Concerning Item in Coworker’s Desk

Your company is moving office buildings and you’ve been asked to stay after hours and help pack up the desks. While clearing through one particular coworker’s desk, you find something extremely concerning in his bottom drawer. Call one of your friends and ask for advice on what to do about it.

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

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23 thoughts on “Concerning Item in Coworker’s Desk

  1. catbr

    Why do I have to do the crap work? Because I said yes to the Boss’s request to clean out the desk drawers for the company’s move to the new office, that’s why. Next time I won’t try to be a hero and I’ll keep my big mouth shut. Eh, I’ll do it real quick and it’ll be over before I know it.

    Hello…What have we here. What I find at the bottom of Bob’s drawer is totally unexpected. But there it was hidden under some papers, books and an old pair of running shoes…a pink lace lined frilly pair of women’s underwear. Bob was always strutting around the office in his macho tough guy image, which I found a little arrogant. I guess Bobby wasn’t so tough afterall. I chuckle to myself. But then again I wonder if he’s like that guy in the news story I read about a few years ago. There was this tough well liked army captain that murdered some women in the city. But the strange thing about this case was that he like stealing and wearing the victims underwear. No that can’t be our Bob. He was a little arrogant but he wouldn’t do anything like that. Or would he? I’ve got to call Joan. She knew him really well and is an honest person. So I grab my cell phone from my purse and head for the bathroom. I check to make sure nobody else is in there. And then I explain the situation to Joan. But her reaction isn’t what I expect.

    “Oh that. Before I say anything you’ve got to promise not to tell anybody.”

    “I promise.” I’m holding the phone so close to my ear in anticipation of what I’m going to hear that my circulation feels like it might be cut off to my ear.

    “Okay. I dated Bob a few times about a year ago and it seems he did like wearing women’s underwear. And then he wanted me to wear men’s underwear and some other kinky crap. But I said no I’m not into any of that foolishness. And that’s when I stopped going out with him.”

    “You’re kidding.” I started laughing but had to contain myself because I wanted to hear the rest of the story.

    “I swear. God strike me dead, it’s the honest to God’s truth. Wait…Diane could you hold on a minute there’s somebody at the door.”

    Yeah, sure.” Are you kidding me? I couldn’t hang up the phone now. Not in the middle of this juicy gossip.
    And then I heard a scream over Joan’s phone. An unfamiliar man’s voice said to me “Joan can’t come to the phone right now. Something came up.”

    “But wait…” I protest into the now dead phone.

  2. Icabu

    Brenda called Cindy right away, while still sitting at Jack’s desk in the vacant office. She’d started dating Jack almost a year ago at Cindy’s urging. Brenda wasn’t really keen on workplace romances, but Jack had changed her mind on that. Besides, Cindy and Mitch seemed happy.

    “You found what?” Cindy asked.

    “The most stunning engagement ring I’ve ever seen. It’s huge. It’s gorgeous.” Brenda opened the box again. Even in the dim light the diamond sparkled.

    “Has Jack hinted at asking you yet?”

    Brenda frowned. She closed the box with a snap, wondering how long Jack had been storing it in his bottom desk drawer. “No. We’ve been having a bit of a tiff. Nothing serious, though.” This could explain why Jack had seemed so edgy lately, Brenda thought.

    “Maybe that’s how he’s going to apologize,” Cindy offered.

    Brenda’s frown deepened. She certainly didn’t want the ring as an apology from Jack. Were they ready for this?

    “So, what are you gonna say to him when he asks?”

    “I don’t know.” Brenda started to chew a nail, then forced her hand into her lap.

    “I wish Mitch were asking me,” Cindy said. “I’d say yes in a second.”

    “I would’ve bet Mitch would ask you before Jack would ask me.” Brenda couldn’t believe she’d said that out loud.

    “You two are great together, Bren,” Cindy said. “You should do it – say yes! It’s not like you’re saying the actual vows, you know.”

    Brenda sighed. Wasn’t that the point? She didn’t want to be unsure now and make separating that much uglier. She didn’t want to separate at all. It was just too damn soon for this. Maybe he’d wait a couple of months for their one-year dating anniversary. She could be sure by then – couldn’t she?

    With burst of static, Cindy’s cell phone disconnected. Brenda resisted the urge to try the ring on; instead, she tucked it into the box with the rest of Jack’s cubicle stuff. It was late and she was tired – not that she’d get much sleep tonight.

    On Monday morning Brenda was under her new desk in her new cubicle. As she plugged in her PC and other hardware, she heard Jack and Mitch talking.

    “Hey, Mitch,” Jack called quietly. “I forgot to give this to you last week.”

    Curious, Brenda peeked from under her desk and saw the small velvet box. She jerked and nearly cracked her head on the desk.

    “I’m sure you’ll like the appraisal my uncle gave your grandmother’s ring,” Jack said.

    Brenda had to strain to hear now; Jack had lowered his voice to nearly a whisper. She inched forward, careful to remain unseen.

    “Next week, on Valentine’s Day,” Mitch responded.

    “You’re a romantic fool,” Jack said. “Cindy’s a lucky lady.”

    “No, I’m the lucky one,” Mitch said.

    Brenda sat under her desk hugging her knees. Tears rolled down her cheeks. She wasn’t sure if they were tears of joy for Cindy or tears of sadness for herself.

