Prompt: go to a random playlist and write an entry inspired by the first song you hear.
My song is Head Over Heels by The Go-Go’s.
I slip into my desk moments before my boss comes around the corner. I play it cool, manually slowing down my breath and slowly sliding my purse off the desk so he doesn’t notice I just ran in here.
“Good morning, Becca.”
“Good morning, Jeff. How are you today?”
I smile my best smile, breathing through my teeth, hoping he talks long enough for me to stop sounding winded.
“Good, good. My favorite coffee shop- you know, the little Italian one on the corner? What’s it called, Belettos? Bolitas? I don’t know, but anyway, it was closed this morning, so I’m running on half-caff, you know?”
I nod, tilting my head just enough to convey sympathy. “That’s too bad. Are they closed for good or just this morning?”
“Well, I can’t tell you. The sign said they’re remodeling, so I don’t know when or if they’re going to open up again. A real bummer, I tell you. Really puts a damper on my morning.”
I keep nodding like some sort of demented bobblehead. “I’m sure they’ll open again, Jeff.”
“I really hope so, you know? They’re just the best place around for a cappuccino.”
There’s an awkward moment, him staring into his coffee cup wistfully while I try to figure out if I can stop nodding.
“Anyway. I wanted to talk to you about your latest document.”
“Oh. Is there a problem with it?”
“Oooo, we don’t use the word ‘problem’ anymore. Office guidelines are that we’re using the phrase ‘can be improved’ now. Did you get the memo?”
“Right, yes, I got that memo, I just forgot. Can the document be improved?”
“I think it can, Becca. You’re a real up and comer here in the office, and I want to see you succeed.”
“I’d like to see that too, Jeff. What can I do to improve?”
“Well, I don’t want to talk about it here in the office, open environment and all. We in management prefer to have these discussions with doors.”
“Oh, so should I come with you or…?”
“I’ll tell you what, Becca, how about I set up a meeting for us in one of the conference rooms and we can talk about this document. How does that sound?”
“Sounds great, Jeff. Thank you.”
I watch him mosey off, secretly hoping his coffee turns to cat piss. My head hits the desk with a resounding thud as I exhale slowly. Five years ago, I would have been thrilled to have this job, but now that I have it…
“I need a new job,” I whisper into the pressed wood. “The sooner the better.”