The Workplace Glasshouse
Hamish. His workplace was his playing field. A time to glow. 23 and rapid fire with the banter. The staff kitchen was the goal line.
"Susan, if you eat all that pasta, I'll have to start calling you Giovanna!"
The three who stood by him chuckled but she could only manage a tiny wry smirk.
Walking by the reception window he caught sight of himself. No wonder they all loved him; tall, broad shoulders, well-dressed and a woman magnet. He points to the smiling receptionist. "Don't let any of the ugly people in! We have too many here already!" She smiled and blinked. Like many of Hamish's comments, people didn't think much of them until after his charming presence was vacated. Then the frown set in.
Coffee time in the kitchen.
"Who the fuck left all this mess? Christ some people are pigs. They can't cope without mumma!”
A couple of workers agreed, though one of them had contributed to it.
Returning to his desk, Hamish passes 44 yr old Bryan. “Mate, you'll never find another woman with a haircut like that!”
“Oh. Isn't it modern?” His hand went to his freshly manicured follicles. “I thought...”
“Mate, I've seen a better cut of lawn at the cemetery.”
An awkward but rousing cackle rose around them.
“That's a bit mean,” said Mary with a knowing grin.
“Bryan knows I'm only joking, don't you Bry?”
Bryan looks to those around, not wanting to appear boring. “I'm going to change it soon.”
A lunchtime later when Hamish is in the kitchen filling his water bottle, a colleague quietly enters. “Hey Hamish! You see the game?”
Hamish is startled and the stream catches the bottle and sprays his shirt. He jumps back, looking down. “Shit!”
“Sorry Hamish. Didn't mean to scare you mate. But you do look like you're ready for the wet T-shirt Comp.”
A busy kitchen roars with laughter, like a volcano giving into the steam. They are pleased to see a reversal. Finally.
Hamish is red. “Shut your trap! It's not funny! Look at my shirt!”
“I said sorry mate. It's only water.”
“Don't call me mate, you idiot!”
Rows of eyes studied the transformed jokester.
“What are you looking at? You can all get stuffed!” He stormed out.
After that, no one thought his jokes were funny anymore and within weeks, he resigned.
And then Bryan met the love of his life.
With his old haircut.
In June, a short series of Flash Fictions, Feral Street. When Rednecks move in. NOT for the easily offended.
Next Post, Greatest Written Films returns.
Nice to see you.
New Website: Anthony J. Langford BooksOrder Lone Wolf World via Amazon or above
2018 Best New Talent - Short and Sweet Festival Sydney
2014 Pushcart Prize nominee. (more)
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The Workplace Glasshouse
Posted by Anthony J. Langford
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Oh yeah have worked with very many like that - happy to dish it out but not cope it in return! People can be so insensitive and use the excuse of humour I think it just shows real spite and a mean heart deep down as well as deep insecurity about themselvesReplyDelete
Karma... we patiently wait for it to sneak up and bite the hand that fed it... then we revel in the demise - perhaps we're not that indifferent? Perhaps we are just a little more tactful?ReplyDelete
A-holes like that are poison in the workplace.ReplyDelete
I've found that when people say "just kidding," they usually aren't.
This post gave me more of a flavor of your writing, and you have a great writing style. I like the ending. It's nice to believe that what goes around comes around, and that a nice 44 year old with a bad hairdo can get a nice date (cuz I'm almost there, though hopefully my hair is ok).ReplyDelete
Anthony, the more I read your material the more I smile. I love how you instantly set the scene and at the same time, cleverly present the character, all within the first 2 lines! You do it with such ease. I am impressed!ReplyDelete
The character's personality, without a doubt, is as clear as crystal. I cringe as I know exactly the type of man he is. His name calling, his vain arrogance, his "control freak" attitude in the kitchen, and his pretentious charm reeks of "vomit." This man has many issues. He certainly is one unhappy man!
Really enjoyed this one Tony. No one in my office like that but it still grinds my gears to read about them.. LozzieReplyDelete
Thank you all for such great feedback.. there are many like this, the subtle and not so..ReplyDelete
Really appreciate it..