Monday, October 16, 2006

The Benefits of Boredom
Lucy Rogers was bored. The uninspiring cubicle she sat in had nothing to offer but relentless monotony, but Lucy thought everyone and everything at work was boring. It wasn’t exactly the job that she had envisioned when she graduated business school, but it paid for the loft apartment that she leased downtown. She looked in the tiny mirror on her wall and grimaced at her reflection. Yuck! The new bob haircut was a disaster!

Casually switching on the desk radio she received for her twenty-fifth birthday, the unmistakable sounds of country music twanged its way out of her cubicle and across the room.

"I don’t think so," she said as she changed channels.

Finally settling on her favorite station, WKIX the Rock, Lucy settled down and looked through her in-pile and began humming to the strains of Styx.

Suddenly, the overpowering scent of rose perfume invaded her space.

"Hey Lucy!" Cindy, the perky, new blonde employee at the next cubicle said excitedly as she skipped up to Lucy’s desk. "Got a minute?

Groan. "No."

"You won’t guess what happened this morning!"

"Ok, I won’t," Lucy said in a bored tone, still hunched over her work. She had suffered through hour after hour of Cindy’s perkiness since the woman had started the month before and she couldn’t keep her mouth shut. Today though, she seemed extra perky, if that was even possible.

"Come one! You have to guess!" Cindy pressed.

"What? Your vibrator died?"

"Whah?" she said with eyebrows slanted in confusion, "Nooo, I mean, my boyfriend told me that he is taking me on this, like so totally cool vacation to Cozumel and I just have to go shopping for some new clothes after work. Ya wanna go with me?"

Lucy groaned. "No thank you Cindy, but I have to go home and wash my hair," and wax my bikini area, and pluck my eyebrows, and nail my feet to the floor….

"Oh and Luce! Mr. Jones, the VP over in Accounting, said he’d get me transferred over to his office next month. Can you believe it? I just got here! But don’t tell anybody…" Cindy went on and on, leaning against the door, while Lucy’s nerves grew more and more taunt. "Oh, and I have a date for this weekend. I mean, we’ve never met and all, but since he was recommended by June over in Leasing, I thought, what the heck, I’ll give him a try. I mean, how dangerous could he be? And my boyfriend doesn’t care. He thinks it’s kinky…"

All the while, Lucy ground her teeth and waited for Cindy’s energy to spend itself. No sign of that happening any time soon.

"Don’t you think Mr. Jones is kinda cute, Lucy? Never mind his bald spot, but he does have possibilities," Cindy giggled.

Lucy glanced past her and saw the object of discourse making his way across the room. She grinned with malice.

"Oh, do go on," she cooed.

"What? Oh yes, Mr. Jones… Did you know, Lucy, that he likes blondes? He told me so himself." Cindy tapped her cheek with a pencil. "I wonder if he’s married. He never wears a ring, so you can’t tell, but sometimes married men take off their rings so they can cheat all they want…" Cindy continued, oblivious to the approach of said Mr. Jones behind her.

Lucy hurriedly began typing out a letter as Cindy continued her "chat". The audacity of this freak amazed her. Did she have any sense at all?

"I wonder if I slept with Mr. Jones, would he give me a raise?" Cindy mused aloud as a red-faced Mr. Jones abruptly turned about and left. But Cindy didn’t stop there. Lucy’s mood began to change as Cindy-the-slut began talking about other office workers. Loudly.

"Oh, and I hope you don’t mind, but the other day when you were sick, I borrowed your radio."
She did what? Lucy frantically checked her radio for signs of abuse.

Cindy went on, "Did you see Mrs. Fortenbury today? Even if she is a supervisor, she should keep up with fashion, shouldn’t she?" she asked, pointedly looking at Lucy for approval. "I mean, come on! No one wears pants suits anymore.

A head popped out of the cubicle next door.

"And Debbie over in Admin? She is just a walking attic-dweller! I swear, Lucy, she must be wearing her old granny’s dresses!"

Another head popped out from another cubicle.

Lucy started sweating. Her hands crept up to her face and hid her eyes.

Cindy was on a roll and whispered, "You wouldn’t know it, but Bruce over there," she pointed at a well-dressed man a few aisles over, "he has a secret stash of pot in his desk! Can you believe it? It’s a wonder he hasn’t gotten fired."

More heads popped out.

Lucy began silently wishing that she had never complained about being bored, but the terror went on.

"I can’t understand why I had to leave my old job, Lucy. You are such a good listener too. You’re a sweetheart," Cindy said as she leaned against the desk, "Anyway, my old job was OK, but no one knew what they were doing. I mean, I had to practically run the entire office! Speaking of entire office, don’t tell anyone, but I think everyone over here ought to pop a few pills if you know what I mean."

Jeez Louise! Is she for real? I have got to buy an iPod or something.

"Well, I have to get back to my desk now. My favorite radio station is having a contest today. Hey, that’s it!" Cindy gestured towards Lucy’s radio. "WKIX! You have to listen in and see if I win." She giggled again. "I always win."

Lucy sighed in relief as the Employee From Hell left and sat down at her own desk. There was something to be said for boredom, she thought.

A little while later, over her radio, she heard the contest announcement that Cindy had spoken of.

"This is WKIX, the Rock, and we have a great contest going on out there, folks. Just be the third caller and you can win a thousand bucks!"

Cindy’s squeal penetrated Lucy’s eardrums and made her stomach roll. As Cindy began dialing, Lucy poked her finger into her mouth and pretended to gag.

"Hello? Is this WKIX?" Cindy’s voice came over the radio.

To Lucy's amazement, the announcer confirmed that Cindy was the third caller.

Wouldn’t you know it? The little witch did it.

As Cindy started to excitedly give her name and address, Lucy reached over to their shared phone lines, calmly pulled them out of the wall jack and smiled.

©2006 Dana Sieben
Copyright Dana 2005
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Name: Dana
Location: Chicago, and if y'all call me a Yankee, I'll have to cyber-smack ya'!

I'm just a mom of two, a crafter of jewelry, and to keep my sanity among the Yankees (kidding)I write southern-themed poetry, short stories and memoirs. I have been published on the web on sites such as USA Deep South, Southern Humorists, Muscadine Lines - A Southern Journal, Mosaic Minds and Long Story Short. I am also a contributor in Dew on the Kudzu and Weight-Loss where I write dieting humor.

And this is my blog... Kudzu, funny family stories, poems, family ghosts, snakes, sun-kissed southern memories all inside! Plus some travel reviews, recipes and more! I also make handcrafted jewelry! Check out my jewelry blog - Colors of the Woods

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