  3. addiemac32

    Why is it always me? I wonder as I duct tape the final boxes under the painfully flourescent lights of the office, shrouded in evening darkness. I could be enjoying myself right now, like all of my back-boned colleagues. But I’m here instead, completing the depressing job of packing up the desks of the office before our big, “exciting” move tomorrow. I sigh. Moving buildings is just another moving another step closer to being stuck with this pointless job forever.
    I remember how excited I was to get this desk job; I knew I’d hate it but was still naive enough to think of it as a rung on my ladder to success.
    Yeah, right.
    I’m stuck here like the poor elephants in those La Brea tar pits, only I’m not interesting enough to be remembered and talked about for 10,000 years. In fact, I don’t think I’m interesting enough to be talked about now.
    I scan the room one final time and realize that I forgot to check one of the desks. With a grunt, I shift the boxes out of my way and, dragging my feet, trudge over to the desk. Sliding each flimy drawer out, I glance in each one. Nothing, nothing, nothing. Shocker. But wait, what’s that at the back? I reach in and pull out a sheet of paper. Crumpling it up, I turn around to throw it away and then remember that the trash can is stuffed in a box somewhere. Muttering to myself, I stick the paper in my pocket and flick off the lights. I’m finally done.
    After eating my dinner, which, as always, consists entirely of microwavable junk, I settle down in front of the TV. What an exciting life I lead. As sit down, though, the paper in my back pocket falls out and I pick it up, smoothing out the creases and looking at it for the first time. I’m surprised to see that it’s a picture of me. My yearbook picture from high school? There’s no mistaking it -I remember the picture specifically, with the crooked tie and nervous smile. But why? Flipping it over, I see a phone number scrawled on the back. Should I call it? I pull out my cheap cell but hesitate before dialing. Is this a good idea?
    Rubbing my eyes, I figure that this is too weird to deal with alone, so instead of dialing the mystery number, I hit 1 on my speed dial.
    “Hey, Jeff!” My friend’s voice is enthusiastic even over the phone. Successful and rich, with a wife and a kid to boot, Mike and I are the two guys that shouldn’t be friends but are.
    “Hey,” I reply.
    “What’s up?” he asks.
    I explain the situation to him, and hear his baby laugh in the background as he answers.
    “Well,” he starts, “obviously you should call the number.” He doesn’t even take a second to process the information, to mull it over. Typical Mike, always knowing exactly what he wants. Or, in this case, what I want. Or should want, at least.
    “But-” I start.
    “Really, man, I want to talk, but I’m about to go out to eat. Call me tomorrow!” and then the line clicks off.
    Well. I’m still not entirely sure about this, but if someone were watching Mike’s life on a screen and mine, it’s not hard to figure out who they’d take advice from. So I decide to call the number. I punch it in and hover my finger over the call key.
    Come on, Jeff.
    I suck in my breath and punch the button.

  4. the_baseball_man2003

    Most people do not like to stay late for work. As long as I am earning overtime for it, I don’t care how long I have to stay. My boss told me that we were moving to a new office building five blocks down the street and was asking for volunteers. The job would last from Friday night to Sunday night. I was the only person to raise my hand. Everyone else looked at me like I was out of my mind or high on something. Who would want to give up there weekend to move some boxes and paper around? I didn’t have much of a life and it would be better than going home to an empty apartment filled with nothing but loneliness and isolation. It was closing time now and everyone was turning off their computers, closing their briefcases and heading for the door. As for me, I took of my coat and got to work. They left a bunch of boxes for me and one by one I would go through people’s desks and empty its contents into these plain-looking boxes. These boxes are as plain as I am. First it was Sam’s desk, then Jessica’s and then Eric’s. Things were looking to be like another day at the office. That all changed when I reached Jason’s desk. On it were photos of his wife and kids and various office supplies. It looked much livelier than mine. I bent over and pulled out one of the drawers. I placed paper after paper in the box until I saw something strange. There is his tiny drawer were a bunch of DVDs with different people’s names on them. That was when I took a closer look at the names. They were the names of my fellow coworkers. Underneath them was a ledger. I know I should not have looked inside but something compelled me to look. It was their names and dollar amounts next to each of them. $1000 for this guy and $3000 for the next. It just kept going. I had no idea what I was looking at but I felt like I had to talk to someone about it. I grabbed my phone and called friend, Jesse.
    “Jesse. It’s me.”
    “How’s it going?”
    “I need your advice on something.”
    “On what?”
    “You know that we’re moving to a new office building a few blocks from the old one, right?”
    “I remember you mentioned that.”
    “I’m earning some overtime packing up everyone stuff. You’ll never believe what I found in one the desks.”
    “Is it illegal?”
    “I don’t know. I found some DVDs with a ledger. The DVDs have my coworkers names on them and I found their names in the ledger as well with different dollar amounts next to them.”
    “Do you know what’s on the DVDs?”
    “No.”
    “Listen to me. Put those things back immediately. You don’t want to get mixed up with something like this. Put them back and act like it never happened.”
    Then I heard a noise behind me. It was the sound of footsteps that were becoming louder and louder with each step. I hung up the phone and looked for a place to hide. My heart was pounding so fast that I thought it was going to give out. Sweat was dripping down my face like something left the faucet running. Who was this person? What did they want? Would I make it out of this office alive?

