Working the Cubicles Ch. 01byTom_Lym©
Feel free to tell me what you thought of first part of this novella I'm working on -- I read them all and greatly appreciate and constructive feedback you can give me.
Rachel was late for her interview.
Actually, that wasn't quite true - she was about to be late for her interview. Rachel was experiencing that frantic stage of tardiness that comes after the adrenaline floods your body - the fear that makes your heart beat like a bongo drum and your carefully manicured nails an irresistible target of nibbling (if you're into that kind of thing). The fear the perpetually tardy experience before that awful sensation of pessimistic resignation sets in. There was still hope, however, for the young girl frantically tearing her apartment over - about five minutes of it. Maybe ten.
Quickly glancing at the time on her smartphone, the petite, professionally (she hoped) clad blond strode around her slightly cluttered (but increasingly messy) apartment - repeatedly checking the same places again and again (just in case her keys had suddenly appeared in the five seconds since she had last checked) in a manner that was more than a little obsessive-compulsive.
Rachel kept catching herself glancing at the reflective surfaces in her tiny apartment as she strode briskly around it - as her running internal monologue got a little strange.
If a woman has a perfect hair day but nobody witnesses it, did it really happen?
She suppressed a giggle that threatened to sound a little - well, very - crazy and settled instead for a self-amused grimace that actually looked distinctly unpleasant. Her eyes scanned over the organized chaos of her recently inhabited home again and again as her stomach made fists.
Nobody ever, ever wants to show up late for their interview. Some people do - and most people would call them the gainfully unemployed - but for people who need a job and the money for their seemingly perpetually angry Asian landlord - arriving on time was required.
Especially when they need the money - and boy, did Rachel ever need the money.
The last of her once seemingly impressive savings (a few thousand dollars) had been exhausted completing her rather sudden move. Rachel had frantically spent the last week alternating between unpacking, applying for jobs and trying to adjust to her unusual situation.
The unusual situation being that she was truly on her own, in a strange place, for the first time in her life.
The unusual situation being that she actually needed to impress a complete stranger enough to offer her a job.
The unusual situation being that this somewhat crappy-sounding corporate gig was all that was standing between her and whimpering back home with her tail tucked between her legs.
And she didn't want to go back to her hometown.
Maybe not ever.
It's a long story.
Rachel began to feel tears of frustration welling up in her beautiful blue eyes and she willed them away with arguable success. After clawing through her purse for the umpteenth time however, she compromised with her biology; if she couldn't find her keys in the next minute, she would cry.
Goddamned it. Where were they?
The problem wasn't that she had lost them - the problem was that they had been misplaced from the place she had placed them. The hell was this Dr. Seuss monologue shit? She was losing it. Rachel sat down in frustration and buried her face in her hands. Her long blond hair shrouded her face as her chin quivered. Her petite figure shook with emotion as she sat on her couch for a moment - trying to think.
She was screwed. There wasn't enough time to catch a bus or call a taxi - all she had needed to do was get to her job interview on time and she had - somehow - managed to mess that up.
Rachel was on the verge of tears when her bastard pup, Dogdog, the abandoned love child of a previous relationship - waddled in from the bathroom with a jingle-jangle sound - toting Rachel's minor collection of irreplaceable shiny keys held proudly in his mouth; depositing them at his master's feet.
Rachel and her puppy shared a moment, then.
Dogdog the puppy perceived the shared moment one way - positively - grinning, tongue lolling out the side of his mouth, waiting for his maternal-figure to shower him with praise and appreciation for the metallic-tasting toy that had been so carelessly left in the open by his foolish family member. Dogdog sat with his chest puffed proudly, tail wagging enthusiastically, tongue lolling cheerfully out the side of his mouth. Dogdog may have been drooling - there was definitely an unaddressed saliva issue with the puppy - as Rachel's keys had discovered first-hand.
Rachel perceived the shared moment in a very different way.
There was violence in Rachel's eyes.
Terrible, rolled-up-newspaper puppy-swatting violence.
