There were two things I knew to be true about the organization I worked for; employees were hired and they were fired. What you did between the “congratulations, you’re hired,” and “you’re fired!”is all that mattered. If you were wise you ensured that forty five percent of your monthly salary went to an emergency account. Everyone showed up to work by nine o’clock in the morning and left by six o’clock in the evening.
The organization occupied two floors. One floor had forty five employees. The one above it had fifteen. The forty five knew everything that happened in both floors thanks to an active switchboard and two receptionists who valued office drama over being overworked. They are the ones who started drumming up a possibility of Martin and I dating. It was no surprise when Evans called me to ask what the thing with Martin was all about. I hang up and wrote an email. I sent it to all the departments ensuring that the boss was the first to receive it.
I stared at the desk phone until 5pm.
The desks were vacant as I made my way out of my office to the reception. The people whom I met along the way did not make use of their mouths like I’d hoped. I waved at some, smiled at two and ignored the rest.
I walked to the elevator. I pressed the button and waited. We were on the seventh floor. When it came to a halt on our floor and the doors opened I came face to face with him. Martin. It was twelve minutes or so past five. I had to get home by seven and do laundry. After a few thoughts I stepped in and clutched my bag close to my ribs.
“Listen, I wanted to come talk to you about everything. I am sorry,” he started.
“What are you sorry for?”
“Everything. Look, can we put this behind us?”
“Can you put that into writing and copy the HR?”
“Um, is that necessary? I mean, if you think that would help then it’s okay.”
“Do that then.”
“What is your problem? I’m being nice about this and you dish out orders?”
“Martin, I asked you to write a formal letter of apology because from where things stand what you did was neither professional nor ethical. I do not know how much of it is an order, but I am good at what I do and I work hard. You do not get to take credit for my work, and if you think that talking to me in an elevator is an apology then you are neither remorseful nor considerate.”
“Have a good evening Martin. In your apology be sure to mention that you tore two pages off the budget prepared by finance that was on my desk.”
“Wait! Now you’re accusing me of theft?”
He was about to take a step towards me when the elevator came to a stop. I stepped out as soon as it stopped my feet leading me as far away from him as I could get.