  5. AndreaNicole1987

    Exhausted I slide over to Brock’s desk. As I have done with the last five, I with the top right drawer and work my way around to the left. I toss crumpled Snickers, M & M, and other various snack wrappers into the trash. I shovel his belongings into the box and move to the next drawer. To my surprise it is lock. I pull the universal key Ralph gave me from the pocket of my jeans, insert it into the lock and the drawer pops open.
    “What the fuck!”
    I look around frantically in hopes that no one heard me. Sitting in the bottom of the drawer, wrapped in a velvet cloth is a syringe, a spoon, and some small baggies filled with what I assume to be heroine. I pick up my cell phone and dial my mother.
    “Hello?” she cheerfully says
    “Hey mom ummm, you got a second?”
    “Of course dear, you sound upset. What troubles you?” she asks.
    “I’m helping Ralph get the offices moved, and well… I found some illegal substances in one of my co-workers desk,”
    “What?!” my mother interrupts.
    “Yea you should have been here when out found it! Anyway, I don’t know what to do. I mean I know I can’t just pack it away and act like this never happened. My question is who do I call first? Ralph? The Police?” I say.
    “I would call Ralph first. Let him know what you have discovered so he is aware that the police will be in the building. He may know the best way to handle this. Call him now, and then call me back.” she exclaims. “Thanks mom. I love you!”
    I hang up the phone. I don’t like having involvement in criminal matters, it freaks me out. My heart is racing and my palms are sweaty. Before calling Ralph I take a long slow drink of water and a deep breathe to compose myself.

  6. Spitten

    Having had enough of looters, LandKirk Real Estates had sold the building to Tipsy’s Liquor store and moved to the upper east suburb of Chicago. “Better neighborhood, better business,” her boss Steve had declared. Steve Lecina was a loud mouthed close talker from Indiana. She’d never gotten much approval from anyone in the office, but she could tell Steve valued her, so she agreed to help clean out the remaining desks as a favor.

    It was a cold, dark Friday night in downtown Chicago. Alone in a large, empty office, she suddenly wished she were home. With the bottom drawer of the desk now shut, Luz Mondi backed away. To her right, she flipped on the only remaining lamp in the room. The bulb was dim but would have to do. She held up the little gold necklace with a familiar heart shaped charm – in it – a fading picture.

    Luz was the token “black girl” in the office, no matter how many times she had explained she was Dominican. Last year she’d gotten a Kwanza candle from her secret Santa. As soon as shift ended, Steve had tossed it in the trash for her. That’s when he’d become a friend, not just a boss.

    She’d gotten to the last desk in the room, Gregory Lynn’s. Thinking of his southern drawl now made her cringe. Luz grimaced remembering their conversation the day before.

    “I think women of color are beautiful.”

    “I’d never guessed that by looking at you.”

    “Most people don’t,” Greg had smiled. “I think little black girls are beautiful…” he’d trailed off. “I told my Maw that when I grew up I was going to have me all brown babies, not a blonde in the bunch.”

    At this, Luz had giggled. Greg was so candid and matter of fact. “That’s so sweet,” I’d told him. He smiled and I had returned to my desk.

    Never taking her eyes off the trinket still in her hand, she dialed the only person she could think of. A few rings in, he answered.

    “Steve, its Luz,” her voice shaking.

    “Luz!” He exclaimed. “It’s late, you still at the office?”

    “Yes sir…I found something –”

    “Gal you better get on home. I knew a few things were left behind but –”

    “Necklace.” She interrupted.

    “It’s yours if you want it, you don’t need my permission.” Steve chuckled, it echoed eerily around the empty room.

    Luz struggled not to burst into tears. If she was wrong she’d be making a fool of herself calling him this late at night. She pressed on, “I found, I mean I think I found that dead girls’ necklace in Greg’s desk.”

    She could hear Steve’s leather chair buckle and knowing him he was shaking his wristwatch right side up to check the time. He was shuffling some papers, then the jingle of keys. The chair buckled again, he was standing. “Luz you better be damn sure. Greg’s a fine realtor, a big asset to this company. Now, I can be there in 10, if you’re sure?”

    She held the phone between her shoulder blade and her face, crying now. She laid it across her palm and gently flipped the charm open to get a better look at the picture.

    A little brown girl in a pink turtleneck, holding a plush kitten looked back at her. Her pigtails were lopsided and she was missing her two front teeth. It was the same photo the news had been flashing since her body was found three years earlier.

    Luz described it to Steve, “What, what should I do –“

    “Not a damn thing! Just stay there. I’m coming to you.” He was becoming breathier, he was running.

    “Steve, there’s something else here,” she bent down and slid the desk drawer back open.

    “Luz, what the hell?! ‘Less you ‘bout to tell me there’s a body layin’ at yer feet, you need to spit it out gal!”

    “I recognized this one…because of her picture. But the others…”

    “Others?” He blurted.

    “There’s at least twenty other trinkets here…all with pictures.”

  7. dabellon

    Admittedly, I was less than thrilled when John announced at our morning staff meeting that I would be the one responsible for cleaning up and packing the last six desks in preparation for our move downtown. I tried to guilt Rich and Ellen into helping me, but Rich was feeling sick, and Ellen claimed that she had some secret date. We had each packed up our own cubicles, and the sterility and plainness of the now-blank walls and cleared desktops betrayed an office in limbo, an office in transition, an office ready to move on and away from the ghosts of its past.

    That is, except for the last six desks which, for one reason or another, retained the personality of their occupants and the air of productivity, with computers still humming, inboxes still overflowing, post it notes scattered about and personal effects still on display. Bob and Phil were in Barcelona, entertaining clients on the Davis account. Mary was still on maternity leave. Dan was on vacation. And then there were the two now-vacant desks.

    As one who generally tries to respect the privacy of others, I had honestly never spent much time looking at other peoples’ desks. Sure, everyone knew that Jason was a huge Packers’ fan and that Susan had a propensity for collecting Elvis memorabilia. But I never really got into people’s desks. Not even to borrow a stapler or anything.

