You are staring at it. You just know it’s going to ring. And it does. You almost pick it up at the first ring. But you hold back, affording yourself a few seconds to catch your breath.
When you are institutionalized, things move like clockwork. You can predict most developments, even human behavior. It is the grind playing on loop that kills you, not anxiety.
‘Hello?’ you say betraying your gurgling annoyance.
‘We are in trouble’ says HS, salutations and niceties being a thing of the past.
‘What is it Sir?’
‘What is it?’ Have you not checked the report?’
‘I have Sir, it is submitable.’
‘Not like this it isn’t.’
He hangs up. The click of the receiver is an unspoken summons to his lair.
You are confident of your work but not of HS’ creativity. You didn’t expect this report to be your breakthrough performance but you didn’t expect it be a self-goal either. Having almost reached, you remember you are without the moral support of pen and paper. You rush back to your desk to get it.
Slowing down your steps, you touch up your hair in the glass of the cabin. It is time to take one of those deep breaths again.
You walk into the dreaded chamber. HS looks at you dismayed. He holds up a page from the report, clutching it like a butcher would handle a chicken’s neck.
‘The Organizational chart!’
Your eyes search frantically for the pain point but you’re stumped.
At utter loss for safer words, you ask, ‘what about it Sir?’
‘There are no photographs!’ says HS in disbelief. ‘Head Office will never approve it. Get everyone to a studio immediately! Will the prints be ready by tomorrow?’
Ignoring HS’ ignorance of technology and not bothering to enlighten him, you move out with a compliant nod.
You spend the next two hours knocking and entering every cabin on the floor. Your mission (since you had to accept it) is to click every last ugly kisser on the payroll and then paste it onto the Organizational chart. There is also the unenviable task of editing and aligning these candid shots on PowerPoint.
It is still an honest buck you are making. And you have one more story to pass on to your grand kids.
Thank God for camera phones.