Tell me it Ain’t so! by Arhonda Luman

Sally Jo was excited. New clothes, new underwear, new shoes, and even more than that, new job!  Ha! She laughed to herself. No one but her knew her panties were new. She couldn’t quite figure out why it was such a big deal to her to have on new panties! She giggled out loud at the absurdity of her thoughts. That question was not on the job application. That was a good thing too!  Knowing her, she probably had a hole in them that day.

She wasn’t the typical run of the mill employee. She did ditzy things, like spilling coffee on her crisp white blouse.

She was an exemplary employee, though, even taking into consideration, her low self-esteem.efficient-woman

Day in and day out, she showed up to her job and performed it to the best of her ability. The paycheck was nice, but the office setting left a little to be desired. She had not found her niche. For some reason, she just didn’t feel part of the crowd.  In a quandary, she glanced around at some of the other office girls. red-suit

Yikes!!!  Perhaps the lady in the red suit was the reason she felt so, . . .. she grasped for the word, “inadequate.”

“Get over it! ” she admonished herself, none too gently. She refocused her attention on the things that were important. Namely, her jobs and duties.

Every day, she learned more and more about her job. She could honestly say she loved it, and perhaps even mastered it, but when her boss sent her an email and asked her to come into his office, suddenly, self-doubt and her sense of being inferior assailed her.

“Oh, my, I wonder what I have done wrong?” she murmured to herself. Trying not to show weakness in the den of divas, she subtly glanced down to see if breakfast was still clinging to her blouse.  Whew! It wasn’t.

She stood outside the office with his name on it. Brian Botista. The polished wood of the door facing and the individualized wooden lettering shone in her green eyes like a spotlight. Feeling trapped, she squinted slightly, braced for the unknown, and knocked on the door.

“Come in!”

She heard those words, but for some unknown reason her over-active mind processed them as, “Ready, aim, fire!” After that visual,  she needed one more minute outside the door to gather her wits about her.  Giving herself a mental shake, she admonished herself, “Put your big girl panties on and get in there you big coward!”

Just as she grabbed hold of the doorknob,  the door jerked open. Her boss had opened it attorpedo the same time and launched her into his office like a torpedo. The wall on the other side of the room was coming at her fast! Just in the nick of time, she regained her balance, but not her composure. Her face was scarlet and burned like fire, but it at least it wasn’t planted in the sheetrock. She was embarrassed beyond belief.  Brian, who was still holding on to the blasted door that catapulted her into the office, motioned for her to sit in the chair right in front of his desk. Her feet felt encapsulated in concrete, and her knees felt like rubber. She felt her ankles wobble in the thick carpet.   She hoped she could get to the chair without bursting into tears. This scenario already had all the ingredients for disaster.

She groaned inwardly,  with the words running through her mind,”I cannot believe what a klutz I am.”

Brian appeared nonplussed.

Maintaining her composure was a difficult chore. Every step she took in those cute high heels across the plush carpet, made her ankles wobble like a loose tire on a trailer. Her over-active imagination gave her another visual. She figured that wobbling caused her head to bobble like one of those bobble toys that she had seen in the back window of a car once.

Somehow, she kept the expression on her face professionally impassive and did not allow him to see her fear. She was nervous and wished he would stop being so polite and just tell her what he wanted.

She squirmed unconsciously in her chair, crossing her legs, then thinking better of it, only crossed them at the ankles.

Finally, her boss said, ”  Miss Primrose there is something I have wanted to talk to you about.”

Sally Jo’s heart beat so hard she could feel it in her throat. “UG!” she thought, “I hope he  gives me time to clean out my desk and doesn’t have me escorted out of the building by security.”

“Stop it! Stay calm! Give the man a chance to tell you what he wants!”

Just then, Brian told her, “Please excuse me; I need to get some papers. I’ll be back in just a few minutes.”

He stood and left the room.

As soon as he left the room, a terrible pain hit her stomach.  Sally Jo panicked.”NO! Please tell me this is not happening.” Another pain hit, and she knew she was in trouble.  She tried to hold back the gas that threatened to erupt but her insides were boiling, like hot water on a stove. She knew things were not going to be pretty. The thing that she feared had some upon her. She could not control the urge, and allowed the fetid gas to escape!

scared-smiley-face“OH MY WORD!” she said loud enough anyone could hear.  She had to do something and do it fast; he would be back in just a second.

Her quick mind went into a frenzy.  Because she was alone in that room, she was pretty sure he would figure out who had the sour stomach. In full blown panic, she jumped up, ran across the hall to the ladies restroom and grabbed a bottle of room deodorizer. She ran like a wild woman back to the office and sprayed it quickly in the direction of her boss’s desk, hoping to freshen the room before he got back and save herself from wanting to give up the ghost from total humiliation. Unfortunately, for her and him, he had made it back to his desk, and she managed to squirt him in the face with the sweet smelling lavender spray.

Brian was taken completely by surprise. He coughed and sputtered for a moment before he was able to take a handkerchief out of his pocket and wipe the spray from his face and off of his glasses.

“When will this nightmare end?” she asked herself as she tried to disappear by slipping lower in her chair.

Tears were welling up in her eyes when she heard him say, “Oh! That’s ok. There’s no need to spray the office. I don’t have a sense of smell anyway.  All that fancy room spray is wasted on me.”

Immediately relief washed over her like a warm rain in the springtime. He couldn’t smell.  WHEW! How lucky is that?

Brian handed her the papers and said I want you to read them and sign them if you agree to the terms of the pay raise and hours.  “It is a contract. I want you to become manager of the office. Do you think you can do that?”

Sally Jo read them and signed them immediately. She was thrilled. She had been scared all afternoon and who would have thought that good could come out of this. Not only that but, who would have thought she avoided being humiliated in his office by sheer luck.

She reported for duty the next morning. Curiously, she asked her co-worker, Miranda, “How did Mr. Batista lose his sense of smell?”

Miranda had to take some papers down the hall but shot back over her shoulder, “Oh, you must be mistaken, there is nothing wrong with his nose!”

The world stopped spinning on its axis  for one second then,  started again. This time,  her thoughts put everything  in balance.

Sally took a deep breath. “Hmmm. He had a perfect chance to humiliate me and chose to encourage me instead. If I want to be a good boss, I should take lessons from him”

And so she did and lived happily ever after.

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