    So as I started packing up the last six desks, my eyes were suddenly opened to a new side of the missing six, and I felt an uneasy, yet exciting increased sense of intimacy with each of them. Who knew, for instance, that Bob was addicted to Butterfinger candy bars? There were at least a hundred old wrappers stashed in his desk. I learned that Mary volunteered as a youth group leader at her church and found out that Phil’s wife had filed for divorce and fled to Tennessee with her yoga instructor.

    As the hours wore on, however, my newfound curiosity had given way to boredom and exhaustion. Where earlier that evening I was carefully wrapping up fragile items and itemizing the contents of each box, I was now haphazardly dumping drawer loads into non-marked boxes. I finished Bob’s, Phil’s and Mary’s, and the desk that used to belong to Heather, the tall blonde Harvard graduate who abruptly and unexpectedly quit six months ago, without even talking to John or giving notice. Most of us suspected that she had run away with her on-again, off-again boyfriend Nick. Her desk was disappointingly barren.

    Then there was the desk that belonged to Maggie. I approached it with a sense of reverence. It was her murder, after all, that had prompted John and the other principals to move us to the new downtown location. Though most of us had gotten over the grisly crime scene that Jen, our former receptionist, had had the misfortune of discovering on that fateful Monday morning, some were still shaken. I opened her desk and found the normal array of scattered pens, staples, and paper clips. I started dumping them into a box that I had marked “Misc.”

    Then I saw it. Tucked away in what looked like a hidden compartment of her desk. It was a diary. My hands shook as I withdrew it from the slot. I took a deep breath and opened it to a random page.

    I have to end it. I thought I had made it clear, but yesterday he gave me an emerald ring and insisted that I wear it as a sign of my love for him. I had no idea he could be such a monster…

    I flipped a few pages.

    I don’t know what to do. I need to get out of this….

    Finally, I turned to the end, her last entry, from the Friday before her body was discovered.

    I’m so scared. I’ve tried to break free from him but it’s no use.

    I dropped the diary into the box, shaken. I no longer wanted to be in the office. I wanted to get out, to breathe fresh air. I wanted to call my wife and tell her how much I loved her.

    But I still had to empty Dan’s desk. I grabbed the last empty box, set it in front of his desk and started sweeping all of his belongings into it. I felt sort of guilty, but I just needed to get out of the office. I dumped his drawers into a second box. I pulled open the third drawer and paused. The only thing in the drawer was a small jewelry box. I picked it up and swung open the top to reveal a shiny emerald ring, and a battered Harvard University class ring.

    I dropped the box, allowing its contents to spill onto the floor. My heart raced. I needed to call someone, anyone. I looked at the clock. My wife would already be asleep. Who could I call?

    Ellen.

    I picked up the phone and speed dialed Ellen. Was she still on that date? It rang five times before she finally picked up.

    “Ellen! It’s Dave. You’ll never guess what I found at the office! It’s Dan!”

    Silence.

    “Ellen? Ellen, are you there? I know you’re friends with him, but we need to get to the police before it’s too late.”

    Silence.

    “Maybe…maybe it’s already too late,” Dan replied.

    Click.

  8. Sifusantos

    Evan wasn’t too pleased that the folks at Richter and Hammond made him stay late at the office to move boxes to the firm’s new digs on the 37th floor. In order to pass the time, he called his friend Dino, popped in the bluetooth and started emptying drawers.

    “This is Sucktown maximum,” Evan vented. “They all went out to happy hour and left me here to pack up all their crap!”

    “Ha! You wanted that job,” Dino replied. “Oh wait, it’s not a job because you’re not getting PAID!”

    “You’re such an ass.”

    They both laughed. Evan closed the empty drawer belonging to Alice Meeker. She was a new attorney, but one of the brightest in the firm.

    “Dah!” Evan yelped.

    “Calm down, at least you’re not scrubbing toilets.”

    “No – I just slammed the drawer on my finger!”

    There was blood. More than he expected.

    “Hang on a minute.”

    Evan looked around for a tissue. A napkin caught his eye in Alice’s box. He grabbed it, but blood trickled from his wound into Alice’s box.

    “Oh man, Alice is going to be pissed.”

    “Whuhappun?” Dino was eating something. Probably playing computer games too.

    “I just got blood on some of her files and books.”

    Evan wrapped his finger in the napkin and went to the bathroom to wash up.

    “You still there?” Dino checked.

    “Yeah, I just had to clean up.” Evan surveyed the mess inside Alice’s box. He realized there was nothing he could do about the files at the moment, so he picked up the book he had marred and began to clean off the cover. But something was off. There was no blood on the book, which appeared to be more of a journal. Evan peeked back into the box, but other than towers of manila folders spotted with red circles, there were no other books to be found.

    “That’s funny.”

    “What’s funny? Besides your face!”

    Ignoring the eight year-old humor, Evan explained, “I know I spilled blood on this book. It’s not there anymore.”

    “Well good. One less thing you have to clean up. Hurry up and get over here so I can kick your ass at Madden.”

    “That’s so weird,” Evan continued. “There’s no way there can’t be a stain on this book. The cover’s pure white!”

    Dino’s interest had returned to his computer screen. “Maybe it was open. Look into the pages.”

    Evan fanned out the pages. “Nope. Nothing.”

    Just as ‘nothing’ exited his lips, something in the book stole Evan’s breath. It was on the inside of the cover. It was his name, written in his own blood. Four jagged, drippy letters filled the page. His body tingled. Then something made him cry out. Before he could reach a full-body scream, his voice was vaporized.

