Short Story 12

Another Day At The Office




Honestly, I didn’t care much for the first season, so I didn’t bother with the second. Amazingly this fact did not reach other people and they, like the wonderful people that they were, would not shut up about it. I couldn’t understand their compulsion and they just ridiculed me for not seeing it through. I had no idea how to respond to this level of stupidity. Why would I force myself through something when what I was looking for was entertainment. These were probably the same people who couldn’t get themselves to read a book and yet somehow still managed to spend thirty-six hours watching something they hated for one good episode.


Their constant yammering irritated me. But, there was nothing that could be done. I preferred to just push myself through work and be over with it. The moment I clocked out I would leave them behind and forget about the whole thing. Today was Friday. Friday meant two days without people, specifically these people.


“Hey Tosh, did you see the newest episode?”


I did my best to smile at Laure, “Episode of what?”


“You know, of only the most popular show ever?”


“No Laure, I didn’t.”


“Wow, that’s actually very surprising, I always took you for someone so on trend.”


I wasn’t sure if that was supposed to be an insult or a concern, “Oh well, you discovered my little secret, I’m not.”


I continued correcting the document I was looking over, while Laure observed me far too closely.


“You know you really should give it some time, you might enjoy it. Maybe if you watched an episode or two…”


“I appreciate how important this is for you, however I already watched several episodes of the first season, and I really wasn’t that interested. So, I’m going to pass, but thanks.”


Heavy stiff blinks greeted me. A dead stare filled with vacant logic. I couldn’t understand why she was still here watching me.


“Don’t you have something you need to get done Laure? I mean, I’m trying to finish up here, so I have no unfinished business this weekend, how about you?”


A few more hard blinks, “I do have something.”


“Then why don’t you go and get that done?”


She left however reluctantly and at last I was able to continue. The errors eradicated I saved the document and sent a copy to my supervisor. Now there was nothing left to do, except wait for the clock to run out.


“Hey Tosh, I heard you haven’t watched the newest episodes.”


I turned to Richard, “What are you talking about?”


“You know that series.”


“What series?”


“Only the most popular show out there right now. Laure just told me you haven’t watched the newest episodes.”


“Okay, and how does that make you feel, Rich?”


“Your being sarcastic.” This he said with a good-tempered smile.


“What do you care if I watched the series or not?”


“Sorry?”


“Go away please.”


“Oh, come on, you can’t hate it that much.”


“To hate it I have to actually care about it. And I don’t, so I don’t hate it. I just see no point in watching something I’m not interested in. Now please, leave me alone about the stupid show.”


The look on his face was like I had just spontaneously spoken in a second language he didn’t understand. Frankly, I was done. I saw no point in waiting any longer. I had gotten all the work done required of me. Unless some freak thing happened, I wasn’t going to be needed. Despite the extra two hours left in my work week. I was going home.


Standing from my desk I went to our super’s snug little office. She stared at me struck dumb by my sudden entrance, giving me the look I had become accustomed to seeing today.

“I’ve finished my work for the week, I’m heading out.”


“Before you go, I would like to have a word with you.”


I stepped into her office flicking down the door stop so it wouldn’t close all the way. I wasn’t a big fan of being alone with authority figures, they always gave me a sense that they had some ulterior motive for catching you by yourself.


“Please have a seat.”


I did as she asked, sitting on one of the barely padded chairs across from her some assembly required desk.


“How long have you worked with us, Tosh?”


There was something uncomfortable about her using my first name, but I didn’t correct her for the time being, “Three years.”


“You would agree that you are accustomed to the appropriate behavior and social expectations of working with your colleagues, wouldn’t you?”


I couldn’t help an involuntary twitch, “Uh, yes.”


“So, you would say that you are providing a work environment that allows for free exchange.”


“I think so, I mean no one has ever complained to me.”


“A lot of people feel uncomfortable approaching people who they feel are “unreceptive” I am sure you can understand.”


“Sure.”


“Well, it has recently come to my attention that there is friction on the editing floor, and it appears that you have been rather hostile to your coworkers of late.”


“Excuse me?”


“I have had several complaints just today on this behavior.”


“What do you mean, what behavior?”


“It appears you have been unfortunately aggressive and also very subversive when it comes to your coworkers’ feelings.”


“We are talking about the dumb tv series, aren’t we?”


My boss held up her hand, “Please do not use derogatory language. And we are discussing a streaming series, not a television series. More so, of course, your lack of constructive interest toward your colleges interest.” I didn’t know what to say I was literally stuck dumb, “You must understand, in this modern age it can be difficult for someone to extend themselves and expose their interests. Ridicule doesn’t help, it is only through joint action and understand that we can grow into a tighter community.”


“So, are you telling me to listen to them or to watch it myself?”


“I am saying that you need to work on being more open for the benefits of a comfortable working environment. Extend yourself a little.”


“I see, and is this all you wanted to tell me?”


“Sure is.” Her smile was tart and leaned in an odd way.


“Okay then, do you mind me leaving early today?”


“No, not at all. Oh, I wanted to invite you to a viewing party later, we’re going to be getting together in the lunchroom after hours to watch a new episode.”


I almost hated myself for asking the question, “Of what?”


“Why only the most popular series, silly.”


I should have known that was the answer, “I’ll think about it.”


“Oh, you should, it would be a pity if you couldn’t make it.”


“Well, it’s always nice to know your wanted. Anyway, I’m going to leave now, I have to help someone move you know.”


When I left her office, I got my phone and went straight for the elevator. I had to get out of here. This whole thing was just a little too weird to stick around for. I pressed the down arrow tapping my foot on the flat office carpet wishing we were on the first floor.


The number on the panel above the doors blinked two. I watched it, counting seconds. It was insane. It took almost five minutes for it to go up a floor. I diverted going to the stairwell, but the door wouldn’t open.


I went back to the office grabbing the first person that came near me, “Aaron, do you know why the stairwell is locked?”


“I hear the stairs just gave out.”


I released his arm, “Gave out?”


“Yep, just fell straight down.”


“How is that possible, the stairs are made of concrete.”


“I know, right. But they did and now they have it locked so no one will hurt themselves.”


“Wait, just one more thing, do you know why the elevator isn’t working?”


“The elevator?”


“Yeah, I clicked the button but it’s taking over five minutes just to go up one level.”


“Oh that, I think Sharon said that was a new safety measure that was put in to prevent accidents. But don’t worry, it will be up in time to watch the newest episode.”


Panicking, I was getting to the point of being willing to jump out the window and might have if it weren’t for the fact that we were on the seventh floor. I couldn’t be stuck here. I couldn’t. I went back to the elevator. It hadn’t moved from the third floor.


What kind of crazy wormhole had I fallen into. I couldn’t breathe, the sounds of their voices chibbering behind me about their anticipation was insane making. No one was even getting anything done. I was the only one that wanted to leave.


“Are you having a hard time, Tosh?”


Sharon our Super was standing behind me, the smile she normally had looked menacing, I wouldn’t have known her from the woman I had spoken too no more than twenty minutes ago.


“The elevator is just being a little uncompromising.”


“I see, I can help you with that.” She walked over to the keypad with the two buttons, one for up and the other for down, “Tell me,” There was a hollowness to the way she spoke, “Are you sure you don’t want to stay and watch the new episode with us?”


“I would like too, but…”


“But?”


“I have to help a friend move.” I stuck to my story from earlier hoping if I was consistent, she would believe me.


“Of course, prior obligations.” She stuck a key in a cylindrical hole on the pad.


The elevator began to climb faster. I suddenly felt I could breathe again. It was such a nice thing to watch, the numbers climbing.


“We’ll miss you tonight.”


“Yeah, it’s a pity I can’t stay.”


“Can’t you call and reschedule?”


“Unfortunately, not. My friend has been planning this for a long time and I promised I’d help after work. But I’m sure I can catch up later.”


“I’m sure you can.”


The doors opened and I stepped inside feeling freedom was so close. I clicked the bottom floor on the options in the elevator smiling at Sharon. As the doors shut my heart began to palpitate, her eyes a cold stone against mine. With a hand and a muted smile, she waved goodbye. The doors shut, the lights flickered, and then…



End



Thank you so much for reading everyone!!



Prompt Sentence: Honestly, I didn’t care much for the first season, so I didn’t bother with the second.


Word Count: 1759


©DecemberKnight 2022


Special thanks to Ana Benet from Pexels for the use of the image!


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