The Secret Life of SecretariesbyTodd172©
I wrote this at the prodding of a co-worker because our Secretary needed a pick-me-up. She's since passed it on to the other Secretaries, and it's spreading like chain lightning. This is Black humor. And this is not connected to any of my other stories, as far as I know. There is no graphic sex, although there is a very devoted wife. Thanks again to sbrooks103x for the editing. I can't imagine how difficult it is to edit my admittedly peculiar writing style. His input makes these things far more readable. Any remaining errors are entirely mine, of course.
The Secret Life of Secretaries
A raucous laugh coils over the cubicle wall, causing the edges of my vision to blur then blacken a bit.
Focus on the computer screen. It'll stop. I promise.
I try to get the spreadsheet to stop blurring, come into focus.
The laughter gets louder, putting the lie to my promise.
I squeeze my eyes shut tight. Almost painfully so.
Stop. For God's sake. Please stop.
"Heh, heh, heh..."
It's part of the never-ending litany of bizarre noises and strange odors emanating from his cubicle.
Weird laughter, inappropriate jokes, bodily noises. And the Smells. God the Smells.
Every. Damn. Day. Sardines in heavy oil. Sardines in Mustard. Once in a while pickled herring. And the occasional tin of smoked oysters. The tins just sit in his trash can. Reeking. All week.
I can't even enjoy my precious coffee.
The worst part about the laughter is that nobody is back there with him, and he isn't on the phone. I hope he's watching non-work videos on his computer. I really do.
Because if he isn't... well, that'd be even more disturbing.
Everybody else here seems to be utterly clueless about the hell I've been consigned to.
I have no idea what I've done to deserve this.
I've been good. Really good. I swear.
I worked here for two years, didn't bother anyone, and did my job. Even ignored the occasional insensitive 1950's time-warp prick who called me "Sweetie"; like this office is some kind of biker bar or something.
I was fine. My boss is great; he's a quiet guy, never raises a fuss, and is quick to pitch in and help. Even buys donuts occasionally. So much better than the old guy. That guy was an ass, I'm so glad he's gone.
Then they hired my tormenter four months ago. He's the new Marketer, the guy that cold calls companies and sets up sales visits. He's not even all that good at his job; I think the calls that agree to visits are just trying to get off the phone with him.
Trying to get away from him.
I can't do that. I have sit here in my maple wood-veneer prison and take it.
The laughter lowers to a chuckle that creeps around the bottom edges of my desk, rising like a murky, unclean tide. I pull my feet up and put them on the legs of the chair. I'm wearing a nice pair of shoes and I don't want his cooties on them.
Gah. Two more days. I promise myself, just make it two more days. It's almost Friday.
There's an awful fluid ripping sound. And his obnoxious voice; "Aaaah, that's better."
I pretend it's a belch but I know better. Disgusting.
The rest of the day would be absolute agony, but I have a small escape to the "3 to 5 Year Budget Forecast Meeting".
Maybe escape isn't quite the right word. It's more like a reprieve to purgatory.
The meeting is utterly meaningless, but at the least the Marketer isn't here. The new IT boss is though. I am so glad he isn't mine. What an arrogant Jack Ass. He manages to call me "Sweetheart", "Babe" and "Honey" in the course of a two-hour meeting.
Still, by the time the meeting is over, the day is almost gone and the Marketer has left because the boss has. If the boss has to go to a meeting offsite, he's about 30 seconds behind the boss at the door.
Another day gone, thank the Lord.
He greets the next day with another course of disturbing sounds and odors. He starts his nasty breakfast as soon as he gets in. I've heard him tell someone, maybe himself, that he eats the fish for sexual stamina.
As if any woman would go anywhere near him without some kind of massive paycheck in hand.
And a gas mask.
I swear, I think I'm developing a tic. Every time he pops another tin of fish, I can feel my left eye twitch. And the odor of the awful stuff gives me the dry heaves. I hope I can stop it before it's permanent.
One more day, I tell myself.
It's mid morning when I hear him and the Ass from IT talking in the breakroom.
"You hittin' that secretary of yours?"
"Nah, not my style. Once I'm in charge I'm getting myself a piece with some meat on her bones."
What? I like my boss, what could this little weasel be up to? I don't get to find out, though. Like adolescent boys, they only want to talk about a couple things.
"Well, I've got 'Bumpers' over on my side just about ready. Told her that her continued employment here depends on how nice she is to me during that IT conference in Florida."
'Bumpers' must be Bethany, the IT secretary; blonde, bubbly and she hit every tree on her way through the puberty forest. I saw her with her husband at the Christmas party, they looked happy together.
The Ass and him laugh together in a revolting chorus.
I manage to avoid my desk a lot for the rest of the day.
Supply meetings, vehicle dispatch meetings, mail runs. I see Bethany a couple times, I really don't have a problem with her, she's young and inexperienced, but I think she means well. And it's not her fault that even a turtle neck becomes a plunging neckline on her.
