Annihilating Andy

Submitted into Contest #48 in response to: Write a story that features a protagonist with an archnemesis.... view prompt



Many many many years ago, yes, I am that old, I started work as an Electronics Tester. I was fifteen and a bit and the only girl in a department of men. I had my rubber stamp, number 1062. It was my first job and I enjoyed every aspect of it, except one, more of that later. At first, because I was so young I could not be insured to work on the big stuff e.g.: The ISIS Gyro (Integrated Sight and Interceptor System) I think I'll be safe mentioning it now, although I did have to sign the Secrets Act when I first started. I got very excited, then I discovered the Tea Lady had also signed it. Not so much James Bond, more Brooke Bond!

I was delegated to checking the outer casings when the circuit boards had been soldered in place. I feel incredibly privileged that in the space of my working life I've witnessed so much innovation. It started with resistors, I then had to learn the Resistor Colour Code which identifies a value and tolerance of 4 band wire wound resistors. Then there were diodes, capacitors, etc. From there, when my children were grown I had a job testing Semiconductors with NEC. We come to the present time when the world itself is in the palm of our hands, truly amazing.

Back to the much younger me. This was my first job and I felt the full weight of that responsibility heavy on my shoulders. Simply put, I was given an ammeter, to spot problems with the wiring. One lead was clipped on to the metal of the casing. I pushed a Red button then touched the pointer on the other lead onto the circuit board. If all was well there would be no reaction. Should there be a short circuit the meter would slam over into the Red. Heady stuff!

My Dad worked with the same company and he had warned me about the practical jokes I could expect. Being sent to the storeroom for a long stand, or a left-handed screwdriver were favorites. My crowd excelled themselves though. I was given a chair at a long wooden bench, told to get on with it, and to be careful not to touch the metal casing while I was pressing the button on the meter. If I did I would get an electric shock, low amperage but still quite shocking. Do you see what I did there? As a small aside, I have been asked by my entire family not to use that phrase. It seems they spent a very long time trying to figure out what I did do. When they couldn't, they got so exasperated they called each other up to complain and to get help with the puzzle. It seems I have lost them a lot of time they won't ever get back.

So to my debut as a serious tester. I put the clip on the casing, pressed the button, and very carefully touched the pointer to the circuit board. Ouch! An electric shock coursed up my arm. Never daunted I pressed the button, contorted my arm up and over the casing and again, ouch. I put that casing to one side, attempting to be casual and not whimper. I grabbed another from the pile beside me and tried again. Ouch. I got another casing, then another, getting more painful. I looked along the bench to see four of my fellow workers helpless with laughter. Then I noticed a meter with the clip attached to the thick metal strip which edged the bench and one of the guys holding the pointer. You've got it, every time I pushed the button so did he, sending a current down the metal that I was leaning on. Devilish eh? Well, we all had a good laugh at that, way to get the newbie. Perhaps I should say they laughed while I plotted.

I found out who's evil plan it was, the chap was called Andy and he did not like me. From that very first day, he was on my case. He had no power over me but obviously, he enjoyed tormenting me. He checked up on when I clocked in, how long I took for my tea and lunch breaks. Then at every opportunity, he would shout "Stop wasting time chatting, try doing some work for a change" The last straw was one day when he walked past me, grabbed the two leads that I was holding, and yanked them out of my hand. These leads had two big metal hooks that attached them to a meter. When he pulled them one hooked into my skin between my thumb and first finger and ripped straight through the flesh. The pain was intense and there was blood everywhere. He just laughed and said "Stop wasting time chatting" then walked away. The other guys were disgusted and told me to report him. I smiled and said "No. I have a far better way of getting him back at his own game, leave it to me" I wouldn't say another word and I let a few days go by to make him think I was beaten.

At home, I had a costume jewelry ring that had a large cluster of stones around a bigger central one. I carefully took all the stones out, opened up the metal mounts, and I was all set for "Operation Annihilate Andy" After a week had passed I took the ring into work with me. Knowing that Andy would be watching me I talked to each of my fellow workers throughout the morning, careful to stay far enough away from Andy that he could not hear what I was saying. Each time I walked up to one of them I held out my hand and said "Take my hand and shake it, I will smile and seem to tell you something and all you have to do is look surprised, then laugh and say, quite loudly "You have got that spot on, how did you know?" I repeated this over twenty times and the guys told me Andy was almost apoplectic, he was getting red-faced and sweaty with temper. He shouted once more "Stop wasting company time, get back to work" Now was my moment.

I ambled closer to him and he said, as I knew he would "What are you wasting time doing now? Nothing to do with work I bet" I replied "I read an article about telling someone's personality just by shaking their hand. Do you want me to analyze you?" "Load of rubbish," says he predictably. Then, hook, line, and sinker, "Go on then, let's see how wrong you can be" By this time I had the ring on my middle finger, just the band showing, the metal mounts where hidden inside my palm. He grabbed my hand as tightly as he could, (we knew he would do that didn't we?) I grabbed his hand just as tightly and pulled free. It was nothing really, the metal mounts sank into his palm and scratched him a little. His high pitched shrieks were music to my ears though and the laughter from my workmates added to his embarrassment. He was so angry at this humiliation I thought he might lash out. He stepped up close to me and I could hear the others muttering behind me. They moved as one towards us. I put up a hand, looked right into the face of my archnemesis and said "I told you the test worked, your main personality trait is you are very bad-tempered" There was even more laughter at this and all Andy could do was walk away. Like any bully, once shown the error of his ways, he became almost bearable after that. If it looked at any time as though he was reverting to type all I had to do was put out my hand.

June 27, 2020 13:49

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


Khizra Aslam
09:09 Jul 09, 2020

A nice story especially how the revenge of bullying taken, was quite funny and interesting..I like it❤


Kate MacDonald
08:15 Jul 17, 2020

Thank you for your comment.


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply