I had worn my butterfly blouse. My son Sam said it was lovely, which meant he hated it, but I didn’t care. I had paired it with my best -I-do-not-give-a-duck- black heels and with a mug of earl grey tea, I was out the drive and on my way to work. Not one red light. Not one elderly pedestrian taking too long at a crossing. Not a single drop of gooey, black bird poo on my windscreen -even though I had parked it under a bird infested tree in front of my house.
It didn’t even bother me when Sandra took my parking spot, which caused me to brake heavily, propelled my tea from my cup holder, and it gushed hot all over my blouse. I hadn’t known my mouth could gape wide like in the movies. I wanted to tell her where to go but nothing came out. Just my gym towel that I left in my back seat, in my neglected gym bag- because who am I kidding- I don’t go to the gym. As I wiped my face and chest, Sandra gave me that polite, sorry but not sorry, one-handed clap wave. My black and white top was stained yellow. I took out my mum handbag, which was like a normal handbag but it had Dettol hand sanitizer, wet ones, extra hair ties, a hundred VIP cards that got the next product free but it’s always hidden at the bottom of my bag so I could never find it unless I didn’t need it- like now and, here we go, the holy grail-safety pins. I pinned my jacket over the stain and park-blocked Tim. I didn’t even know what his purpose was in the office and as I took out my shitty salad from my boot, I got an email. Mr Robinson requests that you meet him in his office, immediately.
Mr Robinson re-arranged blue coated pencils, which were all the same length. The clock ticked and murmuring of workers sounded as employees walked past his office.
I had found myself seated in front of him. My boss. Jesus he was scowling. Mr Robinson made an expression that I had only once seen on my mother, when she was forced to clean the sink’s drain or lift a sack of dirt. The way the man’s face creased and wrinkled together was like a gimmick from “Toys are Us”.
‘You know why I have called you Miss…?’
‘Jenkins, sir? And no,’ of course I do and I was damned pleased with myself. He scratched his balding hair.
‘It has come to our attention that there have been bags of coffee going missing. You do know the severity of misusing employee benefits?”
‘Yes,’ no? what- did he just say coffee?
‘So you admit it?’ he folded his arms.
‘You have been stealing the coffee bags haven’t you?’ his glasses looked like they were going to fall off his face but he stayed with his arms tucked. I think he looked mad?
‘Did you not call me in to talk about the promotion?’ I asked.
We had a stare off. His moustache wavered in an odd twitch and I could swear my head was tilted. 35 years and he’s asking me about coffee bags? Does he know that I exist, hell does he know my name? I was in my right mind to tell him I quit until Sandra walked in.
‘Carol is just outside to talk about, the insident, and you have a meeting in five’ she said and left.
‘Oh’ he said. And he baffled some excuse, no apologie, but when I heard about my raise. To be frank- he could have accused me of anything because I was bloody well whistling show tunes as I brushed past Sandra on my way out of his office.