After HOWARD spent his lunch internet shopping and changing his life insurance, he asked me if I had any life insurance. “No”, I said.
“Who’s your home insurance with then?”
“I don’t have anything like that either”.
HOWARD stared, open mouthed.
“I asked around insurance companies,” I explained, “but they said there was no point. My furniture’s rented. There’s only bits and pieces. It didn’t amount to enough.”
HOWARD doubled over laughing. I’d never seen him so tickled. “That’s so sad,” he roared. He wiped his eyes and looked round to see if anyone else was listening. I kicked myself and tried to save face.
“I don’t really believe in all that materialistic nonsense,” I said. “Like Michael Landy...I saw a programme about him. He did this art installation, Diminishing Returns, where he put all his stuff on a conveyor belt and fed it into a shredder. How brilliant...I mean, it’s terrifying and brave and brilliant and – “
“Jesus – there’s something wrong with you!”
“But can you imagine? All of your things? Appliances, furniture, everything personal...gone.”
“You’re a...a gypo...a - freak,” he said. He spilt a little coffee on his shirt. He dropped half the file he was looking at on the floor.
HOWARD’S threatened by my living alone and seeming content. He thinks my pride takes any chance I have for happiness and success, puts it on a conveyor belt and feeds it into a shredder.
HOWARD’S duplicate Counsel’s Advice was still on my desk to be shredded. I wheeled the office shredder over and plugged it in.
“Why are you doing that now?” he asked. “You’ve got typing to do. You’re slow enough as it is. It’s like watching a Daisy Wheel.” HOWARD milled his arms. “You type like you’re in a gay fight. You’re the only secretary who’d be faster just using two fingers.”
The machine drowned him out.
Between you and me, my pride’s the only thing still intact after 36 years of diminished returns.
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."