friends will sit with us
at the end of a hard day
friends will sit with us
at the end of a hard day
This piece resonated with me. I imagine it will for many of you as well!
at a specified time
in a particular order
tasks as complete
I did not ever realize
how clean inboxes
became timely delivery
I’m lauded for
I just can’t think
away from the screen
it is this rectangle
which controls life-
also makes me a slave
of all that I am today
“Jason, I’d like you to meet Melody. She will be your new Personal Secretary. Due to the business’s rapid growth, hiring her to handle the day-to-day administrative tasks will make my day run smoother. I’ve worked with Melody before, and she is worth her weight in gold,” I exclaimed as Jason crossed the room to shake her hand.
“Welcome aboard, Melody,” Jason said as he offered her a chair. “Glenn tells me you have lots of experience with social media.”
“Yes, I may be considered an old fogey, but I’ve stayed on top of trends, including social media. It’s fascinating, plus I have picked it up rather quickly,” she said.
“Well, that’s great!” Jason remarked enthusiastically, entirely focused on her. He noticed how attractive she was in her clingy dress. It seemed as if Jason was enamored with her, which prompted a big smile across my face.
“Considering your experience with our competitor, you should be familiar with the industry, but do you have any questions for us?” Jason asked politely. Well done, Jason. I’m so pleased with how well our last talk went, I thought to myself. After applying all the tips we discussed, he seems to be acting like a decent individual during this meeting. I could see a distinct change in his demeanor.
“Jason, Melody – if you don’t mind, I’ll step out for a bit and let you two get better acquainted. Reach out to me if you need anything,” squeezing my mom’s arm as I started heading out the door.
“Thanks, Glenn,” Jason nodded with a wink in his eye.
Yeah, this is going better than I expected it would. Now, to make some arrangements to get the next part of this plan in the works.
Two months later
“Melody, have you see Glenn?” Jason asked from the door of his office.
“Sorry, no, would you like me to ask around?”
“That’s okay. I’ll call HR.”
“Hi, Tammy. Can you tell me if Glenn is out sick again, please?”
“Yes, he is. He called this morning and said he still wasn’t feeling better,” said Tammy.
“Okay, thanks. I appreciate it, Tammy. Let me give him a call at home to see what’s going on,” Jason said, worried as he put down the phone.
“Hey there, Glenn. You okay?” Jason said with concern in his voice.
Coughing and hoarse-sounding, Glenn answered, “Yeah, I’m not doing very well. Fever, chills, a blistering headache, and nausea. It just won’t seem to let up. Probably the flu.”
“I’m sorry to hear that, buddy. You don’t sound good. Have you gone to the doctor yet? Is there anything we can do?” Jason asked.
“I’ve got an appointment later this afternoon. You and Melody just keep doing a fine job at work, and then it will make me feel less guilty about having to take time off, ” Glenn said.
“What? I’ll need to be hospitalized and quarantined?” I was beginning to lose my composure. “What about the other people I’ve been in contact with?”
TO BE CONTINUED ON FRIDAY…
Hello Readers – Now it’s your turn! Please cast your vote for the type of ending you would like to see in the comments below. Please try to have your choice noted by 5PM CST.
Here are your ending choices this week:
I look forward to writing how the story will end! Here’s hoping you enjoy it! 🙂
“I have Prosopagnosia, pretty rare actually. It’s also called face blindness,” said Jason, looking more human than I’d ever seen from him. “I don’t look at people very often, mostly relying on their voices. It helps to mask my inability to recognize them. When you don’t work with the same people very often and don’t remember faces, well, it makes it pretty hard to have a relationship. It’s different with you because you are with me all day. When you’re close, I can smell your breath. You know you could stand to brush your teeth after lunch! Haha! Kidding aside, I can recognize your voice and even your cologne or just your normal smell. Our direct and constant contact is the only reason I know who you are. It makes a lot of sense why my condition has strained my relationships here. Probably the biggest reason it doesn’t allow me to get more personal with people. Not making eye contact contributes to me being a bastard to my employees, right?”