The moment passed and Rachel settled for narrowing her eyes at the gift/punishment of the appearance of her much-needed (albeit somewhat slimy) keys instead. After staring daggers at her sole-dependent for a moment - she angrily power walked out of her small bachelor apartment, slamming the door behind her unnecessarily as she left. A moment later the somewhat battered looking (but perfectly functional) second-hand celebratory vehicle she had been given by her parents upon the successful completion of secondary school roared to life and she ran for her interview.
Which she made on time.
A little later than Rachel would have preferred, a little more flustered than she would have liked and smelling, a little, of puppy goop.
Dogdog the puppy cocked his head at his owner's strangely ungrateful behaviour, disappointed and a little sad at the lack of adoration and praise for his help. Furry head held low, he whimpered to himself as he slunk towards his food bowl and joylessly nibbled some no-name dog food and lapped up some water. His primary needs having been met for the next several hours, he jumped up on the forbidden couch (his courage and bravery quite apparent now as there was no chance of repercussion).
Just then he spotted an isolated pair of his owner's fluffy socks carelessly left lying on the floor.
His ears perked up as he hopped off the interesting smelling couch his owner had inherited from the previous owner - his previous disappointment already completely forgotten and his little tail wagging furiously as he stalked towards his prey in adorable fashion.
Time to work.
_____ _____ _____
After waiting in the reception area for a few minutes (and deciding to buy a bottle of hand-sanitizer after this was over) Rachel's interviewer - the unremarkable balding man reportedly in charge of human resources - came to find her. His name was Don. They introduced themselves - his soft hand enveloped hers and he could feel the perspiration (though neither of them acknowledged it).
"Hi," he said with a bland sort of cheerfulness. "I'm Don".
"You're Rachel Wee?"
"Nice to meet you," she responded in a mutually polite, completely disingenuously cheerful manner.
Don brought her to the back to a door marked "Employees Only" (oooh) and opened the door for her - like a proper gentleman.
The reality is that Don wanted a chance to ogle the new (potential) employee and that chivalry and horndoggery are not mutually exclusive. They often work together towards common interests. He took in the long, beautifully platinum blond hair (with just the faintest hint of red and pink highlights) and the petite proportions of the woman he would be seeing and working with for the foreseeable future.
It's fair to say that Rachel was extremely easy on the eyes.
Don wanted her, badly. Rachel was beautiful - and completely out of his league. From the moment he laid eyes on her, he knew that he wanted to love and cherish and otherwise violate every orifice Rachel had.
Don was thinking about how it would feel to have this young, beautiful girl's dainty delicate (slightly sweaty) hand he had encompassed with his own working its way under his waistband to his raging erection - what it would feel like to tangle his hand in the strawberry-blond hair of the tiny nymph standing in front of him and to bend her over his desk, arching her amazingly tight ass towards him. Somewhere in the back of the mind he could visualize - was visualize the right word? auditorize (whatever) the erotic whimper she would make as he frantically unbuttoned his pants, pulled her underwear to the side and thrust his dick inside of her tight cunt in a single, violent motion.
Don had known of Rachel's existence for about two minutes and he was already having graphic sexual fantasies about her. He didn't even remember her last name.
Not that it mattered.
Welcome to the life of the average man.
And Don was very average.
What he had going for him was cleverness and some friendliness.
What he lacked, however, was self-awareness, ambition and basic decency.
Meet management in the corporate world.
The only truly exceptional thing about Don was his libido - the man was a honest-to-god horn dog. Sex was his primary preoccupation in life and everything else followed behind in priority. Nothing about this was particularly remarkable in itself, except for the fact that Don was married. At 31 years of age, working for twenty bucks an hour at a moderately successful law practice - Don was obsessed with a physical act he had more or less become bored and tired of with his significant other. Instead of facing the issue and communicating with his spouse that there was a real issue of physical intimacy head-on and dealing with it - he escaped to fantasies in his mind.