    “Dude, what was that,” Dino said with renewed alarm. No response. “Evan, are you there? Hello? Hello? Evan?!”

    Evan’s phone lay on the floor. A cold, still silence filled the office. And Evan was no where to be seen.

  9. Trina

    Kelsey was annoyed her boss didn’t appreciate her always giving her the lousy jobs. She knew when she started this job she would have to work her way up but this was getting ridiculous. Her boss had her on clean up detail today as their were moving to the next door office. Kelsey blew her dark curls out her eyes as she huffed the cardboard box to the next desk. She slammed the box unto the desktop and started yanking the drawers open. Nothing but a mess whoever used this desk was such a slob. As she opened the last drawer that’s when she saw it. It was a dark wallet unable to control her curiosity. Kelsey opened the wallet. No, it can’t be her eyes had to be deceiving her!! She dropped the wallet as if it were on fire. The FBI here!! Why would they come here to look for her? She thought she was safe. They told her she would be safe in this unsuspecting little town no one would know to look for her here. Now the terrible nightmare she worked so hard to forget was about to start all over again. She glanced at the opened wallet again to be sure. No, no…no her mind screamed. Calm down, calm down she told herself. Her hands shook as she stared at the phone on the desk. Make the call you know what to do. She picked up the phone urging herself to stay calm. The phone rang on the other end she heard the voice, “Hello?”
    “It’s happened, code yellow.” she whispered into the phone.
    “You know what to do. Get out now. The plane is waiting.” The voice replied.
    Kelsey looked around fervently knocking the nearby chair down. Finally spotting her purse on the edge of her desk she picked it up and ran. It finally happened the situation she dreaded. What would happened to her now where would she go? Kelsey ran down the stairs faster and faster to face her unknown future.

  10. kristin2322

    As if moving isn’t time consuming enough. I mean, I care for the office and all, but really? I have to pack everything in my co-workers’ desks’? My dinner will cook itself I guess and when I finally get home I will hit the “self clean” button located in my living room and my house will clean itself too.
    I continue to pack things the only way I know how-unorganized. Pens with Folders, paper with staplers and so on. I came to Nick’s desk. Nick was a sight for sore eyes. His green-hazel eyes could pierce you if you weren’t careful. My heart jumped just walking to his empty desk.
    I closed my eyes and imagined him sitting on his black leather office chair, cool as ever. In my mind I was walking up to him to stradle him and start a forbidden office romance. We could be just one of the many “forbidden” romances in this company.
    I packed his top drawer neatly in a small box, all the while imagining myself kissing his mouth and unbuckling his belt. His strong hands were frantically tugging at my skirt and my perfectly tone butt.
    I must really need to get laid I thought. How pathetic am I?
    I was on the last drawer of his desk when I saw it.
    It was under a piece the office manual with receipt stapled to the box.
    The receipt read:
    Dear Nick,
    Thank you for your recent order and as per our conversation here is the equipment you requested. feel free to call me within 30 days if you see no results or if your penis does not enlarge.

    Thank You,
    Paul Schiester
    Customer service.
    Although it was late and I was alone, I cupped my hand over my mouth and let out a yelp of laughter. I looked around to make sure I was alone and then let loose with laughter. After I contained myself, I phoned my best friend/co worker and informed her of the “equipment” found in our “dream man’s” desk. We both laughed hysterically and decided to keep his “little” secret. But disappointedly we both had to change our fantasy of him to include time for penis pumping.
    Moving not so bad after all I thought with a devious smile.

  11. egg

    I never liked Suzie. Her hip-swinging, hair-flipping, leg-flashing antics are not only a distraction within our department, but are, unfortunately, proving to be effective in advancing her own career, it would seem. I learnt earlier today that Booby Suzie (or, as I secretly call her, ‘Floozy Suzie’) has been recommended for a promotion that I myself was in line for.

    I stomp from one desk to another, recklessly throwing the contents of each into cardboard boxes, and muttering the speech I intend to deliver to Dean in the morning, under my breath.

    Suzie’s desk is the one closest to Dean’s office (to give him the ‘breast’ view, no doubt) and I approach it with an annoyance usually reserved for the new Ford ads. I throw Suzie’s desktop belongings into a box and notice that her infantile, little, ceramic puppy has lost his head in the move. What a shame! The miscellaneous office supplies I scoop from the top drawer clatter into the box, and settle as a jumbled mess at the bottom.

    I yank open the bottom drawer as I internally debate whether my speech should address Dean as ‘Dickwad’ or ‘Saggy Ballbag’. My jaw drops and my eyes widen as I lift a manila folder and stare at what lies beneath. And then a low, sinister laugh gurgles from within me and floods the quiet office like a triumphant war cry. I pick up the handset of Suzie’s desk phone and dial frantically.

    “Steve, you’ll never guess? You remember that office bimbo I told you about?”

    “The one that rejected you? Yeah, what about her? Did you finally get into her pants?”

    “Give me a break. I never really liked her, you know? Besides, she stole my job; she’s the enemy as far as I’m concerned.”

    “Ah ha,” replies Steve with a cynical tone that I don’t much care for.

    “Anyway, listen. Dean asked me to pack up desks for the move tomorrow, and guess what I found in Suzie’s bottom drawer?”

    “Lipstick and mascara?”

    “Close.” I pick up the open box and start reading through childish sniggers. “Strawberry flavoured; ribbed; extra-large; novelty condoms.”

    “Cool,” says Steve.

    “But wait, there’s more.” I can barely contain my excitement. “There’s a post-it note attached that says, ‘for making Dean scream,’ and it looks like the idiot has initialed it himself. Looks like I might land that job after all.”

