Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Just Cause for Termination

He read the email, scarcely able to believe his eyes.
“Oh, this will not stand!  This will not stand!”
He immediately began his reply,
tapping the faded keys furiously,
the invective appearing on the screen
but then being deleted for a more cutting turn of phrase,
like bubbles exploding in a pot of boiling water.
He had been working in this company far too long
to endure such condescension from some
23-year-old consulting associate named Debi
with her pouting mouth and blue eyeshadow.
She and the other 23-year-olds in the office
squealed in the hallways about Justin Bieber concerts
or whatever these young people talk about.
She didn’t even bother to cover up the harlot tattoos
covering her forearms and peeking out just above her breasts.
It didn’t take her long to learn all the infuriating phrases,
“Just checking in!” and “Going forward…”
He would have to explain to her in detail,
while copying her manager and his manager
and the vice president, for good measure,
exactly who he was and his status in this company.
There was a small voice in the back of his mind,
who warned him that his status in the company
was actually more that of a rodent in a kitchen,
who, having so far evaded capture and death,
was more or less tolerated,
as long as he remained invisible and silent.
This voice told him to let the whole matter go,
ignore Debi's patronizing tone
and comply with her request.
Defying this voice of reason,
he clicked on “send” with a flourish
and a pounding heart.

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