Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta office. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta office. Mostrar todas las entradas

jueves, 6 de octubre de 2016

Rejection

   Jean grabbed her purse and the bag where she kept her laptop. She walked very fast but tried not to look angry, disappointed or anything else. She just wanted to leave that place as fast as she could. It was very uncomfortable to stay there after she had been so insulted. As she arrived to the elevator, the door closed as someone was going down just before her. She whispered a course word, frustrated that she had to wait like an idiot in order to leave a please she definitely didn’t wanted to stay in or return ever again. She felt too humiliated.

 Out of nowhere, one of the guys that had been there during her interview walked up to her. He told her that they had been looking for her. A tiny shimmer of light appeared in her heart only to be crushed moments later when she realized the man had come to find her because she had left her pen in the table. What was even more annoying, was that he started talking about the results of the interview and telling her, once again, about all the flaws she had as a writer and so on. She wanted the Earth to swallow her, as his voice was very loud and everyone around seemed to be listening.

 She had to close her eyes and just try to relax by breathing slowly, feeling the air through her body. Ignoring the man was not easy but she could at least think of something else as he talked and talked and talked. The lady that managed the reception on that floor looked at them with surprise and obvious disgust. When Jean opened her eyes, the lady looked at her straight in the eye and shook her head, then looking at the guy. Jean only smiled, thankful that at least one person realized in what an uncomfortable situation she was.

 Finally, the elevator opened up and she stepped in without even acknowledging the man. For a moment, it seemed as though he was going to follow her into the elevator but fortunately he didn’t. He was even able to say anything else to Jean as she pressed hard the button that made the elevator close faster. She then pressed the number for the ground floor and started breathing normally again. She felt seriously awful and couldn’t believe she had to go home now in a bus that would take at least forty-five minutes. She didn’t felt good at all.

 Luckily, the bus didn’t take long to pass and she was able to find a free seat next to the window. She really wasn’t feeling ok and even though she was going to fall asleep, her brain wouldn’t let her. Not only because it may not be the best idea to fall asleep on a bus, but also because she had their words in her head. She could hear them once and again, trashing every single part of the work that she had done for them. Saying that they destroyed her isn’t enough to describe what went on in that conference room. A few tears rolled down her face.

 She had to clean herself with her hand because she had no tissues or anything like that. But it was clear to her that she had no intention to be the crazy woman in the bus that cries “for no reason”. So she tried to clean her tears off and attempted to think about something else. For example, the fact that she had left her family cat by herself. It wasn’t something that she did for the first time but it was something to think about. The cat was obviously ok but she had to create a problem in her mind in order to be able to resist the urge to cry.

 The bus took less time to her stop than it usually did. She hadn’t realized but she had left that office so early that there wasn’t even the normal traffic jam of peak time out in the streets. When she came down of the bus, she checked she had everything with her, including the pen she had forgotten in her pocket. Walking home took only five minutes. Her house had a cute garden that was brimming with light and color as she entered. It was as if nature was trying to cheer her up.

 And it did make her smile at least. When she entered the house, she called for her parents. Fortunately, no one answered back. They were normally there but she didn’t care where and why they had left, she only wanted to go to her run and be able to fall asleep and nap for while, all afternoon was possible. She dropped her purse and laptop bag on the ground and took off her shoes before lying down in bed. She faced upwards, towards the ceiling and, again, she could her all the criticism and the things all those men had said.

 She began to cry again but, this time, Jean didn’t clean her face or attempted to appear tougher than she looked. She didn’t need to do that, as that was her bedroom, her place in the world. There, she could do whatever she wanted and in that moment she wanted feel miserable for her. The words those men had said had been like daggers and they had stabbed her with them once and again and again. It was almost as if they had enjoyed themselves by doing so. To her, it was a very sick thing to do but she only reflected on that many days later.

