Over lunch hour the overflow of reception telephone calls are diverted to me. As I’m stuck at my desk I usually bring a book. This week I’m reading Submarine by Joe Dunthorne. Its central character is the clever and self absorbed teen, Oliver, who doesn’t understand the difference between humour and mocking abuse. Oliver is an only child, but if he’d had an older brother then it could have been HOWARD. Funnily enough he decided to join me.
“What are you reading?” HOWARD asked.
I held up the cover, “It’s clever – and funny,” I told him.
He snatched it from my hands and flicked through. As I demanded he give it back, he dodged away and stood behind the Practice Manager, reading. I thought for a moment he was genuinely interested. Then he held up the book in triumph.
“Page 86,” he announced to the PM and others working through lunch. “Page 86 – as follows – She pulls me on top of her but doesn’t spread her legs. My cock wags a little –“
Mortified, I surprised him by grabbing it back. I threw it into my carrier bag. I was beetroot. He knows how shy I get.
“My cock wags a little…a bit inappropriate for lunchtime, Eva, but if you like that sort of thing. HOWARD surprised me by simply returning to his desk.
“How does he do it?” I asked the PM. “He finds the exact thing to humiliate me. I couldn’t find that particular bit if my life depended on it…and it’s not like that. The book’s not that filthy. Honest. It’s literature. They compared Submarine to J D Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye. It had a review in The New York Times for goodness sake!”
“Least he’s gone now,” the PM said, laughing.
At 2pm, when everyone returned to their desks, I was absorbed in my audio typing. HOWARD snuck up behind me. He snatched my carrier bag from under the desk and pulled the book out.
Where’s page 86…wait a minute…I didn’t read 87 – Jesus, listen to this! Her pussy is wet…I start to really fuck her and my diction changes, hardens…I stuff her, pump her…I’m going to come right up inside her…I will spin her around like a wheel…”
Everyone was laughing, not so much at HOWARD, but at how red I’d gone. It’s stupid, but I ran off and locked myself in the toilet. I tried to calm down. I looked in the mirror and took a deep breath. I knew I’d have to return to my desk but I didn’t want to. I went to open the door.
Pulling at the handle - it refused to budge.
“HOWARD! Let me out!”
“Come on, HOWARD!”
He let go of the handle and declared, “I’m stronger than you.”
Too immature even for Joe Dunthorne’s, Oliver, the whole thing was more primary school than high school. Some days it really is less law – and more Lord of the Flies.
See you soon,
- Bullied By The Boss
- Welcome to my blog. My pen name is Eva James. I'm an aspiring writer paying the bills working as a legal secretary. Relentlessly bullied by my former boss, I looked for another job but the recession hit. Feeling trapped, I recorded everything in this blog, which serves as a revealing insight into workplace bullying. WEEK 1 starts the story and, as the weeks progress, you'll note what starts as banter soon spirals out of control. Sadly, it's all true. Whilst along the way I've found alternative employment, my passion for blogging about workplace bullying remains. Trevor Griffiths, legendary theatre, TV and film writer said at the outset, "I like the writing a lot: smart, cool, placed. If you were prepared/able to take your prick of a boss on, you'd marmelise him."