“Of course! It puts you at a huge disadvantage with them, right from the start!” I exclaimed loudly. “I’m so glad you were honest with me about this, Jason. I swear, I will keep this bit of information to myself, but you’ll need to start looking at people when you talk to them. I think this will be a big help in making this a much better place to work! Oh, and I’ll work on brushing my teeth after lunch,” I said jokingly.
“Thanks, Glenn,” Jason said with a big smile. “So besides looking at people, what else should I do?”
“First, I will be ordering decorative company name badges for everyone. Having all employees wear them will be mandatory. Then I will give you a list of all the names and their responsibilities to make it easier for you when you encounter them. Working on projects should be so much easier then.”
“That’s a great idea! Why haven’t I ever thought to do that?” he nodded, consenting to the idea. “Thanks, that’s smart.”
“And this is why you pay me the big bucks, boss!” I said with a big grin. “Jason, I do believe I’m due for a raise! Haha.
“Well, your 90 days probation is coming up. I was planning on giving you a raise because I’ve been so very impressed with you. You remind me so much of myself when I was younger. Your drive and determination are admirable, plus you’ve added so much value to this company since you began to work with me. I’m very pleased, honestly.” Jason came around to give me a very hearty handshake and a loud clap on the back. “I sure wish there were more like you!”
I called home right after I met with Jason. “Mom, he confirmed what we suspected. Make sure you have your voice-altering device available and working correctly when you come into the office tomorrow.”
TO BE CONTINUED ON WEDNESDAY…
“What about traits like honesty, motivational and inspirational skills, trust in your employees, being self-aware, compassion, and trying to meet your employees’ needs for once?” I uttered excitedly. “How about you work on mentoring more, providing resources, and understanding that a little emotional intelligence could be helpful, or that giving open and honest feedback rather than barking at people would go a long way towards better relationships and harmony in our company?”
Jason was ready to drop-kick me out of the 91st floor of the company’s high-rise.
“ENOUGH! I’m the boss, and you are an assistant! Where do you get off always trying to interfere in my style of managing my business?” Jason was glowing a bright red shade, thanks to our latest argument.
I’d only been here working for about two months, but it seemed like an eternity. It was amazing that Jason only threatened to fire me a few times instead of doing it. These fights began right after I started and have only escalated since. But he liked me a lot.
“Look, Glenn, you are the best employee I’ve ever had. Actually, the only person I’ve ever been able to tolerate and yes, even like.” Jason calmed as he said that. “I’ve realized you’ve made outstanding and valid arguments for many of the changes around here in the business. The suggestions in my management style are pushing it, though. You remind me a lot of me, that’s why I do listen but seriously, young man, it’s enough now!”
“But Jason, if you can accept that the things I’ve suggested for the business and they are helping and working, what is the harm in evaluating your personality regarding how you come off to others? Don’t you see how your employees fear you and how high the turn-over is?” I asked, exasperated. “Even some of the clients are turned off by your demeanor, well the ones who aren’t in the 1%.”
“Do they really not like me?” he began to soften his tone.
Jason appeared open to hearing more. “Look, we have some of the richest people in the world as clients. The majority of them are genuinely the hardest individuals to deal with as they want catering to like babies. The detailing, restoration, or customization of high-end luxury vehicles for them means treating their babies with kid gloves and having to take their crap too. You seem to handle doing that most of the time, so why not with your employees?” I felt like it was beginning to sink in.
“Okay, so tell me more about the things I could improve on to help change the work environment around here,” Jason said, letting his guard down.
“First thing, I need you to look people in the eye when they talk to you,” I said earnestly. “They need to feel respected, and this will go a long way towards achieving that.”
“What I’m about to tell you goes no further than this room,” Jason suddenly said, very seriously.
