My usual morning mantra is ' I hate my job.' I drag my self up from my bed feeling low. I try to make my self look presentable and prepared. An hour later I am at my desk receiving calls for the day. My day comes and goes the same way; angry customers, pissed off bosses and depressed employees.
When I sat down in the morning at my desk all I could think about is my coffee break, after my coffee, all I could think about is my lunch break and then check my time on my computer over and over for the long overdue 5 pm so I could go home. Today all the seniors are excited going in and out of the manger's office and gossiping to each other. I'm not usually the one for office gossips but all the excitement and gossiping is making me curious and I become interested to know what was going on and whether it concerns me or not. So I wheeled my chair to the next cubicle and asked a colleague who joined the company at about the same time as I did.
"what's going on Jess?" she shook her head messing up her bangs and said
"no clue, I tried to find out but no one would tell me."
I nodded and got back to my desk. I have worked at Northons and co for the last three years. It's the largest office supplies. producer and distributer. We, at the sales and customer service department, sell all sorts of stuff from computers to paper clips to businesses all over the world. It means I have to deal with customer complains all the time. Customers call to place orders or to complain about their orders,mostly to complain.I have gotten to a point where I stopped caring about a mean customer screaming about our horrible services at the top of his lung. That is the result of handling too many complains, you just become numb. Thank goodness for coffee breaks, they give me time to breath and to shake all the numbness out. But one thing I enjoy more than a coffee break is a bathroom break, and now is the time for one. I stood up and on my way I stopped at my supervisors desk
"I will be back in five minutes, I will be at the bathroom if you need anything." I said with a hint of sarcasm.
She looked at me suspeciously and said "don't take long."
I nodded and head out. I shook my head and thought she hates me! But thank goodness she is a woman. I couldn't imagine asking a man's permission for toilet breaks and telling him 'if you need me just hop in to our bathroom and call me out. While we are at it I will give you a quick tour of the mysterious ladies bathroom.'
As I was enjoying my break, I heard the bathroom door close and two women talking. I wasn't paying attention until one of them said
"I can't believe the management decided to include juniors for this year's retreat."
"I know, right?" the other one replied.
"I mean they worked like three years max. And they are considering them for the retreat minimizing the chances for the seniors, not fair!"
That's what the fuss was all about? A retreat? My bathroom break was up but I couldn't go out and risk being labeled as evasdropper and let the seniors ruin my whole day. They left 2 minutes later. I walked to my seat in a hurry and my supervisor glared at me. I rolled my eyes with out her looking and start typing on my computer. One thing I hate about this office in addition to the gossips and endless drama is the fact that they made us feel like prisoners. Asking permissions for toilet breaks?I haven't done that since kindergarten. This was not my ideal work environment I had in mind when I applied for the vacancy. I remember the day I told my family I got the job, thay were so happy. Everyone told me I was lucky to land a job when almost no one is hiring in this economy..if only they knew. One of the reasons why I don't resign is the look on my parents face when they told their friends that I work for Northons and ofcourse I have to pay my bills too.
I consider my self lucky because my cubicle is located around the entrance far from the seniors and the supervisors. I also can slip in and out of the office with out being noticed. It's a good place for someone who wants to avoid unwanted attention.
After continuously working for about two hours that felt like a lifetime,three men walked in. I can stare all I want with the help of my cubicle walls and its position located at the back of the enternace,no one will notice that I was even there. They stood there for a couple of minutes and converse. All are dressed smartly in suite and tie except for one man wearing only white shirt rolled off showing strong hairy arm. They look like they are from HQ. HQ people coming out here could only be something serious. While I was watching and thinking of reasons for their presence, one of the three suddenly turned around and we locked eyes. My safe walls of cubicle were gone and I felt bare. I immediately buried my head in my computer and start to type things just to look busy. The guy must have eyes at the back of his head to turn and caught me staring. It's like he knew I have been watching them and cought me off guard. After I calm my racing heart and convince my self that it's okay to be caught spying on someone.It could happen to anyone. Besides these people don't work here so they won't affect me anyways. After that self pep talk, I got back to my real work but curiosity got the best of me and I looked up from my computer again and my heart sank. The same white shirted guy was looking at my direction with knowing smirk all over his face. I should have been embarrassed instead of being upset. I scoffed and glanced at the time and to my surprise it's 5:10 pm. I grabbed my purse, throw my phone inside and walked to the door to head out. I passed the HQ people who are now joined by our branch manager. I got to the door and felt relieved. Right when I was about to close the door behind me I heard my name being called. I felt like someone poured an ice cold bucket of water over my head.
"hey Zoey, come here for a second. It shouldn't take long." said Mr Williams, our branch manager who actually never talked to me directly before. I wasn't sure he even knew my name. I walked back timidly not making eye contact with any of them and said,
"yes Mr Williams?"
"did no one inform you of the raffles we have today for the retreat? I told the supervisors to inform all agents."
I shook my head still not looking at him
Having all the four persons staring at me makes me feel like I am being interrogated.
"oh OK, so have a seat at the conference room and we will be there shortly." he said. I turned around and walked to the conference room as told without saying a word, thinking is it me or was the white shirt guy staring at me the whole time? But weren't they all staring at me like they are weighing me? Intimidating jerks! So much for my private cubicle, it's been a safe place away from everyone, untill now.
I am sure most junior staffs are out of office by now. I guess I will be stuck with the seniors and supervisors for sometime. It's now way past 5 pm. I would have been on a bus by now on my way home instead I am stuck here.
"sorry to interrupt your thoughts, Zoey right?" I looked up and saw the white shirt guy standing and looking at me. I am not sure but it seems like he has been standing there for sometime.
"yeah, I'm zoey." I waived my hand and added "you didn't interrupt me, I'm just here waiting." then there was an awkward silence.
He stood there staring at me like it's a normal thing to do and I was fidgeting looking at my purse. Could this get any more awkward? He was about to say something when the seniors start to rush in followed by the supervisors. I didn't know I was holding on to my breath untill I sighed and inhaled relaxing my tense body. He then pulled a chair right in front of me and settled down.