Hyacinth Andersen, 6/1/2015

Current Occupation: Customer Service Manager
Former Occupation: Secretary
Contact Information: Hyacinth Andersen’s poems have appeared in Black Magnolias Literary Journal and on MindsetPoetry.Org and TimBookTu's websites.  Her memoir, All or Nun: Memoir of a Black Catholic Growing Up,  was listed as a semifinalist in the Kindle Book Review Best Indie Books 2013 Contest. 

 

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Don’t Feed the Animals

 

    Trina stands at the watering hole watching employees eat company-provided muffins and bagels.  They are a motley crew at work: Rachel, the woman who is obsessed with clipping coupons; Marty, the uber-sarcastic male who is woman repellent; Tania, the effervescent nonstop talker; Parker, the CEO; and Trina, the highly-driven, type-A personality who is determined to climb the corporate ladder.

    Rachel offers Trina a muffin, but she resists taking one.  Trina knows that muffins and bagels can make one fat and are the equivalent of corporate anesthesia–comfort food provided to the masses to keep them calm. And Trina knows the soothing shade of blue the break room walls were recently painted has the added benefit of being a stress reducer. She read an article in a scientific journal about how colors can affect mood and well-being and she recognizes what Parker is trying to do at the office.   

    But Trina is not like the other employees at Davis & Associates.  She is smart, tough, and fit.  Trina has worked hard to achieve what she has in life, and she is ready to take on more responsibility.  Hence, the late afternoon meeting Parker has scheduled with her.   

    Trina knows the meeting is about her yearly evaluation.  She has busted her butt for the company for several years now, working long hours and putting up with office politics, in the hope of advancing her career.  She wants to be more than an analyst.  She wants to be Parker’s right-hand woman, a vice president with the company, and she has worked hard to obtain her goal.

    Parker listens attentively as Rachel relays a story about her adventures in coupon clipping. What she bought, how much she saved, yadda yadda. Trina is bored with Rachel’s chatter, but she pretends to be as interested as Parker is in the story.  Parker then listens as Marty tells a joke.  

    Typical Marty. He loves to tell jokes though he usually ruins the punch line. You would think he would know better. Go figure.

      Parker finishes listening to Marty’s joke before nodding in Trina’s direction. He leaves the watering hole and returns to his office with Trina following close behind.  It is time for her evaluation. Trina is positively aglow with anticipation.

    Parker tells Trina to take a seat before closing his office door.  Trina sits in a chair opposite his desk and folds her hands neatly in her lap.  Parker begins speaking about the contributions she has made to the company and how he appreciates her being a high performer.  He says she will receive a raise and a bonus, but not the promotion to vice president.  Glenn, from the fourth floor, has received the promotion instead.

    When Trina inquires as to the reasoning behind her not being promoted, Parker states her contributions were not deemed “CEO worthy”.  Trina is stunned by the news as she has worked twice the number of billable hours that Glenn has worked over the last two years and she has put in more time at the office.  In fact, the more Trina thinks about what Parker has said to her, the angrier she becomes. Parker all but promised her a promotion, and now she realizes he fed her a lot of baloney for two years.

    Trina plasters a smile on her face and finishes out the meeting with Parker.  However, she is angry at the way Parker has treated her.  She wants to scream.  She wants to break something.

    She heads to the break room, grabs a chocolate chip muffin off of the table and takes a big bite out of it.  She can taste its gluten-filled goodness as she chews the muffin and swallows it down.   Marty enters the break room for a second cup of coffee and spies Trina eating the muffin.  He starts to tell her a joke before Trina asks him out to lunch.  Marty is stunned by the invitation, but a smile creeps over his face at the thought of lunch with Trina.  He agrees to meet her at Baileys at noon.  

    Yet, Trina knows the pleasure will be all hers. She has been starved of corporate approval for too long. She intends to rip Marty’s ego to shreds later. Her claws are sharp for occasions like this, and she intends to use wiles to take down her prey.     

 

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