How much is too much? When comes the time when you can really tell when someone has lost their mind?
My boss calls me in his office today.
“Kiki, what’s up?”
Mind me, my boss is twenty years older than me but speaks like a college kid.
I smile. Even I stopped trying to play younger. Maybe I got more self discipline than I thought. Or just don’t wanna sound like a moron. Yes, my boss is a moron. I often wonder how he managed to get where he is but as anything else, this question will probably never receive an answer. Life holds its mysteries. Bill’s successful career is certainly one of them.
“Not much.” Easy way to cut off the friendly convo while staying polite.
Bill smiles. He always freaks me out a little when he smiles. Something that translates nice but pervert. He does that with every girl in the office. At least, I don’t feel special in that way.
Bill shuffles through the papers on top of his desk.
“Kiki I must admit your hours are impressive. But I worry about your health. Don’t you need a break?”
I raise an eyebrow. “I think I’m ok. If I needed a break, I would have taken one by now,” I reply.
He nods. “Nah of course, I’m not worried about you not taking a break.”
“So why am I here?”
He crosses his arms and leans back against his chair. Everytime I see someone cross their arms, I sense trouble.
“Kiki, John has left us. You need another assistant.”
Oh gosh. Another minion? I roll my eyes. “You’re kidding right?”
Bill laughs. “You think I’m joking? Don’t you like bossing people around?”
My turn to laugh. “You can’t replace John. No one is like him.”
Bill winks. “Oh trust me, I found better.”
“You’re kidding,” I repeat.
Bill presses the intercom button on his phone. “Send the newbie in.”
I force a smile. Bill is a nutcase.
The door opens and a young kid enters. He’s probably five foot four, and I give that estimate while sitting down. Skinny, with blond hair and glasses. He looks like he just etched from the egg.
I roll my eyes again.
“Kiki, this is Sam. Shake hands now.”
The kid gives me a dead fish handshake and sits in the guest chair beside me.
“Sam,” I say. “How old are you?”
The kid stutters. “Twen-twenty one, madam.”
“For god sake, Bill??” I glare at my boss who bursts in laughter.
“He’s perfect. You’re gonna mold him into such a perfect little worker.”
I wanna say fuck you to my boss but can’t because he’s my boss. Christ!
“Do you have any experience , Sam?”
I try to keep a calm tone of voice. I’m on the verge of quitting my job at this point. The past few weeks have been very hard on me. I didn’t get much sleep, worked like a beast eighty hours a week. I’m mentally exhausted. Going to meetings is very hard. I stay strong – and haven’t touched a drink – but how long can I keep going like this?
I thought I wouldn’t miss John but I do. He worked as my sidekick for two years. By far the laziest but also best assistant I’ve ever had. Go figure. Now this mini youngster shows up – and I’m gonna have to teach him the ropes. Back to square one.
“Do you know how to use a copy machine?” I keep going. “How about a coffee pot?”
Bill frowns. “Be nice, Kiki.”
I stand up. This new kid doesn’t have an ounce of courage in him. John would have opened his mouth by now. Said what he wanted me to hear. Convinced me I was wrong and he wasn’t an incompetent loser.
“Bill who is this kid?”
Bill sighs. “I had to make a favor to a client so…”
“Right. The usual. Well that’s great. I guess I’m stuck with him now.”
I glance at the kid who looks terrified.
“What do you got to say for yourself, Sam?”
He swallows a few times and opens his mouth. “Well, m’dam…”
I cut him off. “First, I’m Kiki. No m’dam here.”
He swallows a few times again. “Okay. Um… I’ll be very good. I-I promise.”
I snort. “Is that really the best you can do?” I stare back at Bill. “Is he being serious?”
Bill sighs. “That’s why I need you to train him. Use your iron fist to shape him up!”
I roll my eyes. “Oh lord. This conversation is killing me. May I go back to my office?”
Bill smirks. “Are you bored?”
I nod. “Boredom is an understatement.”
“Tell you what. Let’s go to lunch. We can invite Sammy boy over here. Don’t you think it’s a good idea?”
I glance at the newbie and back at Bill. “That’s not a battle I’m going to win, right?”
“Alright let’s do lunch,” I say.
I have enough trying to convince myself everything’s going to be fine when I know for a fact Sam is going to be the biggest pain in my neck from now on. And since Bill isn’t too keen on firing the kid after two hours, I’m gonna have to learn patience. Which is something else I’m not good at.
Can I travel back in time? Just rewind to my early twenties, before I decided to fall in love and go to grad school. Love is such bullshit. You think everything is going to work out but once feelings start shattering because you didn’t take out the trash one night, there’s no going back to normal. You build up resentments, get upset at anything that doesn’t feel right, even sex doesn’t bring any pleasure anymore but becomes a chore like anything else, and gradually, you lose touch with who you are, what you want from life and why you made so many sacrifices if it means ruining the rest of your better years with an inconsiderate selfish asshole who can’t wait to bury you six feet under at the first opportunity. Opportunity that doesn’t involve going to jail for murdering your wife with a serrated steak knife – messy – because he’s also a coward. A huge dick and a coward. What a great combo indeed.
I sigh. So much time wasted in useless arguments and sleepless nights. Sam is far from being my ex-husband but as a minion he’s going to be my bitch. Which means he’s still going to break my balls with stupid questions at least five times a day. And that’s being hopeful. The kid doesn’t look very shrewd. It might be ten times a day.
Gosh. Shoot me now.
What time is it? 11:15 am. Bill usually goes to lunch at 1. What can I do to kill my boredom until then?
Write. I’ve become fond of putting my thoughts on the screen. I’ve gotten used to pouring it all out, until my brain can’t take it anymore. Death by writing. All the resentments of the day vanish and I feel lighter by a ton.
So let’s write about Sam. This little guy who I know nothing about, yet hate with all my guts. Why? Is it because he’s young? John was young. Is it because he has no experience? John knew nothing at first. I had to teach him all the ropes. Is it because he’s a newbie? Probably. I feel like a bully at heart. Not the best behavior for a professional. I gotta grow into a more understanding individual. Learn patience. Stop judging.
Sam looks like a frail little guy who knows nothing about life. But appearances can be deceiving. Maybe he was born an MMA fighter and transforms into the Incredible Hulk at night. What do I know about his extracurricular activities? Squat. Exactly. So is there a good reason to get mad at him just for the sake of getting mad at someone?
Nope. Um. I’m not mad anymore.
I guess lunch won’t be that bad after all.
To be continued…