Saving Time: Day 1, Part 2
“Oh, no,” said Blue Tie with mock sympathy, standing uncomfortably close, peering over my shoulder.
I had drifted into a trance sometime during the monotonous work, but his gut-wrenching comment woke me. We were nearly done sorting the junk parts, but now stood frozen. I was the only one to speak, “What’s wrong,” do not call him Blue Tie, “sir?”
“You’re supposed to sort them by color, not by design!” His frustration came across rather whiney for a grown man in a semi-suit. “Seriously, it isn’t that hard,” he groaned as he rolled his eyes with his entire upper body, his arms flailing wildly in frustration.
The older woman pointed in my direction, “It was her idea,” with unmistakable accusation and said nothing more.
I fought the urge to throat punch the woman I had only known for 3 hours, while Blue Tie refocused on me, clearly distraught and demanding a response. “But would it not be easier to find what you’re looking for this way?” I asked.
“That’s not the point, “Blue Tie responded sharply. “We have always sorted them by color. Boss is not going to like this. Wasn’t there four of you?”
I realized for the first time that one of the young men was missing. The rest of us shrugged, unknowing of the man’s whereabouts.
“Let’s just say he’s in the restroom,” Blue Tie glanced over his shoulder, then turned back attempting to whisper, “Boss doesn’t like quitters. Be right back!” then turned to run off once again.
“What do we do with the rest of this?” I yelled after him, gesturing to the remaining cogs and gears left unsorted.
“Keep going!” he yelled back, jutting up his thumbs before returning to his jog in the opposite direction.
I turned back to the barrels, debating on “going to the restroom” as well, when I heard a faint psst coming from behind the rusty bins. I leaned forward, peering over the far rim when a young woman popped her head up. I jumped backwards, grabbing hold of the barrel to keep my balance.
The girl silently slid her hand over the rim, a crumpled business card held between her fingers. Her wildly frazzled hair complimented her shifty eyes. “Don’t trust HR,” she hissed nearly inaudible amidst the metallic swishing of the group sifting through the barrels’ contents.
I took the card with a questioning glance, but remained silent, unsure what to say. Thanks?
“Human Resources, ha!” She threw her head back with the single laugh. “That,” she pointed a grimy finger at the card, “is who you call if you need a real person to help you.”
I looked down at the card and saw a hand written number, ink running from what looked like a grease stain.
I heard the jogging return of Blue Tie, and when I looked up, the woman was gone. He used his animated arms to separate me from the rest of the group, “Boss said she wants a word with you later,” he said as he ushered me back to the front of the building. “But now they need your help on the bank side. You are coming back tomorrow?”
My first thought was to ask why I wouldn’t, but after what happened with the other young man this morning, I decided to keep my answer simple, “Yes.”
“Great! Come with me.” He led me through the shattered wall and into the bank building. Behind the counter, at the far left, sat a rotund woman miraculously perched atop her shockingly small office chair. Her eyes were locked on her computer screen while her right finger constantly rotated the mouse’s scroll wheel, keeping the screen in constant motion. Leaning towers of paperwork surrounded her work station, accompanied by several white Styrofoam take-out containers and soft drink bottles.
“This is Darlene,” said Blue Tie, and cleared his throat to draw her attention away from the glowing screen. “You’ll be helping her for the rest of the day,” and he turned on a heel to begin jogging to his next destination.
Darlene swiveled in her chair, the chair protested loudly, and she gave me a once over. She smelled like an ashtray cheeseburger. In fact, she had two lit cigarettes dangling from her mouth and at least 4 unlit cigarettes peaking out from under several of her many rolls.
What else is tucked in there? I immediately decided to never ponder that question again.
Darlene returned her face four inches away from her computer screen and wiggled her porky fingers towards the teetering paper stacks. “Sort this crap out.”
As I stepped closer to take one of the parchment skyscrapers, I glanced at her screen and saw several separate windows open, all of which with the Facebook logo at the top.
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