It was a cold, stormy night when I stood outside the office doors too scared to go inside. I always had problems adapting to new situations. Sure, I was bright, I was driven, and I was ambitious. However, there was one serious flaw, I was shy. I felt a kind of rush of energy when I opened the door and bounded into the unknown. People were bustling about, taking names and making photocopies. I welcomed the air of busyness but my elation was short lived, as soon after a lady with a stern expression came stomping up to me.
“Are you the new girl? Come on! – You should have been here 20 minutes ago, there is a lot of work for you on the table; reports need to be done by tomorrow, files in alphabetical order and… oh! While you’re at it, get me a cup of coffee.” She breathlessly said while dragging me by the arm. I didn’t even reply once, I just let her take me on this bizarre trip around the office with no hesitation. She left me at my place and I could feel all eyes on me, even though no one was looking my way. Should I talk to someone? That woman in the next cubicle looks friendly, how about that man by the water cooler? Yes, I would go talk to the man. I slowly made my way across to the water cooler, inching my way across the room. He said hello to me and flashed me a bright smile, exposing his shiny teeth. We chatted for a few minutes and I began to tell him how nervous I was. At that point he slid his hand towards my rear and said,
“Maybe I can ease the nervousness?”
Something changed in his smile, it was ugly now. I felt scared, violated. My instincts kicked in; I moved back, raised my hand and smacked his face. No job was worth compromising my dignity. He stared at me in shock and now all eyes were really on me. But I didn’t care, I didn’t care at all. I walked up to the stern looking lady from before and told her that her reports and filing would not be finished by tomorrow because I was quitting. Shock still resonated through the room, it was like everyone else was frozen in time but me. But I still didn’t care. I gathered my things and quietly walked out the door, away from this strange place.