rude, but, I have tonnes to do before I head outside for recess supervision. Bye.

***

Oh my God, do I have to do everything?

Such a ship of asses.

You complain that you don't know what's happening, so I'll share every god-damn bit of information. There!

***

Hey Jen, what'd you think of this?

Mmm…hmmm. Sure, whatever

I'm so pissed I'd like to stick a spiked d—— up their asses.

Huh. Caro?! 

***

Hi there, Caro, I'd suggest you keep your sexual fantasies between you and your hubby.

Oh, haha, Jen must have been chatting with you. Thanks so much for helping smooth over this latest brouhaha.

***

Hi Hannah, you okay? 

Isn't that rich! I know all about the d—— comment. Get out of my face!

Christ! Jen must have spilled the beans about my comment. Shit-shit-shit! I'm so done!

***

Hey there, Jen, I need to talk with you, in PRIVATE. 

Okay.

In PRIVATE!

Caro, I want her here as support. 

Are you okay?

No, not really. 

I'm figuring out that you got some support from the staff. Is that helping you feel a bit better?

Hmm … your words hurt.

Gosh, Jen, that was never my intention to hurt you.

Well, let's just say it hit a nerve. I did come this morning to talk with you about problems with my husband and you just pushed me out the door.

What do you mean — when you came this morning about staff complaints? I didn't know.

Usually, you're there for me…

So not today, and I'm sorry. 

I accept your apology.

***

Hi Laney, I have something to tell you. I privately said something, in confidence to Jen, which she has shared with the whole staff and their union. It'd be great if you could come here before the end of the day so we can meet with Jen to move forward.

Caro, certainly, I'll be there in about an hour. Take care.

***

Jen, I've spoken with Lainey and she's coming to meet with us before the end of the day. I've rearranged your timetable so that you are free from the class and supervision. 

Caro, I appreciate this.

***

Welcome, everyone. Caro called me inviting me here, this afternoon, to figure out what our next steps will be. 

I want to take full responsibility for my words, which caused Jen to feel uncomfortable. Although I did not intend for Jen to respond this way, I apologize yet again.

Caro, it's water under the bridge.

Jen, how wonderful of you. So, looking forward, with this initiative, let's pool our brains and figure out a path to success. 

Lainey, as you know, they do complain about almost everything and this isn't any different. It seems that Caro brings out this response in them. I've shared this with you many times before today.

Hmmm… yes…

So, Lainey, I'm thinking, after a chit-chat with Rachel, that she and I take more of the lead with the communications. Perhaps, the same information coming from us will be better received by them.

Wow! Jen, great thinking. I can certainly see why you chose Jen and Rachel, Caro. Good choice.

Jen, the bell will soon be ringing and unless you want to be ambushed with questions about why you look so sad with such reddened eyes, how about we get you to a private space, away from prying eyes?

Caro, as usual, you do take such good care of us.

F—- off!

***

Ah, Caro, sit yourself down, it's just us. So … quite the day! I need to know exactly, word-for-word, what you said to Jen, in what you thought was private,

Uhhh … I'm mortified … she's always, over the years, been a trusted confidante … well, in the public use kitchen, just she and I … I really don't actually recollect saying these words, but I now remember: 'I'd like to stick a spiked d—— in their asses.'

Mmm.

Am I going to lose my job? Get fired?

Ah, Caro. I doubt that. You must have been feeling very stressed …

I … I … can't do this any longer … nothing … nuh … nuh … nothing is ever okay, good enough, they fight me constantly. I give up. I surrender.

Now, now, Caro. I need you to look after yourself. That is what is most important at this time.

Well, Lainey, I do have a doctor's appointment for tomorrow morning. I've made all the of the arrangements, a lead teacher, my day plans for teaching, the day organized and covered for my admin duties. All covered, all …

I'm a bit worried about you, right now. I'll tell the Admin Team that too. I am on your side. 

Mmmm … uh .. ah … yup …

Give me a call tomorrow after your appointment. Okay?

Yup.

***

Welcome to this information-gathering meeting. I am Superintendent Bren, the chair for today. Hi Samid, nice to see you here for Caro. At the end of the table, hello to Superintendent Lainey. Finally, sitting beside me, from human resources is Karmen. So our goal today is to gather all of the necessary information to move forward with positivity and achievement. Caro, I understand, from a confab with Samid, that you have a few notes to share with our committee. The floor, so to speak, is yours.

Ooooh, mmmm … I would like to start with a public recognition that the words I chose to say, in supposed confidence, to a staff member, Jen, were utterly and completely unacceptable and not consistent with my professional record.

Over the past seven years, as Lainey can attest, and as she has supported, and before her, Dane, the staff, led by one particular person, have consistently, persistently, unceasingly opposed, reported, blocked, … uh … me … my initiative … again, again, again. Mmmm … huhuhuh …. Ohhh … 

Caro, that, is, let me be blunt, the new realities of ADMIN. It seems you are unable, not able, incapable …

Pardon me! I am not some newbie. I have been in this role for decades, at several, sites, yet now, in this one particular poisoned workplace …

As I said, before, I WAS INTERRUPTED … this, Caro, is the reality, albeit changed from when you first started in this role, this is NOW!

***

Good morning, Caro, Lainey, Karmen, and via the speaker, Samid. The Exec Council has met and decided on the follow-up to the APS incident involving Caro and Jen et al. I will turn over the meeting to Lainey, like Caro's immediate supervisor.

Mmmm … ah … Caro … I invite you to read along as I read aloud the letter to be included in your professional file …

Two days without pay … wow … I've read in the Blue Pages worse things and they didn't

So, that is what brings me here, today, to start counselling with you. It's a shit-storm!

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