The sweepstake for the drunken Christmas party snog was tipped for me and HOWARD. I was told it’s our fizzing chemistry. Never mind that the heat generated between us is dislike on his side and humiliation on mine. And if that wasn’t enough, let’s not forget he’s married. This week, I’ve been questioned five times about my feelings for HOWARD. I just laughed.
If they were looking for signs of romance when the meal began, they were disappointed. He couldn’t even look at me.
“Yuk,” he said. “Cover yourself up, people are about to eat!” HOWARD picked up my shrug and threw it over my head.
“What are you doing for Christmas, anyway? Waking up alone Christmas morning and wishing yourself a Merry Christmas? Will you think about families opening presents together? If you get lonely you could phone the Samaritans. I say that because I’m joining them for the holidays. When you phone up, undecided about suicide, I can encourage you to get on with it.”
I drained my glass, filled it up again and raised it to HOWARD.
HOWARD, busy texting his wife during the meal, completely missed a colleague’s request to pull a cracker. When they turned the lights down for the disco, HOWARD angled his phone in my direction to hide the screen. It was hard to avoid glimpsing what he’d written. Why was he being unpleasant about his colleagues? I watched our innocent workmates dancing and joking as disco lights waltzed around them. I couldn’t work out whether he genuinely hated them or was just trying to let his wife know he wasn’t having fun while she was stuck at home.
One of the PI solicitors rolled up, the worse for wear. He fell against the back of my chair.
“Hope HOWARD remembered your Christmas kiss?” he shouted.
“Yuk! I’m not kissing that,” HOWARD replied.
“HOWARD, mate, you should have been a stand-up comedian!”
Even when HOWARD and I were the only ones at the table, he still couldn’t look at me. Between texts, he was scathing about the revellers and about Christmas in general. I snuck out to the ladies, but afterwards checked out my coat and went home. I felt guilty leaving HOWARD without saying goodbye. As I hurried out into the freezing street I looked up at the revellers on the first floor. HOWARD sat alone at the table. I reminded myself how selfish his negative attention is. It’s nothing more than misery loves company.
When I got in I kicked off my heels, switched on my sparkly Christmas lights, put on my NOW Christmas CD and sank onto the sofa. If it comes down to a choice between being moulded into HOWARD’S protégé or being a disloyal blog-happy secretary - at least this way, I still get to celebrate Christmas.
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."