She sat there, her feet curled up underneath her as she waited in the poorly padded chair. listening to the clock tick… tick… ticking away the minuets until the end of her shift. Ignoring the electric light of the computer screen in favor of picking at the dirt that had collected beneath her nails.
Fridays at the temp agency were the worst.
She snapped her gum running a hand through her poorly dyed purple and brown hair, not even bothered when her fingers snagged a rather painful tangle. Her heavily lined blue eyes lazily drifted to the clock, tick… tick… tick…
“Alex!” She heard her name as it was barked over the ugly grey walls of her cubicle. Great, Christine. It wasn’t that Christine was a terrible boss, lord knows Alex had worked for worse, it was just that Christine had a penchant for being all to happy about everything and being far too polite. It gave the impression that her smile might crack her face at any moment and she’d go on a horrific homicidal killing spree.
Slowly Alex unfolded herself from her position at her less than impressive pressboard desk and walked out into the maze of grey headed for the office on the outskirts of the peon field.
Alex tugged at the bottom of her poorly fitted clearly borrowed brown suit jacket, which she’d paired with a pair of tastefully stained faded jeans, hey it was Friday, and she’d be damned if she was going to put any more effort into this sorry excuse for a job than she had to.
“What’s up Christine?” she asked, feigning a smile and an upbeat intonation.
“Come in and close the door.” Christine said looking serious as though whatever she had to say was top secret and she couldn’t have anyone not on the secret list knowing about it. Alex raised a thin eyebrow as she shut the door and went to sit in the chair across from her boss.
She took in the knickknacks strewn about the desk and the depressing photo that should have been of family or a husband but instead was of her two grey hounds Harpo and Clem, the only family that Alex had ever heard Christine speak of.
“Alex I need you to do me an enormous favor,” Christine was leaning forward, doing the whole ‘we’re best friends routine’. Alex didn’t mind seeing as the only two friends her boss probably had were her dogs, and overall the woman was harmless. Besides, it never hurt to be in good with the boss.
“What do you need?” She asked, fiddling with the ring of keys she had clipped to the front belt loop of her jeans.
“I have a stack of placement reports that need to be done by tomorrow. Normally I’d stay and do them myself but I… well… I have something I have to do tonight” she said looking crossly at her hands as though whatever the thing was would be far too embarrassing to say allowed.
“You want me to stay late… and do the reports… on a friday” Alex’s face showed a sarcastic displeasure.
“Please Alex I wouldn’t ask you it’s just I really have this … Thing… tonight.” It was true, well about the normally not asking anyway. Christine practically lived at the office. It was like she soaked up happy powers from working there or something.
“What is so important about tonight?” Alex was curious, she’d never seen her boss so embarrassed about anything, not since the office Christmas party incident where she’d accidentally walked in on some interesting supply closet activities.
“I… I can’t say.”
“Christine…?” alex looked at her as if to say, ‘come on it can’t be that bad’.
“Fine. I have a date ok?”
Alex’s eyebrows shot up in surprise. The idea that a man might see fit to take her boss on a date skewing her view of the woman. It wasn’t that Christine wasn’t acceptable looking. It was more that she gave the impression that she was contented to live with the love of K-9 companions for the rest of her life. Alex looked at her boss, who was giving her the most sincere look of pleading.”
“Sure,” Alex said, standing up and straightening her jacket again before headed to the door. “But you owe me overtime for this.” She said the last as though she were giving up on plans because she was just too nice. In reality she couldn’t have given a shit, it’s not like she had plans that evening, besides, she was sure the work wouldn’t take long, and she knew that her office neighbor had a bottle of tequila stashed in her bottom desk drawer. She’d never even know it went missing.