Don - the man who had the power to hire Rachel as the firm's newest, latest, greatest receptionist - gave Rachel the grand tour of the business; which consisted of a few vaguely annoyed-looking (though nicely dressed) professionals busily typing on their computer or scanning what appeared to be large books or talking to people on the phone. After the nerve-wracking (Rachel was usually a fairly shy person - which probably wasn't a great quality considering she wanted to be a receptionist) process, she was relieved when he jiggled the handle of a door to a large conference room.
The conference room was a nicely outfitted, large room with a projector pointed towards the opposite wall and a huge, lush looking wooden conference table in the middle.
Don sat her down and began the interview process.
In retrospect, Rachel probably should have spent more time preparing for the interview itself instead of spending so much time picking out her outfit and primping her hair. As the interview progressed it became painfully obvious that Rachel had no experience in the field, no related qualifications and no post-secondary education to draw upon.
Essentially, what Rachel brought to the table was her looks and enthusiasm.
During a lull in the increasingly nerve-wracking (albeit friendly) interrogation, Don took a moment to excuse himself for a glass of water - giving Rachel the opportunity to quietly freak out.
On the way to the communal kitchen, he was trying to think of reasons not to simply end the interview with the poor girl (she looked like she was on the verge of crying towards the end) and put her out of her mercy. As he poured a cup and took a sip of water, he decided to consult one of the newly promoted partners of the firm to burn some time before he went back to crush the young girl's dreams of being a corporate slave.
The lawyer - Stu - was in his mid-thirties and a real asshole (though Don supposed most lawyers were).
Don knocked on the open door - to be polite - before entering.
"What do you want?" Stu asked, without even glancing up. He was busy watching a movie on his computer.
"You busy?" Don asked, slightly annoyed.
"Yes. Go away".
What an asshole.
Ignoring Stu's remark - as he typically did - Don entered and took a seat. Stu was still intently watching the movie.
"I've got a problem, Stu. I'm interviewing a girl named Rachel and-"
"Is she hot?" Stu interrupted, turning his head and finally giving Don his full attention.
"Well, yes" Don replied, honestly. "But-"
"What's the problem?"
"I was getting to that. Well, she's grossly unqualified for the receptionist position but I think she would be a good employee for the company".
The ways men rationalize attraction.
Stu took a moment to consider. He looked almost professional then, for a moment, sitting behind his enormous desk in his beautiful office in his expensive suit - contemplating the information he had just been given.
"Okay," said Stu - "leave it to me" as he got up.
"Are you sure? I mean I can still-"
"Don't worry about it, Don. Go back to your hole and stop bothering me".
Goddamn motherfucking asshole.
_____ _____ _____
Rachel was sitting in the conference room, wallowing in misery when a reasonably attractive (for an older guy), professionally dressed middle-aged man burst in through the door, startling her. The doors had not even closed by the time Stu took a seat across from her and began assaulting her with his personality.
She tried to stand up and stammer a hello but was overridden.
"You're Rachel?" he asked, impatiently, motioning her to stand up.
"Y-Yeah", she responded, with a hand on her heart which was still pounding from the sudden jolt of adrenaline that had been dumped into her system due to the sudden appearance of this stranger.
"How badly do you need this job?", the man asked, taking the seat right beside her.
Rachel took a moment to consider before meeting his piercing eyes and answering honestly.
"Badly", she said, swallowing.
"Okay." Stu walked over the laptop at the far side of the conference room and after a moment hit 'Play' on the training video on the fixed laptop. An incredibly generic and boring video began playing in the background and he lowered the volume to a muted level and took a seat beside her, ignoring the video entirely.
"I'll hire you as my personal assistant effectively immediately. You'll start at three grand a month - and there will be the opportunity for raises later on when you're competent at your job".
Rachel's face lit up with a brilliant smile.
"That's amazing! Thank you! I-"
"Shut up", said Stu conversationally. "Here are the rules; one - never interrupt me."
Rachel was shocked and offended but nodded anyways.
"Two - I will likely insult, degrade and humiliate you until you become competent at this job."
Rachel hesitated for a moment before nodding. What was she getting herself into?
"Three - I will fuck you whenever and wherever I want".