 It had been really unnecessary to tell her all those things. They didn’t have to sink every single fiber of her soul by saying a lot of things that, even if part of the truth, weren’t as important in real life as they might have portrayed them. They essentially told her she had no idea how to write, that she couldn’t put three words together and that she made no sense whatsoever in what she had written for them. It was an essay about internal practices in very big companies.

 Jean had no idea of that. She had not been to business school or anything like it. She was just a normal girl trying to make her way into the world. She had thought that her English level was good enough for them but apparently it wasn’t. And of course it wasn’t because they had told her that she didn’t need to correct her essay for them and she didn’t. They lied to her because she would always do corrections but they had assured her they weren’t necessary. Besides, she had no idea of any business practices. She had a degree in creative writing, for God’s sakes!

 They had also told her that her way of portraying the business world was not very professional. And when she attempted to explain that she had no experience in the actual business world, as she had told the woman she had applied for the job too, they wouldn’t let her speak. They would only raise her voice and just keep talking. The guy that gave back her pen had been particularly nasty when saying that she shouldn’t have told them that she was actually good in English. At that moment she felt so enraged, she stood up and decided to leave.

After all, three men in one small conference room were attacking her. And it was all because of one miserable test they had set up in order to chose the perfect person for the freelance job they were looking for. They weren’t even going to take her into the company; they only wanted to see if she was available to do some texts for them once in a while. And, later that week, Jean realized the pay for one piece of writing was extremely mediocre compared to what people with no big company attached to them could pay her.

 It wasn’t the fact that they hadn’t hired her but the fact that they had been deceitful in a way and that they had been so rude in explaining to her why she hadn’t been selected. After all, it made no sense that they had invited her to their offices only to insult her. It would have been better to receive an email with two phrases: one thanking her for applying and the other rejecting her application. It would be more direct and less surrounded with bullshit. She realized those guys only wanted to feel superior somehow and they had found their guinea pig in her.


 Jean fell asleep as she was thinking all of this. She woke up to the voice of her mom telling her it was dinnertime. When her parents asked how it had all went down, she told her everything that had happened and that she was planning to move along. It was hard for her to be her age, living with her parents and she did wanted to earn some money for herself but she wasn’t going to stop looking for a perfect fit to her talents. That company wasn’t the only one in the world and she was certain that, sooner or later, someone would be interested in what she could do.

martes, 18 de agosto de 2015

Negligence

   As soon as the water touched her skin, the stains of dirt and blood began to fall to the shower floor and they would disappear down the drain. She was trembling a bit still, shocked by what had happened earlier. She tried to clean herself with soap, distracting her from what she had in mind, but she just couldn’t stop thinking about it. She made the flow of water to run faster, for more water to fall on her. Her unconscious wanted to drown her, feeling that would be the only way they could keep on living. But of course, she didn’t drown in her shower. She just stayed there for several minutes, as if she needed to clean more from her body that only the dirt and the blood. When she finally closed the water, she stayed there against the wall, incapable of crying, incapable of feeling anything.

 The rest of that day she spent it home. She had no need or wanted to parade herself around town, not after what had happened. The images of what had happened invaded her mind every few seconds, and she wondered if she would ever feel safe and sane again. She lay in her bed hours and hours, without eating or drinking anything. Her phone rang several times as well as her cellphone, but she just didn’t answer. She knew it was office related and she hated to be disturbed by anything related to it on weekends, even in better days for her. Or maybe it was her parents that had the tradition of calling her every Sunday afternoon because they knew it was the slowest and most boring day for her in the week.

 When the phone rang again, she was tempted to grab it but finally decided against it. Talking may have resulted in awkward reactions, maybe then she would be able to cry or scream and it just wouldn’t be appropriate, as too many things would have to be explained. Instead, she decided to head to the kitchen and have some water. She felt dry and a bit dizzy but knew that she couldn’t hold any food. She went to the bathroom and tried to vomit but that was a failure. She just returned to bed and lay there for the rest of the day, in silence, without a single person to help her understand what was going to happen to her. Because the truth was that she was scared for her life, as she felt the every single thing had changed.

