Percy at his Desk

Percy sat and smiled while working at his new desk on the 23rd floor. It looked over the quaint green city he had just moved to two weeks earlier during the fresh new days of spring. It was mostly clerical work that kept him at his desk. He did the types of tasks that no one else liked to do. This was fine with Percy - he preferred to keep to himself.

There was, however, one person he enjoyed seeing at his new job. Her name was Michelle. She wore her strawberry blonde hair just past her shoulders and it smelled of the sweet sent from fancy shampoos. He remembered the first moment they met more vividly than the license plate that nearly smashed in his face after stepping from the curb in New York last summer (the moment he decided to move out of the city and find a new life.) Would it be a new life with Michelle?

His cube was at an intersection where one row of cubicles ended and the next started. Sandwiched between the two department sections, Percy was steps away from kitchenette 23-M. It was the refrigerator, microwave, and coffee maker for eighty people in his cubical zone. The only steps he heard were those of Michelle. It was kitchenette 23-M on his first day where the two had met. His supervisor, Mr. Werner, had been waddling him through the office to show Percy where to find supplies and which person to ask when there were questions.

“Mr. Werner.” Percy frowned at the thought of the man. The seams of his pants were tight. He was a few sizes too large for the old gray suit he wore. Percy had wondered for weeks when the stitching might finally snap to reveal his stained boxers. But it hadn’t happened yet.

This office was relatively silent. The loudest noise Percy could hear was the gentle clicking of the keys on his computer while he typed numbers into the spreadsheet.

As Percy turned his head to the sheet where his notes lay a mumble came across his ears. When he returned to the previous position it went away. He turned to the paper again and it returned. It was a low and distant voice.

The axis of his head turned ever so slightly and the mumble became very clear. It was Mr. Werner. He could hear him as if there were in the same cube together.

“I know the Q480 form was filled out completely and delivered on time. My man Sidney filled it out and I approved it.” Werner was arguing about the futile work corporations demanded of mid level managers to track the progress of their teams. Large corporations have a business model that they follow. These model’s are measured by key indicators and metrics. A man like Mr. Werner would know his metric but never the model. “Yes, yes, I tell you I submitted it two weeks ago. Our numbers met the criteria that were set for us this quarter.”

Percy stood and put on his jacket as instructed by the employee manual. Looking over the walls of his neighbors he could see that Mr. Werner was in his office, door closed, and on the phone. This struck Percy as very peculiar.

In the one spot in his cubical, the voice of his boss reverberated off of the glass door, bounced off of the drywall of kitchenette 23-M, off the window of his cube and into his ear. The physics were purely amazing.

Percy removed his jacket and returned to his seat. Retuning to the position he spent the next hour listing to Mr. Werner. His boss spent twenty minutes talking about the Q480 form. Next he took a call from his wife who he treated very poorly. He ranted about how bad a cook she was and how rotten he felt from last night’s dinner. After his wife he talked to someone named Shirley. To this person he spoke very sweetly with until he began to softly sing the second verse of a love song to her.

This was a truly remarkable situation.

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