“Out of Office” by Timothy Boudreau

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Westfield Office Crew—a few reminders for while I’m out of the office next week:

 

  • Patricia Anders: Please debit GL 4358 to rebate her check fees.  If she’s satisfied with our service she’ll bring oatmeal raisin cookies.  She puts nutmeg in them, they’re outstanding.
  • John Hennessey: Jacki H. is our Loan Dept contact on Mr. Hennessey’s home equity loan.  Please use TLC with both Mr. Hennessey and Jacki H. We all know how Mr. Hennessey can be, and Jackie’s held a grudge since I questioned one of her loan turndowns.  Please exercise caution in all interactions. She’s efficient but vengeful.
  • Promotions: The credit card contest runs through the end of the month.  We’re already lagging behind other offices; I don’t have to tell you how much it would mean to me to win one.  Just once in my life please Lord let it be now.
  • Cami Allan from the Conway Office may call, I hope so with my body’s every breath.  Please remind her I’ll be out all week. Use a lightly sweet tone, a tone of affectionate friendship.  Confirm that she has my cell number; encourage her to call me at home. Disregard any rumors that we’ve dated or spent quality time together.  It’s also untrue that I’ve haunted her inbox with jokes and cartoons, and that I’m pining away for her emotional support, sly sense of humor and throaty work phone voice.  Please don’t tell her I love her and forget that you know.
  • Glenn Dodge from the Prescott Office may call seeking help, in fact he’ll definitely try to bully you into forgoing your lunches to cover theirs.  Fuck him, he’s got plenty of staff over there, tell him to use it.
  • Emergencies: Please have Facilities, Security, IT and Branch Admin emergency contacts ready.  For God’s sake try not to bother Danielle in Branch Admin. She already thinks I’m incompetent, she used the phrase “scaredy cat” in the last Managers Meeting, it made me look like a jackass.  You may call my cell, but be advised that I’ll spend much of the week studying old episodes of The Voice and American Idol.  You may not realize but I was in choir in high school, singing was my passion.  I don’t know if you’ll believe that about me—I actually don’t know what you think about me.  Ashley, Teagan, Bobby—in your eyes am I a paunch-bellied creep?  A slump-shouldered dumbbell with a face full of burst capillaries?  Just a nice guy in over his head? I have absolutely no idea, it makes me sad.

  • Final reminder: Though internally everyone knows this is an unpaid disciplinary suspension, there’s no need to inform our Westfield Office customers.  I have a position in Town I need to maintain. Not a word, do you hear? A reminder that at Granite State Savings we’ll be rewarded appropriately if we do as our Superiors ask.  That is if I’m allowed to return to employment. The Bank is doing better lately guys! It’s not just a line we’re feeding you, this time it’s the truth.

 

Timothy Boudreau’s work appears or is forthcoming at Fiction Southeast, Lost Balloon, Milk Candy Review and elsewhere. His collection Saturday Night and other Short Stories is available through Hobblebush Books. Find him on Twitter at @tcboudreau or at timothyboudreau.com.