 She hated to admit it, but she did feel different. Later that day, she went to the bathroom and spent several minutes looking at her reflection in the mirror. She moved, looking at her every feature. And as much as she thought that the change had been physical too, she had no way to prove that. She looked exactly the same, maybe a little but paler but no other difference besides that. The poor woman passed her hands over her face several times, as if trying to wake up fro ma bad dream, but she didn’t wake up. Instead, she decided to go back asleep, something that scared her immensely as she had no wish of having nightmares.

 The following day, she woke up an hour early, with big bags under her eyes. She showered, put on her work clothes and then had a big breakfast with toast, scrambled eggs, a sausage and some orange juice. She was starving from the day before. It was then that she realized that wanting to be dead didn’t help anyone at all, less of all her. She had to keep on going and just live like any other person. What she had done had been definitive, but s many had done it before her and the world was not going to end because of it. As she had breakfast, she watched the news on her TV but nothing interesting had happened the day before or that morning, at least as far as the televisions news world was concerned. When finished, she just grabbed her coat and left.

 Some forty-five minutes later, she was arriving at her desk, leaving her coat on a hanger on one of the sides of her cubicle. The morning was cold and everyone had decided to put on their coats back on, even going as far as putting on scarves or gloves. The morning went on without a single accident or incident. There was always someone complaining about the low amount of paper in the copy machine or someone else commenting on the weather, but that day everyone seemed to be too cold to even speak as much as they normally did. When she decided to grab a cup of coffee, as she always did, she realized that something was happening on the ground floor. She could see people gathering from the twenty-second floor, where she was standing.

 Then, a couple of police patrols arrived and finally an ambulance. Maybe someone had fainted or had been… Yes, one of the paramedics rushed out of the ambulance as soon as his vehicle had stopped. The police were putting the yellow ribbon around the place to stop the people from coming in. In the coffee room, other people had arrived and were looking exactly at what she was looking at. One of them finally said “Oh my god, it’s a body!” and she realized that was it. There was a person down there, probably dead. Maybe he or she had jumped from one of the many floors of the tower or maybe something else had happened. Any way, their supervisor came and asked them all to go back to their desks.

 At lunch, everyone wanted to know what had happened and the most skilled people with gossip knew everything about it within a couple of minutes of being down there talking to other people that loved to gossip. Apparently, the one who had jumped had been a woman, by the name of Marcela Jones. Marcela worked in the twentieth floor, in a company that had something to do with electronics. The point was, she had just run for the window and fell to her death. So it was a suicide and as our woman heard this, she felt sick to her stomach and had to run to the toiled. For the rest of the workday, she felt very sick.

 She felt better once the day was over and she was on a bus home. But maybe the word wasn’t better, but less likely to do the same thing that Marcela had done. It was crazy but she had seen that woman’s face once that week and it hadn’t been at work. It had been in another place, one that she was trying to forget but that kept coming back to her mind. Worried by these visions, she remained in her room all night, again without eating. She was thinking about what had happened today and what had happened over the weekend. The two had to be related, especially after she had seen the news and realized the state of Marcela’s body. She felt like shit, thinking and thinking without really achieving anything. She felt guilty and sick to her stomach.

 But by the following morning, she knew what she had to do and it was maybe the toughest decision she had ever taken. Instead of leaving for her work, she decided to go to the nearest police station. There, she asked for someone to listen to her testimony, as she wanted to confess a crime she had committed. She felt awful, waiting for an agent to come to talk to her. She gone to the police station by her work, as they knew more about Marcela’s death that anyone else. Finally, a detective asked her to follow him to an interrogation room and then he asked if she could state her name and profession for the record.

