December 15th


On Friday Bob was fired. I don’t know why, they didn’t tell us. A very stern looking fellow from a department that was definitely not Human Resources came and asked him to collect his things. The fellow was so large that at first I didn’t see Mrs. Flagrouche standing behind him. I recognized the large man as Tim from Accounting. I suppose that H.R. simply pick out the bulkiest people to do the removal part of the ‘termination’ so no-one resists. The only previous time I have ever witnessed someone being fired was when George Melon in Dispatch was terminated. Whilst clearing out his things, he dropped a pen, leaned down to pick it up and banged his head on the desk. He swore loudly. In five minutes the police had arrived and George was removed in handcuffs. He looked very surprised as he was frog-marched out of the premises. I don’t think George was trying be violent, but HR have procedures and they must be followed. It’s only in the last few weeks that I ever questioned why, but I chose not to air my questions at this juncture.

When Mrs Flagrouche’s head appeared from behind Tim and announced that he was ‘as of this moment no longer a team member’, Bob glanced at the coffee container, and back at Tim, and smiled. He didn’t look surprised, if anything, he looked peaceful. It reminded me of that movie where the criminal is taken from jail after years in solitary confinement to be executed in the public square.

I forget the name of the film.

Tim passed Bob a small cardboard box, the kind that reams of paper come in. Bob took the box, looked at it, then, from the vast amount of personal items on his desk, he chose a single six-sided dice and placed it into the box. Appearing to be satisfied, he strode towards the door.

At the threshold, he turned to me, nodded at the coffee can and said “You better keep that, mate. It’s all yours. Do you good.” And he winked at me. I paused for a moment, then waved back.

Mrs. Flagrouche scowled at me from behind Tim and the three of them left. I turned back to my computer screen. There was a problem ticket, the subject line of which said: ‘My computer shut down for no reason. What should I do?’

My first thought was to take a walk outside. It was a lovely day, after all.

August 1st

Tsoda-canhere are two dead fruit flies on the other side of my office window. The wind does not blow them off, and they have been there for several weeks.

At 12:00 today I informed that I had received a promotion.

This is confusing to me as I did not apply for a new job. I don’t believe I ever been promoted, as it is not the sort of thing I would like. According to the email, I have been awarded the position of I.T. Desktop Support Technician. It’s not in the same department. This would be a considerable change. The proposed job description leads me to believe I will be working with computers. This is a problem as I don’t know anything about computers, other than the fact that most of the ones I come into contact with malfunction on a consistent basis.

I felt as though there had been some error, so I requested a meeting with H.R.

I’m not altogether trusting of that department, mainly because it has the words ‘Resources’ and ‘Human’ in the title. It makes me think of being crushed to death whilst being trapped inside a soda can.

The meeting was granted, and I met with Mrs Flagrouche. She has not talked to me since last year when I broke her projector. During the meeting I felt as though she was squinting at me. I then remembered someone saying that they thought she had experienced a stroke and not realized it. Perhaps her husband had neglected to inform her of these things.

After interrupting me while I was trying to explain, she told me that ‘yes, there had been a clerical error in me being promoted’, and ‘yes, on behalf of H.R. she was permitted to apologize,’ however ‘unfortunately my original position had been filled within the last ninety minutes’. I was told I could either accept the position, or ‘look elsewhere’.

I reminded her that I would need to at least train a replacement as I felt my job was complicated and required experience and care. She made a strange snorting noise, and said it was completely unnecessary, and that they had replaced me with a sixteen year old summer worker.

I went on to tell her that I didn’t know anything about computers other than that the switch on the front glowed when it was switched on. She smiled and told me that I was a quick learner. Or at least she hoped I was. I do not know why she said that.

I went back to my desk and began packing up the items from my desk. I remember feeling extremely warm around my neck and back. I stared for a long time at my computer. The plastic casing looks complicated. Perhaps that is the most complicated part of the machine. I hope so.

Paula, the lady in the next cubicle, who I have worked with for the past eight and a half years, asked me what I was doing. I explained the situation. I told her I would no longer be working with her.

She replied: “Oh, well. That’s a shame.” and continued typing.

I noticed that there are now three dead fruit flies outside the window. Maybe they will let me come back and see them when I’m not busy. I will miss having a window.