4 years. That’s how long I’ve been at my current job. My workaversary was October 31st. Halloween. I should have dressed the part. Fat tranny call girl at a cheap motel. Fat tranny call girl who was once the beauty queen but had fallen on hard times. But they threw toffee at me. Aggressively. With no small measure of malicious intent. But I don’t care. I pick that candy up off the floor and shove it into my mouth. But I feel instant remorse as I look at all the colorfully discarded wrappers on my desk. So I crumble them up to make them look like one gigantic candy wrapper. And then I squish it and compress it to make it look like all I ate was just one small piece of green toffee. Disgusting. And terrible for your teeth. And then I throw it in the trash. But usually miss. And it will stay there until the next morning when the cleaning lady comes and picks it up.
I haven’t killed anyone at work yet. Though I’ve had to resist the urge almost every day. I call her the Ice Queen. She’s a menopausal she-devil who keeps the temperature a frigid 14 Celsius in the office irregardless of the season. And if you say anything she might feign a heart attack. Which she did once. And Magen David Adom was called in. And everyone looked at me like I was a heartless monster. And she smokes. Heavily. Right underneath the sign that says “No Smoking”. Until she quit smoking. And replaced it with an electronic cigarette. Which she walks around the office with while loudly screaming obscenities at one of the other parents in her daughter’s PTA. I would have liked to hang her from her cankles while tar and feathering her but then she wouldn’t have been there last Hanukah at the party when D., my little Mohican, ran head long into the glass door. I heard him unleash a blood-curling wail from my desk on the other side of the office. I dropped everything and ran to see him being comforted by the Ice Queen. And as much as I loathed her, at that moment, with my little man’s head rested on her icy heart, she was the kindest human being on the planet.
I have lied. To almost every co-worker. Like that nice young woman who worked with me my first year. She would make a huge omelet for herself and usually let me have some. Which was a supremely kind gesture. And she asked if my wife was ever jealous of her making my lunch. But I had never told M. Until I got drunk one day and let it slip. And M. was instantly jealous of this young woman whom I had never thought to mention. And who also happened to be making her husband (me) elaborate and incredibly delicious omelets. But I lied. And told her that the young woman was married. And incredibly ugly. Which she wasn’t. And M. found out. Because we got an invitation in the mail to her wedding a few weeks later. With a picture of her and her future husband on it.
I have lied to almost all of my co-workers. Like that widow who lost her husband a few years ago. She would bring in homemade cakes. Or cookies. And when I first started working at my company I was thin. And never touched anything that had wheat or grains in it. And so I lied. I told her I had celiac. Which is an allergy to wheat products. And for the past four years she has asked me about my celiac on an almost daily basis. Probing questions. Like when was I first diagnosed? And how did the doctors know? She was afraid her son might have it too. So she wanted me to detail everything I knew about it. Like what were some of the symptoms. And where should she get gluten free products. But now that I’m no longer thin I like to eat cookies and cakes. All the time. But I have to sneak them out of the kitchen when no one is watching. And if she ever does catch me eating a sandwich I tell her it’s on gluten free bread of course. And she holds back a tear thinking about how much I’ve suffered.
I have lusted after other co-workers. It’s not my fault. I get to work pretty early in the morning. Like 5:30. And the streetwalkers in their fishnet stockings and smeared lipstick wink at me on Hamasger Street. And I have to resist the urge to slip down an alley with one that looks like she might even do it for the spare change in my pocket. And I go up the elevator. And the cleaning lady is usually there. And she’s not attractive. Not by a long shot. But there’s something about the peculiar situation of the two of us there. Alone. In the dark. And she usually wears tight clothes. And she’s voluptuous. Like a Bukhari Christina Hendricks. And it’s too early in the morning but I’m a guy and sometimes that’s all we think about. But she smiles at me as she mops the floor completely oblivious to my secret and somewhat filthy thoughts. Which is probably better since every once in a while her husband and son join the cleaning efforts. And both are about a half meter taller and wider than me. And have hairy arms. And no necks.
I have stolen. From my co-workers. Every Rosh Hashanah we get gifts. And sometimes they suck. Like the year we got a picnic basket, a bottle of wine with our name on it and a book detailing the various nature reserves in Israel. With a cheeky note that said: “Take a Hike!” And man I should have taken a hike. But instead I stole wine bottles. And so one night I drank Michaela. And another night it was Dana. And then Yehuda. And finally when I had drunk all my co-workers I drank myself into a stupor.
Nobody makes me an omelet for lunch anymore. Nor do they offer me cake or cookies when someone is celebrating a birthday. On account of my fictitious food allergy. Which everyone knows about by now. A while back they set me up in a back room. On the opposite side of the office from the Ice Queen. In a dark and dank ivory tower that even the cleaning lady forgets. And it gets hot in there. But the boss won’t let me turn on the air conditioner. Because it’s too expensive to run it for just one person.
And so I’m always incredibly hot. Irregardless of the season.
And in my eight to nine hours of solitude I often reflect on that fateful day four years ago when I went for an interview at an advertising company on the second floor. And when I left, confident that I would in no way be getting an offer, I innocently passed a door with my current company’s logo on it. Intrigued I opened it and was greeted by a courteous woman who promised me she would pass my resume on to the owner of the company.
And she did. And I was hired.
And the rest, as they say, is history.