    “If that’s the position you really want, of course,” says Steve. “If you get my meaning.”

    I stare at a photo frame that lies awkwardly across office paraphernalia in the nearest box. It shows a picture of Suzie laughing with a stunning brunette that I assume is her sister.

    “Hmm. Thanks for the advice.” I hang up the phone and give a great deal of thought to the position that I really want. I feel my lips curl into a devious smile. Tomorrow is going to be the best move ever!

  12. jrdepriest

    “Hey.. Jim?”

    “Hey, man! What’s up, dude!”

    “I… you know how We’re moving to the bigger office in Lynnwood, right?
    “Well… you remember Barry?”

    “The dude with the glass eye?”

    “No, that was Carl.
    “Barry’s the guy with the super white teeth and the politician hair style.”

    “Not really, but whatever.
    “You sound like something’s wrong.”

    “I’m the last guy here, going through everything to make sure we don’t leave anything behind.
    “Barry had this–thing in his desk.
    “Who knows how long it’s been there.”

    “What is it, like a sex toy or something?”

    “No.
    “I’m pretty sure it’s dead, but–”

    “What? What do you mean it’s dead?
    “Did he have a hamster down there?”

    “It was coiled up in there like a snake.. like a toy snake, I thought just laying around in leaves and dirt.
    “Cold, so cold to the touch. And black. Dark.
    “When I picked it up, it unfolded, limp.
    “It must be three feet long total.
    “I can’t tell which end is the face or even if it has one.
    “So many legs… far too short to hold it’s weight up, or maybe not because of–
    “It’s fat, too–looks slimy–shiny, but its dry.”

    “It sounds like you are describing a giant African millipede.”

    “That’s why I called you!
    “You know about this sort of thing!”

    “Yes, some people keep them as pets.
    “But three feet? Really, they normally don’t get any longer than one foot if you’re lucky.
    “Are you sure you aren’t just–”

    “Crap!”

    “What happened?”

    “It moved! I dropped it!
    “Where did it go!
    “Crap! Crap!”

    “Calm down.
    “They eat rotting fruit and stuff like that.
    “It isn’t going to bite you or anything.”

    “Ow. OW!
    “Hand… burns.”

    “You must be allergic to the stuff it secretes when scared.
    “Just go wash your hands.”

    “RRRGH!
    “This really freakin’ burns!”

    “Go wash it off.
    “Now.”

    “I shtill don’t shee it.”

    “Are you okay?”

    “I can fill me han.
    “I mean, I can’t fill it.
    “I mean, it can.”

    “Dude? What’s going on there?
    “You are talking weird.”

    “Blurry.
    “I shee it, Jim.
    “Bee you tea full.
    “The colors. So many colors.
    “The shinging, it shings to me.
    “Isn’t it booty fill?”

    “I’m coming down there.
    “Just hold on.”

    “We’d like that.
    “Yes. We’d both like that.”

  13. starmarm

    It was official. Morton Energy bought out El Mesa Natural Gas for $23 Million. Rosemary’s job was in flux with this new development. As a single mom of two beautiful children, Rosemary sensed the angst and nervousness throughout the company. She had to stay focused on providing for Kyle and Lisa. When her supervisor, Clayton Orr offered her overtime to help with the move, Rosemary jumped at the chance. The uncertainty of the merger made her anxious to pad the bank account.

    Waves of memories rolled over Rosemary as she started unloading, packaging, and taping boxes for her colleagues. Leaving these old cherry wood desks for gray plastic didn’t seem like progress.

    Twelve years ago Rosemary shared this double desk with her mentor, Nelda. Those two years that Nelda schooled her gave her the inside track to the position she now held.

    Continuing to unload each drawer, Rosemary stacked and boxed. In a bottom drawe,r a yellowed envelope covered with tape dropped in her hands. The 12 cent stamp betrayed its age. The envelope was thick with old photographs. Without thinking of the consequences, Rosemary peeked at the contents.
    Shock hit her like a cold blast of wintry air. What? Where did these come from?
    She knew these people. These photographs were not her property. What should she do with them? Quickly, Rosemary slipped them into the inside pocket of her windbreaker.

    At her break, Rosemary called her dear friend, Lynda. She wouldn’t tell Lynda all the details, but Lynda gave wise advice. Probably because together Lynda and Rosemary had young and dumb together.

    Lynda picked up after the first two rings. Rosemary waded through the casual conversation and then said, “I need some advice.” In all this packing up, I’ve found some old photos. “What should I do with them?”

    “I bet El Mesa will want those for the archives. Companies love old photos.”

    Rosemary replied, “Hmm. I don’t think these will be welcomed. If they fall into the wrong hands, it could hurt some people. It might even impact the merger.”

    Lynda blasted back, “What did you find? I’ve got tot see these pictures!”

    “Oops, gotta go. Everyone is back to work.”

    Rosemary and the team worked through out the afternoon without a break. Crews came to load the boxes onto dollies and truck them to the new headquarters on Drake Avenue. She smiled and joked with everyone as her office emptied, but there was a heaviness in her spirit about the photographs.
    Should she call her boss, Clayton Orr about the photographs? Or should she contact her old mentor, Nelda? Nelda King Morton was the newly widowed CEO at Morton Energy.
    These photographs belonged to these friends; evidence of an old merger.