Rachel's mouth was agape at the nonchalance of the demand. She waited a moment and time seemed to slow as the man with the calm demeanour and bored eyes in front of her waited for her response.
"What?! No! I can't! You can't-"
"Rachel - let's make something clear - you are not qualified for this job. You're young and beautiful - but you have no relevant work experience . You desperately need the job and the money and I'm willing to provide you with incredibly valuable work experience as well as an easy paycheque that most college graduates would be happy to have. Quid pro quo".
Her mouth was moving but no sounds were coming forth. Rachel's blue eyes darted around the room - looking towards the door and half-expecting to star in some sort of strange Punk'd spinoff series. Her fingers and toes suddenly felt very cold and she tried to control her nervous trembling.
Rachel crossed her arms across her chest in somewhat petulant manner.
"This isn't fair!"
"Perhaps." Stu replied simply, running his eyes over her body in a lecherous fashion. Rachel was suddenly aware of the way her arms were positioned and what they brought attention to and her cheeks began burning but she stubbornly refused to lower her arms. Her beautiful blue eyes were starting to water a bit - Rachel had never had a particularly strong handle on her emotions and they were starting to get out of hand. They ran through her body - anger, rage, fear - and they left her quivering.
Rachel tried to gather her emotions and take a stand.
'Tried' being the operative word.
"This is illegal, you know! I could sue you!"
"You have no money to pay for a lawyer and no evidence - but you could try, I suppose", Stu replied in his bored voice. "Whether you like it or not, I am offering you a reasonably fair deal here. Take it or leave it - the door's right there. Threaten me again, however, and the offer is off the table."
A moment passed.
Rachel's heart was thumping. She felt frozen - shocked at the unexpected turn of events that had occurred.
"Stand up and face the table or get out of here", Stu said.
Rachel sat in place, stunned.
"Hurry up and make up your mind. I was in the middle of doing something". He glanced at his watch.
Rachel bit her lip in an unintentionally adorable fashion as she tried to seriously think things through. She should slap him. She should hit him and tell him to go to hell and storm out. There were a lot of violent, biblically satisfying responses Rachel was considering - but the fact remained that after she broke this old bastard's face and balls she would drive back home to where she had no money and no job. Between the shitty job market and the clamoring competition of her peers and elders - she didn't have a lot of other options.
This job was really all that was standing between her and all-too real, terrifying poverty.
"Do I-" she stammered.
"Look - this isn't a negotiation - take the deal or not!" Stu raised his voice a little - his voice heating up. He still looked bored as he said it though. She was looking him over, at this point - trying to size him up. Stu obviously took care of himself - but he wasn't a stallion by any stretch of the imagination.
Oh dear god, was she really considering going through with this?
But she had to.
"Okay, well... how would you, I mean - how would we...".
Stu rolled his eyes dramatically as he responded.
"Jesus christ, Rachel. Please don't tell me you're a virgin. Sex isn't complicated - do you need me to draw you a diagram?"
Rachel was painfully aware of the burning in her cheeks. She was also becoming all-too conscious of how the professional clothes she was wearing accentuated her lithe figure. Emotions and thoughts and general chaos ran through her body and mind unchecked, leaving her feeling simultaneously overloaded, jittery and drained. It was safe to say that Rachel was starting to feel a little overwhelmed at this point.
"Alright - stand up and turn around. Let me get a look at you", Stu instructed.
In a state resembling shell-shock, Rachel complied.
She flinched when she felt his large, warm hand fondle her bottom through the skirt.
"Nice ass", Stu muttered to himself.
"Thanks", Rachel replied reflexively through clenched teeth. She didn't trust herself to speak.
Stu whistled a note of appreciation as he squeezed her ass through the material of her nicest skirt. Rachel could only grit her teeth while he inspected her like a piece of meat. At another time, in another place - like maybe a wild rowdy, weekend jaunt at a club while on vacation - she might have actually enjoyed the attention before laughing and excusing herself back to the safety of her girlfriends - but this was all happening awfully fast.
Where the fuck was Don? Was this really happening to her? Was this real life?