By Leonard Pigg
“Come in, sit down. Just finishing lunch here,” the burly, red-faced woman said with food in her mouth. Frieda gestured toward the seat in front of her cluttered desk. Elvin, anticipating another daily berating, sat down across from his supervisor. She sat there chewing very loudly while eating from a Tupperware container of smoked sausage and onions in some strange broth. The onion scent overpowered the sausage, creating a pungent odor in the room. She jabbed the chunks of sausage, swirling the onions onto the fork and shoving the mess into her mouth. Chewing with her mouth open, she reached for a diet soda and took a dainty sip. Elvin was growing uncomfortable as she consumed her lunch. He was reminded of watching documentaries where animals consume their prey in a graphic manner. He looks at the family photos she has on her desk, taking note that none of them are smiling in any of the pictures, except for Frieda. The husband has a distant look in his eye, as do the two dour children. Frieda seemed to show every tooth in her massive head, with her hair always looking wet.
“Nice looking family you got there. Everyone seems real happy.” Elvin says, dripping with sarcasm. She smiles and nods, oblivious to his disdain. She finishes eating the contents of the container and drinks the broth. She then wipes her mouth with a paper towel and tosses it into the trash can next to her desk. She sits back in her squeaky office chair, throwing back her stringy red hair and finishes the can of soda.
Frieda then takes a long sigh and says, “I know you’ve been here for a year and you’re probably anticipating the evaluation we talked about, which could lead to a raise. Well, let me be the one to tell you that raise isn’t going to happen. In fact, I am not pleased with the speed of your work. I believe that you could work quicker and something seems to be holding you back. Any idea what that might be?”
Elvin smiles and says, “Well, we are short on staff. I’ve been working in this office non-stop, Monday through Friday, regardless of the weather or my state of health. I am always early, I am patient with the customers and I even clean up around here when the opportunity arises. My biggest problem is having a neurotic, bloated, ignorant supervisor with a god complex. You lumber around the office, constantly snacking and talking down to people. Whenever I’ve had questions, you always seem to be on the phone or too busy to answer them. That’s what takes so much damn time. Did it ever occur to you to actually help when we’re getting behind or would that interfere with your feeding schedule?”
Frieda gets up from her desk and begins to launch into a series of insults toward Elvin, who continues to smile. Her ranting and raving continues until she runs out of breath. Frieda’s face suddenly goes from red to pale when she sees Elvin brandish a pistol and point it at her. She falls silent, breathing fast. She is in shock.
Elvin has stopped smiling and says, “Be quiet. I’m going to give you a choice right now, you scumbag. You can either get shot or jump out the window behind you.” She stutters and stammers, unable to respond. She slowly backs away towards the window, crying. “Bullying in the workplace just has to stop, so this is my contribution to the cause. I want you to think about all the lives you’ve ruined with your harsh words and ignorant behavior,” Elvin continues. Frieda cries, while slowly climbing out the window.
Elvin goes over to the window, looking at her carcass in the streets below. Traffic has stopped. He takes the gun, points it toward his mouth and pulls the trigger. Water squirts into his mouth. He turns and leaves the room, returning to his desk, where he breathes a sigh of relief.