 Her name was Linda Bloom and she worked as business consultant in the biggest firm in the city. She wanted to confess that on the night of the previous Saturday, she had assassinated a man, whom she blamed for the suicide of Marcela Jones. The detective was surprised but the first thing that he asked was about the relation between her actions and Marcela. Linda explained that Stuart Carter, the man she had killed, had brutally assaulted several women for the last few months in the city. She knew this because she had managed to escape and, after killing him with a hammer, she had seen some pictures in his house, from where she recognized Marcela’s face. The officer asked her for the address of the house where she had killed Carter and left her there.

 Hours later he came back, and she was officially arrested. They had found the body where she had told them that they would find it and also the albums of pictures the man took of the women he had apparently assaulted. They had no proof of this just then, but with time they would find out that the man was a monster and that the only person that ever stood in his way was Linda. She had been able to grab the hammer after she escaped his “studio” and just hit him in the head with it several times. She did it until he stopped moving and then just ran out, covered in blood and filth from the place they were in.


 Linda had to wait for a trial until all the evidence was gathered and, by the time they decided to convict her, at least six months had already passed. Although it was revealed that she was going to be the man’s last victim, she had failed to report the murder sooner and had neglected to tell the police about the pictures she had seen, which could have prevented Marcela’s death. Linda was condemned to five years in prison and that time was enough to make her loose all her will to live. She died behind bars only a year after entering the penitentiary.

domingo, 15 de marzo de 2015

Work on a Saturday

   As fast as I could, I grabbed a pair of socks and put them on fast. The guy kept ringing and ringing, as if it was possible I hadn’t heard the doorbell the last one hundred times or that I had just fallen asleep after speaking with the doorman about letting him in. Some people were just very rude and I had no idea this guy could be this rude. Finally, I went to the door and opened.

 He barely looked at me as he entered my place, sat on the sofa in front of the TV and, for no apparent reason, grabbed the remote and turned it on. Confused for a few seconds, I decided to stand in front of him and ask what he was doing here. It was then that I noticed he had brought a backpack with him, which he had dropped on the floor.

 The man, whose name was Alex, told me our boss had asked him to fix the work we had done back at the office. As the work had been done by the both of us, and only I had some of the information, he decided it was a better idea to come all the way to my home and finish the work together. In any case, he didn’t seem that interested to have any work done as he kept changing channels and moved on the sofa to find the best spot possible. As the natural nice person that I am, I decided to offer him what little I had in the kitchen (orange juice and wafers).

 But I put the plate on my dining table, a small round surface from which he could watch TV but also pay attention to whatever it was that I had to do. After great insistence and with food as my ally, Alex finally got up from the sofa only to sit down heavily on one of the dining table’s chairs. He grabbed his backpack, took out his laptop from there and asked me the password of my Wi-Fi network.

 To be honest I was going to tell him we could do it all from my computer, as I thought the internet might prove to be another distraction but then he told me he needed to send me the email with all the details about the information we had to change and some other things that we had to add. Finally I gave up and gave him the password. To my surprise, he was fast to send me the email and in fifteen minutes we were already in full work mode.

 The work we had to do was long and it would take time to get all the information necessary to finish it thoroughly. As we advanced, I realized I seemed more distracted than he was at the start of the session. I mean, I was entering all the wrong numbers; even my grammar seemed to be getting worse by the minute. And the truth is that I was distracted. After all, it was Saturday evening and I had planned to stay at home, order takeout and watch at least three movies on a row. Working with that guy wasn’t on my mind.

  Alex and I had never really bonded at the office. To be honest, we had only spoken to each other about work related subjects and for an hour straight, at most. Now he was in my house, eating all my wafers, not speaking to me and it had been more than an hour from his arrival. If he was going to stay any more time, I needed to be able to be myself in my house. After all, he had not called prior to his arrival or warned me in any possible way. What if I had been out with my friends or something?

 Well that wasn’t really possible as all of them were busy with their own stuff but, hey, it was a possibility, however remote it may seem. So I decided to try and chat with him but that seemed pointless. I asked him if he lived far but he only said he had taken the bus. No idea what that was supposed to mean. Then I asked him about people in the office and he answered me by asking a nine-digit number that I had in my laptop. No, he seemed inclined to get the job done fast.

