Single In The Suburbs, Installment 111

Our writer’s learned some interesting information at work. Will it help — or hinder — her case?

By Sara Susannah Katz

To read the entire series of articles from the beginning, click here.

n our last installment, our columnist discovered the real reason that Charmaine S. Blith had become her workplace nemesis. Can she use this information to her advantage? Read on to find out!

Monday, 10 a.m.
Except for a brief respite during Patricia’s visit, I have been completely fixated on the nightmare situation here at work. I have no hope of justice. The three people leading the investigation all have
I have been completely fixated on the nightmare situation here at work.
a personal interest in seeing me fired. The investigation is a sham. The outcome has already been decided. I have no leverage. I am sinking. I send up a prayer: If I am to stay and fight for my job, I need a sign.

Monday, 10:15 a.m.
OMG. I asked for a sign, and I get one.

With no secretary to intercept me, I knock on Steve’s door. There is no answer. I open the door and walk into his office. There — clear as a newly Windexed window — is the sign I’ve been praying for.

Steve’s office is L-shaped, with the door not in view of the desk. This is why he didn’t hear me knock, and didn’t see me until I was standing at his desk, and by then it was too late — because by then, I had already seen what was on his computer screen: porn.

If I’d been confronted with this sight under normal circumstances, I would have quietly backed out of the room and we could have both pretended that I hadn’t seen anything. But these are not normal circumstances. My heart is smacking wildly against my ribs, but somehow, girded by divine providence perhaps, I manage to stay grounded and stand there with my arms crossed and wait for him to notice me. He does. I say nothing.

I linger a moment. Then I walk out.

Monday, 10:30 a.m.
Oh. My. God. This is almost too good to be true. I am sitting in my office,
Fifteen minutes until the interrogation. Still no word from Steve.
door closed, practically trembling with a sense of delight and extreme vindication.

Now what do I do? I need all the advice I can get. I email Stan Able. I send an email to Loves To Cook, Doesn’t Want Kids. I call my ex-husband and leave a message on his voice mail. I keep expecting Steve to walk through my door. Or send me an email. Or call. Anything to dissuade me from galloping straight to HR to report him. I’m sure he’ll contact me before the day is through. I can’t wait. I am anticipating major groveling.

Monday, 10:40 a.m.
Still nothing. However, I’ve heard back from all three of my confidantes — Stan Able, Loves To Cook, and my ex-husband. LTC and Craig both say I should hang tight and wait for Steve to make his apologies and abort the investigation. Stan is less optimistic.

“I’ve dealt with men like Steve before, so corrupted by their own power that they have no humility and no sense of perspective. I hope I’m wrong, but I think Steve is arrogant enough to believe he can move forward with the investigation with impunity. I’ll bet you anything he thinks you don’t have the guts to bust him for the porn. It may be up to you to make the next move.”

Makes sense. And you know what? I can handle that. I will bring him down, and I don’t care if I lose my job in the process.

Monday, 10:45 a.m.
It feels as if an entire workday has gone by, but a I haven’t heard a peep from Steve. I’m beginning to think that Stan is right about him being arrogant enough to believe he can get away with viewing computer porn at his desk while investigating me for going to an online dating site during my lunch break.

Fifteen minutes until the interrogation. Still no word from Steve.

Sara Susannah Katz is a writer in the Midwest.

Read Single In The Suburbs, Part 112

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