yips and stones by juleshg

6 Sep

Adam closed his eyes and started to count slowly under his breath.

One…. yap, yap, yap

Two… yap, growl

Three…. “Oh Snookie, come here baby.  What is wrong with mommy’s Snookie?”

Four….

A sharp knock on his door distracted Adam from his counting.  Looking up he found the normally-unflappable Chris standing at his office door shaking his head in disgust.  His tie had been pulled down a few inches and his top button was undone.  Adam wondered if he had ever seen his co-worker looking so annoyed and dishevelled in the years they had known one another.  Chris stepped into Adam’s small office and shut the door behind him before lowering himself into the green leather chair across Adam’s desk.

“I haven’t been able to get a damn thing done all day,” he whispered leaning across the desk.  “That dog is driving me crazy.  Who the hell brings a dog to work?”

Adam laughed quietly.  Over the last week he had tried to be diplomatic about the new boss and her changes to office policy but today was the last straw.  “According to our new leader it is perfectly acceptable in Wilmington.  Apparently the staff at our sister branch just loves Snookums.”

“Snookie.”

“Whatever,” Adam said with a dismissive wave of his hand.  “Emma thinks that bringing pets to work will go a long way towards alleviating – and I quote – the overly stuffy working environment that is weighing us down the Chicago branch – end quote.”

“Tell that to Cynthia.  I just saw her popping her third allergy pill of the day and I am pretty sure I just heard Sam talking to a pit bull breeder to see if he can a get a dog of his own to bring to work on Monday,” Chris said.  “This is an accounting department for God’s sake, we’re supposed to be stuffy.  Where the hell did they find this woman?”

Adam rifled through a stack of papers on his desk before finding the one he was looking for.  He scanned the memo quickly.  “Marsters, Stone and Shore Inc… blah, blah… happy to announce the appointment of Emma Stone-Talbot as Director of Accounting for the Chicago office… blah, blah … previously Ms. Stone was the head of the Wilmington marketing division…. blah, blah…”  He handed the sheet across the desk to Chris who crumpled it up without bothering to read it himself.

“Well there you have it,” Chris said before tossing the crumpled memo into the trashcan across the office.  “Marketing.”

“It doesn’t matter if she was from Mars, Chris.  Her last name is Stone, as in Marsters, Stone and Shore…”

“That doesn’t mean anything.  It could be a coincidence.”

“Could be, but it’s not.  She is Stone’s granddaughter.  She graduated from UNCW and spent a year in their marketing department before she transferred here.”

“Was there a revolt or was Snookie looking for fresh meat? Forget the barking for a second, the damn furry rat took a nip at my ankle this morning when I brought in my quarterly reports.  Emma just laughed and told me that ‘Snookie took a while to warm up to people’.  I don’t know how you do it Adam.  My office is down the hall and the yapping is driving me crazy.  Yours is right next to her.”

Adam took another deep breath before answering.  He was tempted to tell Chris the truth:  the dog was driving him crazy, he thought that Emma was a crack-pot and he was mad as hell that the director job had gone to another unqualified family member while he worked twelve-hour days keeping the accounting division afloat.  As usual, he managed to bite his tongue before those words came out.  Discretion, he reminded himself.  He needed to show some discretion if he wanted to get ahead in this company.

“Look Chris, I have been working in this office for seven years and I have seen five four directors come and go.  Three of them have been related to Stone.  All you can do is keep your head down, do you work and wait it out.  Eventually they get bored and grandpa moves them to another department where they can wreak havoc somewhere else.  You just need to be patient.”

“Adam, when you got here you had ambition, a five-year career plan and a full head of hair,” Chris said as he stood up and moved towards the door.  “Six years later you are sitting in the same damn desk with a head full of hair plugs and revolving door of Stones taking the director’s job that is rightfully yours.”

As Chris opened the door he turned to face Adam before stepping out.  “If anyone needs a pit bull, it’s you.”

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2 Responses to “yips and stones by juleshg”

  1. ingrid September 8, 2010 at 1:38 am #

    I really loved where you took this. I love that this is a workplace story. You have so many clever lines in this one. Great.

  2. phoenix.writing September 19, 2010 at 5:35 pm #

    It’s funny; I read these in the wrong order since I’m playing catch-up, so I’m all full of sympathy for Emma from last week’s prompt, and now I get to this one where everyone wants to hit *her* over the head with a big stick. I’ll be very interested to see the office dynamic continue to unfold. I want things to go well for Adam *and* Emma. Very interesting characters all round. 🙂

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