 I hadn’t thought of it but Alex might have had plans or something and now he was stuck in my place working. So it was logical that he would prefer the job done than answering my silly questions every few seconds. So I decided to shut up and just offer him some more juice. No more wafers. Now that I realized, it was almost eight o’clock and my belly had begun to complain. What if I ordered a pizza, as I had planned? True, I hadn’t planned on sharing it with anyone but at least that way I could have part of the night I had envisioned earlier.

-      -  Hey, would you like some pizza?

 Those were like magic words as he turned, raised his arms to stretch his body and smiled. It was the first time, in almost two years of watching him in the office, that I thought he was rather good-looking. I mean, some of my friends at work had told me he was “hot” or had “a nice piece of ass or even that he looked like, at least, three celebrities. But I had not realized about any of that until that night in my place.

-       - Sure. I’m starving. What would you like on it?

 I’m sure I looked like an idiot right then because it took me a long time to understand what he had just said. Seconds felt like hours and when I spoke, it didn’t make any sense at all. I tried again, and this time I had perfectly said:

-       - What about veggies and meat lovers? That’s my regular…
-       Awesome. Love it. Nice choice.

He only said that but I blushed as if he had just told me something much more intimate. I shook off the feeling as I grabbed the phone and made the order to the pizza place I usually called on weekends. Not that I ever dated but it had been quite a long time since that and when I got out with friends it was frequently on Fridays. For some reason, I didn’t like to go out on a Saturday, unless the day called for it, so only for very good reasons.

 I sat down in front of my laptop and started entering some more data, numbers, statistics and so on. I didn’t even try to talk for the next half an hour or so. I only stared at my screen and answered Alex’s questions as fast as I could, without even looking at him. I felt him staring from time to time but I suddenly felt very self-conscious and I really didn’t want to talk to anyone.

That thought was soon interrupted, when the delivery guy made his appearance. Apparently there had been some kind of malfunction in a machine at the pizza place, so they were handing out these bread sticks made out of pizza dough before they went bad. I paid for my pizza, took the food and thanked the nice man. As I turned, I realized Alex had taken my computed and his and put them, with everything else that had been on the table, on the kitchen counter.

  I put down the two boxes on the table and he eagerly began to talk, as he opened both boxes and grabbed a napkin. Suddenly, for whatever reason, I smiled and decided to go along. After all, we had been working for hours and we needed some time to relax. I asked him about what he had planned to do today before knowing we had to work. Alex, who appeared to enjoy pizza very much, told me he might have gone out with some friends and drink beer or maybe just watch a movie at home.

 I told him that had been my plan: pizza and movies. Then he smiled and said something I thought I had heard wrong:

-       - Cool. We could do that after we’re done.

I didn’t answer right away but apparently he was too busy dipping the “pizza sticks” on a special sauce so no problem there. Again, he smiled and looked so much more noticeable to me than ever before.

-       - Why hadn’t we ever really talked?

To my surprise, it was him that had made the question, even if I had been thinking about it for that few minutes. Weirdly enough, I didn’t have the answer or at least not one that made any sense at all. I had no idea why I had never tried to bond with him, even if I had in fact done it with virtually anyone else on our office. It wasn’t like I was friends with everyone but I had tried to be nice to everyone and let them know they could count on me for all work-related stuff. So why did I never approached him?

-       - Do you hate or something?
-      - No. – I said with confidence. – It’s not that.
-       - Then what?

 He has stopped eating and was staring at me, almost without blinking. I didn’t have the answer to his question but, deep down, I knew why I hadn’t spoke to him at all. Maybe it was just because I liked him and I had shut down that possibility from day one. So I told him that out loud and asked him if he wanted more orange juice. He nodded so I went to the kitchen for more.

 We finished work two hours later and, at last moment, I asked him if we would stay for a movie. He said yes.