The Little Death

If you are thinking La petitie mort, you barking up the wrong tree here. This one is a microfiction about someone hiding out in the washroom at a holiday party. I tried to stay bright and happy for a whole month, but oh well….Ironically this will come out the day after my own office holiday party, to which I am still so on edge about, I can’t quite decide if it is worth attending or not.


“Only I will remain”
“Only I will remain”

She didn’t think this was what her therapist had in mind when he recommended mantras, but it was a mantra against fear, and that was all anxiety was, right? Fear?

One thing she was certain of was that her body was NOT a temple. She did not want to surrender herself to a higher power, always sounded like an invitation to possession really. Abundance was not something she had to be accepting of. I have everything I need, true, but it always made her feel shitty for people who didn’t, so she stuck with her mantra coined from science fiction.

After all, if authors could make religion, then the mantras were legit, and it always made her giggle when she thought it, which cut the anxiety. She squared her shoulder, looked her self straight on in the mirror and said aloud “I can do this.”

With a last nod towards her reflection, she stepped out and back into the fray that was the office Christmas party with the one lingering thought: Her therapist was going to have a field day with this…

Reminiscence

This one was written for this week’s six sentence story prompt by girlontheedge, which was JUNK. I went with more of a nostalgia take on this one, trying to be a little more on the cheery side and am continuing my theme of holiday stories to round out the year.


There was that old idiom, one man’s trash is another’s treasure, and at first glance this was junk. A lot of it was old, worn, stained, some new and cheap, and some of it passed through more than one set of hands before it got to me.

What it was though, was memories, as I could remember the origin of every single one of the shiny baubles littered about my house. Each year as I unpack them, one by one their, story comes back to me and my heart is warmed.

Its why the majority of my storage space is filled with decorations that adorn my home for only one month a year, and why when my friends walk in during December, they state that someone “threw up Christmas”.

It is in this month the house feels most like a home, full of bright colors, happy music, and though I will be glad to take them down for the space come the 31st, for now I will enjoy the feeling of Christmas.

A Miracle on the 34th Floor

I am sure there are going to be people from both sides of this fence, but this one tackles the suggestion box at the workplace, and the lack of both implementation of ideas, and appreciation for the ideas that are implemented that goes with it.


Robbie had once seen a place where the feedback box had no bottom and was placed strategically over a garbage can. At the time she found it a little funny, and a little rude, but four years into her stint as a manager she wondered if she could copy the idea.

She sat in the cafeteria using her lunch break to go through the ideas, and nibbled on one of the Christmas cookies she had brought in for everyone as a response to one of the suggestions.

There was never any positive feedback in feedback box, only criticism. Little things that she could or should be doing to make things better. On paper some of them looked great, but they could be physically, financially, or technically implausible. For example, a four day weekday was great, but the customers really expected them to be open on the weekend.

That was what they told the employees anyways, upper management had actually been willing to cave on that one if middle management really thought that employees would like it as much as indicated. Of course, if the trial was successful, they would have to let 45% of the employees go, because they wouldn’t need to staff additional shifts, and the money to cover the sales decrease had to come from somewhere.

Or that it would be great to buy cakes for every employees birthday, but it would be a logistical nightmare, not only in obtaining and tracking birthdays, but also in the cakes themselves given allergies and dietary restrictions, and then the hurt feelings when they only got one cake on a shared birthday. Some things were not worth the mess that they would create.

That was the thing about suggestions, comments, feedback, the person filling out the little slip of paper didn’t have to do anything more than dream up an idea. This was great from a brainstorming perspective, as there was no judging, just free ideas. It was however, miserable in middle management, because they had to review and vet the ideas for upper management. This meant they spent a large portion of time giving “serious” thought, to ideas like getting a cat for morale, in a food production plant, and justifying why or why not this would be a good idea.

They then had to go back to the floor, mostly with bad news, present all the ideas, get their hopes up, and then completely shit on them. Then of course, the wost part, encourage them to keep submitting the stupid ideas.

It was a long exhausting process, and somehow my company felt that it had merit. That it kept employees involved and motivated, rather than just implying that their ideas ultimately sucked, because the only ones that really got implemented were at a higher level, as we specifically only came up with reasonable ideas.

Anyways, I was sitting the break room, listening to an employee go on and on about that, how its all fixed, how we put it up as a show. That people, like her, were never going to be listened to, when one brave soul interrupted.

“Actually, they have done a lot of the ideas.” Said one of our quieter people, Margo.

“Excuse me?” The upstart replied.

“I said, they have done a lot of the ideas. I mean we got the new colder water cooler, a new fridge, extra microwaves, they replaced the chairs, and gave a budget the social committee who put up the decorations, and brought in the Christmas cookies you are eating.” Margo replied getting louder with each word

I could see the employees look around with a new sense of awareness, the decorations, cakes, cookies, and the social calendar. It was like they could see it, finally. The upstart began to sputter a response, but was cut off by a bell signaling the end of lunch. They filed out of the cafeteria towards the floor, each stopping to thank me, a member of the social committee, for the cookies and I felt myself flush with each one. Suddenly the feedback box didn’t seem so bad, and I felt that it was kind of a Christmas miracle.

The High Road

This was my take on the six-sentence story prompt “Guide” for this week. I went with a take on a person who got someone they really disliked in the office secret santa, and what they chose to do about it. This one was based on my secret Santa at work, where I was really glad I didn’t get one specific person, and what I would have done if I got them.


I wanted to let my conscience be my guide, but I also kind of wanted to buy a crappy gift because I got the office asshole as my secret Santa.

I looked at gag gifts, bad gifts, stupid gifts, then I set them all aside thinking that this wasn’t the kind of behavior I wanted to encourage, and he was just the type to take it as a one up kind of challenge.

I decided instead to kill him with kindness, and recalling an old picture on his desk of him as a kid with an older woman, and the way he brushed it off, I went to work. It took a few distrusting trips to his cubicle to get a better look at the scarves they were wearing in the picture, but I got the pattern, spent my 20$ in yarn, and knitted all my seething resentment away into a scarf that I wrapped perfectly.

On the day of the exchange, he opened my gift, and I braced myself, waiting for the off color comments, the inappropriate gestures, and instead was rewarded with a gruff thank you, and him stalking from the room. As he later told me, voice choked with tears, he had lost the scarf from the picture, knitted by his late grandmother, less than a week prior, and I was so glad I had chosen the high road.