  14. labonde

    Clark looked at the clock and did a small double take. Did the minute hand move backwards just now? He thought to himself annoyingly. Sure enough, time had come to a standstill in his mind and the pointlessness of this mundane activity had run its course for Clark. Not a soul grudgingly worked with him. After all, Friday night was a good night to be out on the town and not stuck working overtime, cleaning out lazy people’s desks for them so they could move to the office across the street.
    Being an ambitious go-getter had its perks, but usually it just got Clark working on projects that he did not wish to do, such as this one before him. Clark leaned against what once had been his desk and sighed, looking out the window at a smog-encrusted sun. His stomach rumbled in annoyance and he moaned under his breath. He tallied up in his head what he had found, and so far nothing more interesting than an old issue of Sports Illustrated and torn pair of boxer briefs that Clark faintly remembered being on someone’s head at the office Christmas party.
    Slowly pivoting on the spot, he gazed about the office floor, looking at the several rows he still needed to clean out. With another exasperated huff, he stalked over to a desk that had once been the seat of Hank Flouter. Hank always spoke softly and stuttered, and many people around the office laughed at him behind his back, including Clark himself. Hank worked overtime and still kept the same job as an office lackey for fifteen years. Clark rummaged around through all of the drawers without much care, when something caught his eye in the bottom drawer and he gasped.
    Like lightning he rushed down the stairs and found Mitchell, the janitor that cleaned during the night. His heart raced by the time he reached the wise old man,
    “Mitchell!” Clark gasped. “Look what I found in Hank’s desk!” The wizened man leaned his mop on a wall and peered over. “It’s a noose,” Clark gulped.
    “I knew poor Hank had problems,” Mitchell nodded solemnly, “but not this bad.” Clark looked at him incredulously,
    “Seriously? I never knew.”
    “He would never tell you,” Mitchell softly spoke. “No one treated him with any dignity, no respect at all. I know. We talked sometimes, poor fellow. People can be so cruel sometimes,” muttered Mitchell under his breath.
    “What should we do?” inquired Clark, whose guilt began to swell.
    “Talk to him,” Mitchell replied simply.
    “But how?” Clark asked again, feeling sick. Just then, the front door swung open, and there stood Hank, white as a ghost, looking at the two men.
    “I’ve left something here I believe,” he stated meekly. He looked and saw the noose Clark held in his trembling hands and he too began to shake.

  15. chilo

    I always knew Danny was strange, but this beats everything the guys at work have to say. I mean, look at what I found in Danny’s bottom drawer? It’s not the kind of thing one should have in an office. Very unprofessional, if I do say so myself. If it wasn’t for the company moving office buildings, I would have never found this in his drawer and there aren’t many people I would like to share this bit of information after hours. Those who are here are too busy packing desks and clearing desks. I am just concerned for Danny. Okay, okay, I got it. I’ll call Julian over for some advice of what to do about it.
    “Hey, Julian….uh… nice night?
    “If you say so.”
    “Could you come over for a minute?”
    “What’s up?”
    “I found this…. this…” and I pulled it out of the black bag. It’s a good thing I still had my latex gloves on.
    “Whoa! Put that away, man! What kind of place do you think we’re running here?”
    “That’s just it. This belongs to Danny.”
    “That whacko sure has some nerve.”
    “Well, what do you want me to do about it?”
    “About it? Nothing…pretend you ever saw it. As a matter of fact, forget you ever showed it to me. That freak Danny sure is something.” He picked up the box by the side of the desk and walked away, shaking his head all the way to the elevator.
    I guess Julian’s right. There’s not much to do with this, but get rid of it. I wonder if Danny uses it during office hours?

  16. Larry Purcell

    Hey, I was doing my duty and not liking it much. In cleaning Jason’s desk, in his bottom drawer, under some shoeshine stuff, the clean ‘n neat freak has a box which had held a new 9 mil Smith &Wesson and under it was a copy of a list of some of our names, home addresses and whether we take public transportation or drive home. The list also shows who’s married, with kids at home. By the way, your name is on the top of the list. Yeah, I know what he does for the company, he’s an Actuary – they figure statistics for when people are supposed to die. Oh, is that your doorbell? I better let you go! Take care.

  17. Riley Keith

    “What if just wash it down with a cold beer after work?”
    “I don’t think that adding alcohol is the right answer? Why don’t you throw it away?”
    “I don’t have a problem.” I said “she does.”
    “And you’re inclined to save her why?”
    “You know.”
    “And you think what, that this will endear her to you more? You’re stealing from her?”
    “She needs help.”
    “You need help. How do you even know that is what it is?”
    I flipped the little pill around in my fingers. Examining again the little numbers inscribed on the side. I remembered these numbers, from college, from trips to Mexico where a prescription was more of a suggestion than a requirement. “I’ve taken it before.”
    “What are the numbers again?” He asked.
    I read them aloud then added. “She has addiction problems. She told me so herself, she said she needed help. Helping could be my way in. I can tell her that I took it, I mean, removed it, and then…”
    “You’re some kind of hero?”
    “Yeah, hero.” I smiled. That sounded good to me.
    “And when she asks what you did with it?”
    “I tell her I flushed it.”
    “But you’re not going to.”
    “No use letting it go to waste.” I said. “I used to take two or three and down a couple shots as chasers when I was in college.”
    “You’re not in college, that was years ago. You take that and drink, it will probably kill you.”
    “But when will I get this chance again. I’m taking it.” Before I could change my mind, or be persuaded to, I popped the little pill in my mouth. Without any liquids it was tough to swallow, but I choked it down. The little residue itched my throat. I could make it home before it kicked in, then drink a couple beers and just relax for the night.
    “You just took it didn’t you?”
    “Yep.” I said triumphantly.
    “You’re an idiot? What if she needs it?”
    “I told you, she doesn’t, she’s an addict?”
    “Really, addicted to what exactly?”
    “Drugs, and booze I think.” I said.
    “Not headaches, or bloating?”
    “No. What? What are you talking about?”
    “I just googled the pill.” He said. “It was a midol.”

