A few weeks ago, an obese lady with a mustache kept talking to me as we watched two girls in lingerie groping each other on a trapeze. “This is not as good as Paris” the fat lady whispered as one girl’s crotch balanced on the other’s foot. I smiled.
It was a polite smile, it was a dutiful smile, it was a smile because I was not playing, I was working. I was an agent the company and she was an agent of the government. And we were trying to make a deal. Then, I drank so much wine that I almost fell asleep and cordially said goodbye.
Last Monday, a man I work with said “Did you forget? We have a lunch date today!” I did forget but I went, appreciating the break and the free lunch. In the car, we talked about different things, seated ourselves in the restaurant, talked about more things, went to the buffet for curry and naan, and finally, we got to the real reason of why we were there.
“You can’t put comments on your reports anymore,” he said emphatically. “You have to send out your reports plain.” My comment just put into words what the numbers said. The numbers were bad. The news was bad.
I went to the bathroom to throw up for a while. Something was wrong with the food. I came back and picked up more naan bread to settle my stomach. The man said I had to eat custard.
“I am free to say and do as I wish,” I stated, hunched over, “there have always been comments on my reports, you have just never paid attention to them before.”
On Friday, my boss took me out for a sushi lunch. We sat at the bar with the curly octopus right through the glass.
“Let’s get this over with,” I said as I pulled out a pen and unwrapped my chopsticks.
He talked and talked until he exploded.
“Who are you working for?” he screamed in front of the packed restaurant, “You are supposed to be thinking of reasons to support me! Not reasons to support them!” But I am just following the law. I thought as I dutifully started to write a list of supporting arguments for my boss.
After it was over, I got up and clumsily walked out the door to find some chocolate. He picked me up in his black Jetta as another black Jetta pulled up beside us.
“There are lots of VWs around here, aren’t there,” he said idly.
“I should have gotten into that one,” I said. “Maybe it would have taken me to another job.”