A story of greed, betrayal and jealousy set in the modern workplace where office politics and political correctness trump reason.
Barnes & Noble.com
Bruce, a middle aged man, is happy to take a job as a data entry operator following a period of disability. At first he doesn't think much of Janice, his lead person on the job and the story's female lead. He finds her quite moody and, frankly, a difficult person. But over time during a period of slower workload she shows off a sunnier side which Bruce finds quite attractive, and eventually he even senses that she may actually have a crush on him.
But, he soon learns that not everything is likely to progress smoothly on the workplace scene. Once he senses her apparent attraction toward him, he feels it is now safe for him to come clean regarding his attraction toward her. Current trends serve to cause headaches despite an occasional spark, and a clash of personalities between the two of them once the attraction is confessed. The mounting pressure calls for prompt attenetion to defuse any pleasant situations even though no plans for a rendezvous were ever discussed. A cadre of seven people work behind the scenes to plot his ouster from the company. That way they feel they may be able to prevent a potential problem for developing. Once Bruce's ouster proves successful this group would feel satisfied with their effort.
I belive this story is a must-read for anyone concerned with restoring a sense of fairness to the workplace, where the concept of innocent until proven guilty does not apply.
Wishing he could begin the rest of his days with Lady Janice and Lord Bruce showering each other with fortunate vibes, he wanted to convince himself that he wouldn’t need to rely on any kind of good luck charm in order to receive rewards. Janice seemed a little more vibrant again today, as he overheard her talking to some coworkers about that being the way men are. He didn’t interject into the conversation, but to himself he sensed that the comment was more in jest as opposed to any kind of sarcasm. His appreciation of her humor was a key component to his desire to have someone like her as part of his life.
Opportunities for him to increase his bank account were foreseen as he could work long enough to erase the doldrums of the past year. With the increased workload overtime could become available and could afford him the opportunity for him to be able to take Janice someplace where they could dance. This is his dream, even if he has to travel through some of the city’s mean streets as a consequence.
Going dancing with Janice is his main goal at this time. It wouldn’t matter if no sexual liaison developed. And this was an incentive for him to continue his good work and to continue showing ambition. By doing so he figured that it could soon lead to a pay raise or a promotion which could make it easier for him to budget more successfully, all the while looking ahead toward working his way to having a place in Janice’s life. When he looked her way he would feel funny inside, really desiring to get to know her better away from the prying eyes of the workplace.
Furthermore, he would take the time on his way home to buy a lottery ticket and also enter a sweepstakes contest in hope that it could increase the chance of a lucky streak. He would still feel incomplete as long as Janice still didn’t occupy an entry on his calendar of events. His top priority was to be able to get with her and have some fun one night. And suddenly buoyed with optimism, he would now hope for fruition.
Janice was now spending a much smaller portion of the workday at her desk located nearly across from Bruce. She is training for her new responsibility in a newly created department. She may be asked to present a lecture or to speak up at a meeting. In addition she also assumed a responsibility of helping to organize a picnic for friends and family this upcoming summer. As the daylight hours are now lengthening, she would take a ride after work to help with the sorting out of life processes.
This evening she would spend some time brushing up on her proposed presentation and make the revisions which she felt would end up with her words more likely to be received positively by the audience. Following this, home should be a fun place this evening, especially as friends and family members would drop by for a visit. She would play a wish upon a star game with her girls plus a couple of friends’ children. It would be a satisfying and enjoyable experience for those participating.
Bruce would sense some optimism at the moment. But if he began thinking that his get it done attitude regarding the workload would serve to bring Janice to a higher point in his life, he would soon be forced to think again.
Bruce continued to find it exciting being in Janice’s company, and now figured her less-lively phase to be merely connected to the increased workload since the addition of the new account. Last night he meditated on the possibility of him coming clean on his attraction for her. So he phoned a psychic reader who advised him to wait a while longer, that if he spoke too soon the desired results may not be achieved.
Energy levels would be on the rise as a buzz of excitement pervades today’s atmosphere. Janice seemed to be her livelier and more chatty self. Bruce would tread cautiously as far as engaging in the conversations. As his senses awakened so did his sweet spot for her, which would prove extremely hard to resist. Now the birds and bees were heavy on his mind, with his perceived buttercup just across the aisle from where he was sitting.
At the start of the New Year, Janice made an informal resolution to get in better shape. As physical fitness became an ongoing issue for her, she would try to persuade a few of her friends and coworkers to go on a regular walk or run around the park or a local shopping mall, as this can increase the chance of remaining fit and healthier well into old age.
In her more gregarious phase Janice and a few others would tease Bruce a bit in an attempt to diffuse whatever interest in her he is perceived to have. Robin in particular would chime in to this, saying things such as “listen carefully and you may hear the peal of wedding bells.” On the surface at least it still appeared as though these people were friendly toward him, and as one of their single friends possibly looking for the perfect romantic match, they would now put their matchmaking skills to the test on the hunch that they could make two people very happy. Janice mentioned a couple of ladies on site who may be looking.
An expressive mood would now overtake Bruce. When Donna, one of the women who worked in another area from him asked him how he was today, he told her right out that he was feeling as though he could conquer the world. He added that today’s main challenge is to remain positive and enthusiastic rather than succumbing to gloomy or pessimistic thoughts. And while she thought his attitude to be right on, she had no idea as to what was on his mind that moment. For him love was in the air. And while he has always appreciated feminine charm and beauty, he was now sure that there’s no other like Janice. As one who has been romantically eyeing a coworker for a few weeks, he now had convinced himself that this was the time when he could be in luck. And he wouldn’t turn down an offer from a staff member who wished to arrange a date with one of their colleagues. The hint that Janice was who he had his sights on had been evident for some time now.
The idea of bringing it out in the open, possible baggage notwithstanding, would now prove to be irresistible, as was the idea of the others in his department wanting to drag the truth out of him. But at this point he would remain mum, as he would seek out Janice at a time when none of them were in earshot. At this point he still felt as if there was sufficient enough attraction on her part and that the opportunity could prove very beneficial.
The time finally came at the end of the work day. He made an excuse to wait around for a few minutes after the rest of the crew had left for the day. The fact that one who was said to be a reputed playboy was plotting against him was not a hindrance, and Bruce was unaware as yet that this was occurring. He told Janice that he wanted to see her for a minute prior to leaving. He then reminded her of when she suspected that he had an interest in somebody, and then told her that it was her. Janice’s response was, “Can’t happen.”
With that Bruce promptly left the premises for the day, satisfied that he had the audacity to come clean. If nothing else he felt it would clear the air.