Mondays, you would imagine one could learn to appreciate the day with time.
Wrong, Mondays sucked, period, primarily if, like Xenia, you were held hostage in Paris public transports with an unpleasant smell coming from the arm holding the pole next to you tickled your nose.
The morning metro, aka hell, squashed up and uncomfortable. There is nothing worse than an unfriendly odor to have one ready to commit a homicide.
Two stops to go, just hold it in Xenia, just hold it in.
“Excuse me, can you move your arm a little? I’m claustrophobic. I think I will have a fit, thank you,” Xenia said with a forced smile.
The woman thought she dealt with the situation quite well as she saw the smile of relief on a few passenger’s faces. It was not the day to get the living daylights knocked out of her, so she spoke politely to the tall and colossal man who could compete to become a Yokozuna.
Xenia was that girl, the kind whose mouth ran faster than Usain Bolt wearing slippers. She stopped holding it in the day Mark left her in despair, but that episode was not on the order of the day.
For now, she congratulated herself for not having said what she intended to the man in front of her.
Man, you stink, you reek, look at us. Every damn soul here is hanging on the last intake of oxygen they took before getting on the metro. I should report you to the police for disrespecting my nostrils, which are flaring shut. Will you take responsibility and adopting my Sia if I die from suffocation? I doubt. So please, for the love of God and his cherubs, put that smelly arm down.
Of course, she would accompany the remark with significant glaring eyes as large as a wormhole, ready to suck you into oblivion and ahead, doing a snake dance from side to side.
Yes, Xenia made a big deal about smelly armpits, amongst other things.
Right then, she had another severe problem; she was late. The business developer did her best, though, waking up at 6: 10 AM, she did her ten-minute morning exercises.
Sia woke up at 6:30 AM, as her internal clock told her to do. Eyes closed, holding Boots the Monkey, the little girl walked into the living room for her morning hug with a stream of dried-up drool showing the escape root from her mouth.
Xenia gave her breakfast, hot chocolate, and croissant; they both got ready.
At 7:15, they were about to leave when Xenia noticed a stain on her shirt. A changed shirt later, and off they went. The morning routine was clock tight, but Xenia managed.
Everything seemed fine till Paris transportation confirmed once again its supremacy in tardiness.
Unfortunately, of all the Mondays where things could go wrong, this one was supposed to be perfect. Within a week, almost every department manager got laid off.
The employees rocked on the edge of their rejectable seats. Talks about an eventual takeover hummed around the floor’s cafe machines. All this to receive an essential email on Saturday morning.
You heard it right Saturday, aka the weekend. Astoria Edmonds was the type of company that didn’t sleep and where employees work even on their days off, but that’s the new world.
Is there a company that doesn’t work around the clock nowadays?
This mail specified all employees were to attend a meeting on Monday at 8:00 AM sharp. Xenia perceived the email as a death sentence; it’s not like she didn’t know what sharp or on the dot meant. The words were like basketballs, which never made the hoop. Xenia was adept at five, fifteen, or half-past minutes.
Even today, where the job she suffered to obtain was potentially on the line, being on time still resembled a distant utopia.
“Fuck, I won’t make it,” Xenia muttered.
The doors opened, and Xenia sprung out of the RER A like a kangaroo. The time had come for the fluorescent Flynites on her feet to show their worth.
La Defense, the capital’s financial hub, in the morning, the area resembled a growling anthill, where getting past the mass of bodies became impossible. Though in movement, all seemed motionless. Hundreds of people at an almost paused pace, which didn’t arrange Xenia’s worries.
7:59, and Xenia barely made her way out.
As usual, her vocabulary wasn’t flying high in Sia’s absence; Xenia held the tension of the profanities in had in stock in her daughter’s presence only to unleash them all day long at work.
She sprinted and arrived at 8:02, already seeing herself jobless as she threw her bag at the security guard. She had no time to wait for security to check it since the different terrorist attacks on the capital controls were thorough.
“Keep it; I’ll pick it up later,” she yelled as she swiped her badge and hopped in the elevator.
“I don’t think she’ll make it; the meeting is about to start,” Cassie said.
Heels clicking the office head Cassie Jensen moved to the front row.
“Come on, Xenia, come on,” Niki encouraged, looking at her watch.
A man stood up on the stage and tapped on the microphone.
Such assemblies were rare; this added to the auditor’s stress.
“Hum, I’m glad to see you all here today. I hope everyone is here otherwise off with your head,” the man said with the slickest and purest British accents.
The words echoed in the silent room, and it’s at that moment, Xenia entered, holding one foot of her sneaker under one arm and while slipping her electric blue heels on her foot. All heads turned to face her. Xenia lowered her head and made her way to Niki, who waved as though she was calling her best friend to sit next to her into science class.
“Just kidding,” resumed the orator picking up from his cynical joke groomed with a tense expression. He brought back the focus on himself.
“I bet you are wondering who I am and who are these people sitting behind me. I’m Wendon Everett, the new managing director of the Astoria Edmond’s French branch, and the team sitting behind me dressed like undertakers are here to take the head of the departments left without managers.”
The people behind him appeared to be remarkably calm. One even seemed to be taking notes on a pad.
The auditorium room buzzed and filled with whispers; the departments had gone through so many changes in a short period; everyone wished to know what was going to happen next. No one got a notification about the drastic change, which could be qualified as a takeover.