  18. Kym

    My mouth fell open when I read the last line scribbled on the piece of paper I found in Jeremy’s desk.

    I have no choice. Harry’s days are numbered. Monday he will take his last breath.

    I rummaged through the rest of his bottom drawer, searching for anything suspicious but found nothing questionable. Auto magazines. Training notes. Paper clips. Staples.

    I tried to find where the torn paper came from but failed. All I had were the words in front of me. I knew Jeremy’s handwriting, but just to confirm, I held up the paper to his training notes. Perfect match.

    I slammed the desk drawer closed, feeling confused and irritated. Instead of spending Friday night on my couch catching up on House episodes, here I was playing detective because my boss volunteered me to pack up my coworkers’ desks for our move. I needed to thank Harry on Monday for his thoughtfulness.

    If Harry would even be here on Monday according to Jeremy’s note.

    I walked into the bathroom and called my best friend Trish. She answered on the first ring. I ran down the scenario in one minute. Jeremy got in trouble a month ago. Our boss, Harry, put him on probation. Harry informed me that he would let Jeremy go on Monday. Jeremy probably found out. And then I read her the note.

    “Wow, this sounds like CSI stuff,” she said, half-listening. “My new hairdo: Halley Berry or J. Lo?”

    I rolled my eyes. “Trish,” I whispered through clenched teeth. “Focus. I need advice.”

    “Oh, I thought you were just venting.”

    I sighed, regretting that I called her. When things weren’t about her, she started rambling about mindless gossip—like Justin Bieber’s latest crush or the next big Hollywood breakup.

    “Call Jake on three-way right now,” I told her, pacing the bathroom floor. Jake would know what to do.

    We told Jake my dilemma in less than 30 seconds when he answered.

    “I know you want to help, but you need to put the paper back where you found it and walk away,” he said.

    “Jake, you know I can’t do that. What if Harry is in trouble and something happens to him?”

    “Yea, but you don’t want to get caught up in this.”

    “Can you help or not?”

    He sighed. “I need his full name and company’s e-mail address. Give me ten minutes.”

    I stayed on the phone while Jake went to work, actually glad that our best friend was a hacker. In five minutes, he had hacked into Jeremy’s e-mails, searching for clues.

    “You ready for this Columbo and Jessica Fletcher?” Jake asked us after ten minutes. “Jeremy dog’s name is Harry. He’s putting him to sleep on Monday.”

    “Who names their dog Harry?” Trish asked.

    “Apparently Jeremy. So ladies, am I free to go?”

    I laughed. “Thanks, babe. Love ya.”

    We hung up. I re-read the torn paper in my hand and laughed. I still decided to hold unto it. At least until Monday.

  19. Kym

    My mouth fell open when I read the last line scribbled on the piece of paper I found in Jeremy’s desk.

    I have no choice. Harry’s days are numbered. Monday he will take his last breath.

    I rummaged through the rest of his bottom drawer, searching for anything suspicious but found nothing questionable. Auto magazines. Training notes. Paper clips. Staples.

    I tried to find where the torn paper came from but failed. All I had were the words in front of me. I knew Jeremy’s handwriting, but just to confirm, I held up the paper to his training notes. Perfect match.

    I slammed the desk drawer closed, feeling confused and irritated. Instead of spending Friday night on my couch catching up on House episodes, here I was playing detective because my boss volunteered me to pack up my coworkers’ desks for our move. I needed to thank Harry on Monday for his thoughtfulness.

    If Harry would even be here on Monday according to Jeremy’s note.

    I walked into the bathroom and called my best friend Trish. She answered on the first ring. I ran down the scenario in one minute. Jeremy got in trouble a month ago. Our boss, Harry, put him on probation. Harry informed me that he would let Jeremy go on Monday. Jeremy probably found out. And then I read her the note.

    “Wow, this sounds like CSI stuff,” she said, half-listening. “My new hairdo: Halley Berry or J. Lo?”

    I rolled my eyes. “Trish,” I whispered through clenched teeth. “Focus. I need advice.”

    “Oh, I thought you were just venting.”

    I sighed, regretting that I called her. When things weren’t about her, she started rambling about mindless gossip—like Justin Bieber’s latest crush or the next big Hollywood breakup.

    “Call Jake on three-way right now,” I told her, pacing the bathroom floor. Jake would know what to do.

    We told Jake my dilemma in less than 30 seconds when he answered.

    “I know you want to help, but you need to put the paper back where you found it and walk away,” he said.

    “Jake, you know I can’t do that. What if Harry is in trouble and something happens to him?”

    “Yea, but you don’t want to get caught up in this.”

    “Can you help or not?”

    He sighed. “I need his full name and company’s e-mail address. Give me ten minutes.”

    I stayed on the phone while Jake went to work, actually glad that our best friend was a hacker. In five
    minutes, he had hacked into Jeremy’s e-mails, searching for clues.

    “You ready for this Columbo and Jessica Fletcher?” Jake asked us after ten minutes. “Jeremy dog’s name is
    Harry. He’s putting him to sleep on Monday.”

    “Who names their dog Harry?” Trish asked.

    “Apparently Jeremy. So ladies, am I free to go?”

    I laughed. “Thanks, babe. Love ya.”

    We hung up. I re-read the torn paper in my hand and laughed. I still decided to hold unto it. At least until Monday.

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