It has been almost three years since I last worked in an office. Even though I am currently strapped of cash thanks to a year-long unemployment, I don't miss the hostile office environment, if I am perfectly frank. As anyone who has seen ever been confined to the flimsy walls of a cubicle knows, that which makes an office intolerable is not so much the workload if not having to interact with other people, such as the co-workers.
Don't get me wrong. I have had in the past the pleasure of getting to know some very wonderful, hard-working and respectful individuals when I once had a job of my own. However, not all co-workers are built alike, and the ones who are alike form a binding alliance that rivals even the most unbreakable of high school cliques. It is with that in mind that I not-very-fondly remember the women who would shamelessly flirt with the FedEx guy. And by "flirt," I mean "addressed him with a colorful, lascivious language what would surely be grounds to garner him a lawsuit."
We didn't even know his name because we always referred to him as "FedEx," not the FedEx guy. For all I know, his name could have been Charles Esteban Frédérick Huntington-Smith the third.
I was one of the first people FedEx saw whenever he came in the afternoon, thereby making me "the lucky one" in my co-workers' eyes. The waiting room was divided by a door, sliding glass window and some very thin walls. My cubicle was located behind the receptionist's desk so I always had a clear view of this tiny sliding window and heard every single noise that happened in the waiting room, including doors slamming, chairs scraping and clients coughing.
Whenever FedEx would come around 4 p.m. and pick up the mountain of packages and envelopes that needed to be shipped out, these ladies would scurry from their desks to
entrap greet and coyly chat up their handsome distraction. FedEx didn't seemingly mind when they would block his path and tease him with their innuendos and overt sexual comments. I refrained from participating with their sexual harassment flirtatious banter, often by blushing, shaking my head in disbelief and burying my face deeper into my files.
(I won't repeat what they would say, but I was certain that had a guy treated them in the same manner, they would have slapped him with a sexual predator form in a heartbeat.)
One afternoon, after the girls had their routine flirtation with him, FedEx picked up his work and bade us good-bye. Barely seconds after he had slid the window shut, my co-workers began talking about how they would totally bang FedEx if given the chance.
Then, for added measure, they asked me if I would do the same. Being a nineteen-year-old prude who was relatively unsure of the world of adult relationships, I said that no, I wouldn't.
In reality, it was more around the lines of "I'm not really comfortable talking about this and it's not really your business to know who I would or wouldn't bang," but since neither of my co-workers could read my mind and take a hint, one of them gave me a wry laugh and said:
Yes, I did have a vague understanding of what they had meant, and I wished that they had kept me out of it because I had forgotten to listen for the sound of a closing door that let me know when people had left the office.
Remember how I had mentioned that I could hear everything that goes on the other side of the little window? One should logically conclude that whoever is outside can hear what we say as clearly as a bell.
The window slid back open.
He said this while directly locking his eyes with mine.
I could have died of shame. I had never talked about FedEx with my co-workers until that very day, and it just so happened to be THE DAY when he hung around a few seconds longer in our office.
And the best part? My co-workers were beside themselves with laughter. Never in my life have I hated working with other people as much as I did that day. It almost makes me glad that I'm unemployed.
Barb the French Bean