TO BE CONTINUED ON WEDNESDAY…
Jason Scarsdale entered the room, sucking the air right out of it, his employees holding onto their last breath until he passed. They never knew what to expect when he arrived – perhaps in a good mood, but usually in an over-the-top sour one. Jason would bark out orders as he commandeered the space of the walkways going towards his office. It felt a bit like experiencing a re-creation of the movie “The Devil Wears Prada.” However, the company wasn’t a fashion magazine rather a lucrative automotive business catering to the rich and famous. The owner of this venture had the same personality as Miranda Priestly – everyone must toe the line, doing everything only one way, aloof but demanding, snobbish, very arrogant, and demeaning towards the employees – only in a male version.
He resembled Stephen Fry, who, in real life, comes off as a funny, gregarious, charismatic, intelligent, and a very down-to-earth guy. Jason looks inviting like you’d feel pretty good in his company, but you’d never feel that way again once you encountered him.
Today, Jason needed to interview candidates for a new personal assistant. Unfortunately, there were only three applicants. It seemed like the pool of qualified people, let alone willing ones, was dwindling each time an assistant was fired or quit. HR wished he could hold on to his assistants longer.
“Mr. Bronson, you may go in now,” said the receptionist with a smile. “Good luck to you,” she said sweetly.
“Thank you,” Glenn said nervously. For a minute, he wavered but ultimately went into the office.
“Hello, Mr. Scarsdale, my name is Glenn Bronson,” reaching out his hand in Jason’s direction.
“Please put your hand down. I don’t shake people’s hands,” Jason said dismissively without even making eye contact.
“All right, sir, but may I ask why?” Glenn asked.
Jason slowly raised his head and stared at Glenn for what seemed like a lifetime before speaking.
“I prefer that you never ask me why, ever, about anything,” Jason responded harshly. However, there was something about Glenn that made him change his mind.
“But in this case, I will. I stopped shaking hands after the whole Covid-19 mess in 2020. It seemed prudent to do so, and well, I’ve gotten used to not doing it now. Satisfied?” he said, glaring at Glenn.
“Absolutely. Thank you for helping me understand that.”
The interview proceeded with various questions about education and experience, discussions of salary requirements, and the usual to determine whether he was qualified. Glenn seemed to be knowledgable about the automotive industry, which was a big plus.
All the candidates went home feeling confident they would be selected. They would know within a few days. Glenn seemed exceptionally sure he would get the job, especially since his mother gave him some excellent inside information about Jason Scarsdale.
“Hi, Mom,” calling her when he got home from the interview. “I think I aced the interview. And not once did he figure out that you and I were related.”
TO BE CONTINUED ON TUESDAY…
If miners wear cotton-linen beneath their uniform, it can darken like the coal they caress on the job. In dumping the shards into a cart, a raucous cacophony bounces around the mine. They labor strenuously, day after day. Many miners covet a rich man’s lifestyle, call for one less arduous. Sadly, their station in life leaves them coated with a daily cover of dust, the color as black as what comes from the walls. At shift’s end, they hang their filthy pickaxes on the built-in column. The sun’s corona, an unusual sight, greets them at the entrance of the mineshaft.
Mike Martin had a reputation for being a hard boss. Not just your run-of-the-mill difficult but the exceptionally prickish kind. The people who worked for him took a lot of abuse – along with condescension, irrational demands, and a gross amount of unwillingness to compromise.
Quitting him meant you wore a badge of honor and ended up in the “I survived Mike Martin” Club! No more taking his shit, and your life would return to sanity once more.
Hurray! He just lost another employee. Poor unable-to-take-no-for-an answer Mike, pretty soon he’ll be an empire of one fending for himself.
wild new position
i am pulling out my hair
boss sad but thankful
**Side note – I just started a remote administrative support position. That’s what prompted this piece. Two days in and it really has been exciting, but feeling a bit overwhelmed! So much to learn, so many tasks to perform. I know this feeling of not having it all under control shall pass soon, it’s only part-time and nothing I do will be the end of the world if I get something wrong initially. Keep putting one foot in front of the other…
Wish me luck! 🙂
you had the life
you could afford
made your dreams
tons of money
all the luxury
long, unending workdays
stress, stress, stress
exhausted and driven
but did you get
to enjoy your life