I have to stop by the security office and tell Sam that the boss is concerned with the pallets of heavy pipe over to the south of the lot. It looks like a couple pieces might be missing. So, just in case, Sam refocuses the loading dock camera onto the pallet stacks - it's a stretch, but at least they'll know if someone is pilfering from the pallets. I have no idea why anyone would steal eight foot lengths of pipe.
Still, it keeps me away from Him. At least I don't have to breathe air that smells like a fish market left in the sun for a week.
I do have to ask my boss if I can wear sneakers tomorrow because I've managed to bruise my instep running around today. He's pretty easy going and tells me he's fine with it.
He's up to something, I can tell - a good secretary always can.
Still, tomorrow is Friday and it's going to be a great day.
It really is a great morning - there's a huge bouquet and box of chocolates on my desk with a giant Secretary's Day poster above it.
Wow. The boss went all out. He couldn't be here today because of travel, but he had a couple of the guys set this up before I got in. He really is that great.
The only mar on the whole day is the odor of rotten sardines and the fact that the Marketer snatches a handful of my nice Belgian chocolates without even asking.
I don't let that get me down. I'm wearing my comfy sneakers and I have a brand new box of nice hard wood pencils I got from the stockroom yesterday. Not those crappy kinda-wood ones that feel like rubber, these are hardwood Number 2's. The real thing. My favorites for working out problems. Computers are nice, but pencils are more versatile, more useful. I sharpen one to a fine point; it's almost a religious feeling. And the pencil is perfect, the point is perfect, the problem is solved. I put the neatly written post-it note up and move on.
I love Secretary's Day.
I'm practically walking on air all day. I have just a bit of cleaning to do before I leave today, but that's no problem, I even enjoy it in a way.
I wait until pretty much everyone has left and go grab the bag from the heaping trash can full of tins out of His cubicle and walk them out to the dumpster. Pretty much all the cars are gone.
That's nice; I really like the feel of an empty building sometimes. Comforting.
I walk zig-zag through the building turning off lights. They'd go off in a few minutes automatically anyway, but it makes me feels good saving a little energy. And it's useful.
One more thing and I'm done for the day.
I roll an empty chair from the store room up to His cubical and move Him out of the way. The chair is a perfect match. He stares at me glassily, but it doesn't mean anything. He looks a little silly with the eraser of the pencil protruding from his ear so I push it the rest of the way in. I snatch my "Out of Office" post-it note off His door as I pass it, pushing him in his chair.
Now it's off to the elevator and loading dock.
I round the corner to the elevator at the same time as Bethany. She's pushing the Ass in his office chair
She has his suit coat over his head, but it's mostly fallen down during her long trip from the IT office and I can see his grey face, bulging eyes and protruding dark blue tongue - a stocking is pulled tightly, irrevocably, around his neck.
The look of shock on her face is classic.
I hit the elevator door button and glance down at the stocking and shake my head.
Office supplies are free.
I wheel Him around and wait, she hesitantly does the same, glancing at me sideways, wordless. We get on the elevator together and I punch the loading dock button.
At least the Muzak is shut off for the day, so I don't have to listen to a Muzak version of Black Sabbath.
Bethany is still trying not to look at me when we roll them off the elevator.
The utility van is neatly backed up to the loading dock, where I left it after the mail run yesterday.
Looking a little pensive Bethany starts to wheel the Ass toward her car by the ramp, but as a gesture of good will I wave her over to the van, it's plenty big and I feel generous.
It's certainly easy enough to wheel them both on in - the van is a perfect height for the dock.
The drive over to the new building construction site is only a couple minutes, but it'd have taken a half hour pushing an office chair, even if some of the lots weren't gravel. So I'm really glad for the van. Bethany is trying to be relaxed, but she's so uptight I expect her to scream any second.
Off loading them is easy - I made sure I got the van with the lift gate yesterday. Still, this is the hard part, but it's really much simpler with Bethany. Now I'm glad she's here. Two of us carrying a body is just so much easier, even though we have to make two trips.
Bethany struggles in her high heels though. Gravel and high heels don't mix.
We push them over the form walls and dump gravel over them. It pays to learn some skills, like how to operate a loader. They're pouring these forms on Monday. When I'm sure they aren't visible, we head back over, and park back at the loading dock. I watch Bethany pull out without a word. Sometimes silence is best. I really do think she means well.
Monday is the usual kerfuffle, as people try to figure out where the Ass and He have gone, along with about twenty thousand in travel funds they seemed to have pulled on Friday night.
Very nice Bethany. I guess you can't work in IT without learning a thing or two.
I see her a couple times, and she certainly looks more at ease without the Ass pawing at her every time she walks by. And my nose is starting to recover. I think I'll still flinch at the sound of a sardine tin for a long time though.
We even have a kind of moment, standing together at the window, watching the construction crew pour the cement into the foundation forms. It's very peaceful.
The only problem in the whole day is a new guy out from the head office. I swear he's called me "Sweetie" a half dozen times and he kept trying to look down Bethany's blouse during the budget meeting.
She shot me a look and I held up the van key. She smiled.
She seems to be a good kid after all.