Thankfully the I.T. department here is incompetent. After two hours of work in the morning I just spend the rest of my time fucking off. Monday’s are still tough though.
Oh god– today will never end, I thought slumping further into my seat. In the absence of anything productive to do within arm’s reach I planned out the rest of my day.
- Askreddit threads until lunch.
- Take a long lunch.
- Hide in the bathroom for an hour.
- Study up for my fantasy NBA draft coming up next weekend.
Two threads down and the thud thud thud of heavy footsteps approaching caught my ear. Either the obese manager was waddling down the hallway, or Rick was coming. Please not Rick, I thought closing my browser. I hunched over my keyboard, opened excel, and took a sip of watered-down coffee.
“Hey, Stephanie,” Rick’s wretched voice belted from behind me.
Okay, I thought, small talk time; greet Rick and ask about his kids and that’s it.
“Hey Rick,” I said spinning around in my chair. “How’s it going?”
“Oh, great” he yelled back at me. “Just great. Yeah, weekend was great, yeah. Yeah, Xander took first prize at his science fair, so that was good, yeah.” He paused. “Oh yeah, and I took the wife and kids rock climbing. You should have seen my youngest,” he dug into his pocket for his phone. “I took some pictures.” He said looking down.
I sighed internally. God Damnit.
Rick shoved his phone into my hands. “Yeah, take a look at little Maggie. She takes after her dad, she does.” I glanced up to see him grabbing his left ankle with his right hand.
“Yeah I think she’s going to start tae kwon do lessons soon. Can you believe that? She’s only seven. Yeah but I’ll be damned if she isn’t determined.” He laughed a reserved, ‘am-I-doing-this-right’, laugh.
“Wow,” I said feigning enthusiasm. “She is quite the little climber.”
Without warning, Rick’s pictures of his daughter gave way to some shirtless selfies of the blue steel check-me-out variety. Oh shit, I thought. I looked up and we made eye contact. He knew what I had stumbled on and I knew he knew. Neither of us broke.
“Here,” I handed his phone back.
“Yeah, so how was your weekend?” Rick asked continuing his stretching.
“It was… good.” I said avoiding eye contact.
“Oh yeah? What did you get up to? Anything fun?” He beamed at me.
“Just stayed home and binged Stranger Things with my boyfriend.”
“Stranger Things eh? What’s that? A show or something.” Rick chuckled.
“Yeah. It is. On Netflix.”
“Yeah, so you didn’t go outside at all? It was such a beautiful weekend. You gotta get out there and soak up that vitamin D.” He had moved on to squat stretches now.
I couldn’t hide the annoyance in my voice anymore. “Yeah well, I guess that’s what you choose to do on your weekends.” I spun around in my chair to face my computer. “Sometimes I like to go outside and sometimes I just want to watch T.V.”
Rick took the hint, probably. He didn’t stop talking though.
“Huh,” he reproached, “looks like someone has a case of the Monday’s…” he trailed off into his own coffee cup.
I spun around once again to mouth-smile at him, but mid-turn the office went dark. Rick’s smug face took on a red hue from the ‘EXIT’ sign.
This time a chorus of thuds sounded from both sides of my cubicle doorway.
“Everyone stay calm,” a gruff voice commanded. “We are here for your safety.”
I suddenly had to pee. The stampede continued to encroach on my cubicle. In the dim red light of the office, several figures dressed in full hazmat suits huddled behind Rick and forcibly removed him from the area.
“Ma’am remain seated,” one of the hazmat suits approached.
“Er,” I squirmed in my seat.
“Remain seated.” the suit repeated louder.
Another suit, this one holding a thermos, stepped forward from behind the head-honcho. He grabbed the Dilbert coffee mug on my desk and screamed “Get down” as he proceeded to throw it down the hallway. He produced another plain white mug from seemingly nowhere and set it down on my desk.
“Transferring stimulant now, sir.” the thermos jockey screamed as he poured the thermos into the mug. The first suit nodded in approval.
“Sign here,” the first suit had produced a clipboard and a pen and shoved them both in my face.
Speachless, I signed the document. The first suit turned back to the rest of the hazmat suits, made a hand signal and led the group to the exit.
“The fuck?” I muttered. I pinched myself to try and snap the surreality of the situation. Nothing. I looked over at the mug and raised it to my nose. Coffee? I tried a small sip.
“Damn,” I muttered again taking a longer swig. “That’s good.”
Rick and his heavy feet thudded past my cubicle again. “Heh. Mondays am I right?” he joked, and laughed, into his own mug.
(Banner image taken from the film Office Space. I do not own this image)