A Pourquoi Tale

One day, after a particularly rancorous meeting with her division, a guy from marketing suddenly stormed into her by the water dispenser. Full force. Not brushed by, or bumped into. Or stumbled or lurched. He charged her. Not head down, but straight on. About the same height and weight, he thrust his body, point by point against hers, knocking her over. Arms and legs akimbo, his glasses ground into her nose. His eyes glared into hers.

“What the hell?” she said. His nose wrinkled up, nostrils flaring. “Oh, wow,” she said. “What do you want from me?” She struggled to get up, looking for others, but no one else was around. He bumped her back down. Pushed her. “Bloody hell. What’re you doing?” Mouth wide-open, he yelled into her face, “AAAAAAAhhhhh!”  “Goddamn!” she said. “What the hell is wrong with you?” He screamed, “AAAAAAhhhhhh.” “Tell me what you want,” she said. He yelled “AAAAAAAhhhhh RAISE!”

She cowered. Completely. Groveling, not even pretending to have any dignity, saying, “You know how it is. Cutbacks, lay-offs, lean budgets. No fat. There’s nothing I can do. My tail is tied.” She crawled to her feet, backed up, let him brush off his clothes, smooth back his hair, straighten his glasses. “Maybe next year.” She managed to smile. “Maybe even next quarter, if revenues are looking good . . .” She tried to touch him, take his hand, but he bristled. He shook his head and the shudder continued down his body.

She smiled more broadly. “If I could, I would. You know that. I’m telling you I’d crow your successes in the field. I’d feed the fodder. You’d get paid for your awesome ability and availability. I’d do it. If I could.” She picked lint off her yellow suit jacket. “We’re in this field together, you know, playing the same game, both cock-a-doodle-doing.”

He bowed. Shuffling back and forth, his shoes friction on the linoleum, he spat out something about investing with retained earnings, outside funding, a debt to equity ratio. She nodded, scratching her head. Later, of course, she fired him.