Office Move Gone Wrong

Your move to a new office building hits a major hurdle when you arrive for your first day only to find out your name wasn’t on the move list. Write this scene.

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

You might also like:

30 thoughts on “Office Move Gone Wrong

  1. kathleenmagner

    Madeline shoved through her morning’s second set of rotating doors. The clean smell of lemon and polished wood replaced the rank carpet, the moldy paneling, and the pre-construction dank of the first office building’s lobby, the one where it had all begun.

    Storming to the security guard’s desk, she managed a curt smile. “I’m on the list for Yates and Olive.”

    The security guard nodded, a slow methodical bob of his capped head. His double chin scrunched when he hefted a clipboard. “Name?”

    “Madeline Brewer.”

    She checked her pearl-faced watch while he flipped one page after another. The little hum he gave each column encouraged her to tap the toe of the pumps she’d bought to compliment her skirt suit and match the new office’s decor. Oblivious, he reached the back sheet and then placed the clipboard aside.

    “Let me check the folder.”

    His emphasis made Madeline grab onto the straps of her purse with both manicured hands.

    Doubling over, the security guard leaned into a drawer he opened. While he rummaged, footsteps approached, the slap of loafers riding on telltale cologne.

    Leaning against the desk, Aaron caught the eye of the security guard who reappeared with a thin black binder in his hand. His double chin waggled as he skimmed Aaron’s navy pinstripes.

    “Yates and Olive?”

    “Yup, name’s Aaron Gibbons.”

    The security guard set the binder aside and checked through his clipboard. His hum elevated to a pleased pitch and, fetching a neon highlighter, he marked a row on the list.

    “It’ll just be a moment for me to gather your materials, Mr. Gibbons.” The security guard heaved from his chair and went about collecting various cards and keys from several different cubbies.

    Putting his back to the desk, Aaron smoothed his lapels. “I’m surprised to see you here, Del.”

    Madeline straightened so she could spy the balding patch atop Aaron’s head. “Why is that?”

    “I…ah…” Aaron blanched and he cleared his throat. “It’s just early, that’s all.”

    “I’m always early.”

    He nodded absently and checked his tie.

    His quiet hunt for crumbs or coffee stains irked and Madeline lowered her voice. “What is going on, Gibbons?”

    Swiveling, Aaron watched the security guard putter. “I don’t know what you mean.”

    Madeline glanced around the lobby. Other personnel headed directly to the elevators and no one else from the office, no subordinates or anyone worthy of her confidence appeared imminent. Crinkling her nose against the musk, she shifted closer to Aaron.

    “The offices were dark this morning and my name isn’t on this stooge’s clipboard.”

    “You don’t say,” said Aaron, his gaze following the guard who mumbled at paperwork.

    “You’re going to make me do this aren’t you?”

    “Do what?”

    Madeline stomped with one pump. “You know something, Gibbons, something I don’t. Give.”

    … Click here to read the rest. Any comments are welcome.

  2. Icabu

    Shelly McDonald stood in front of the chain-link fence separating two industrial metal desks and a couple of dented file cabinets from the dank warehouse. Her new Harris Tweed jacket and skirt looked as shatteringly out of place as she felt herself. Harold, the warehouse supervisor, leaned against one of the battleship-like desks, blending well into the bleak surroundings.

    Like all of her officemates, Shelly had reported to the new downtown office building that morning wearing her best finery. The excitement created a constant buzz of chatter that followed them onto the elevator and flowed out into the thirty-fourth floor hallway. The new office was breathtaking – shiny and modern. The east wall showcased an expanse of glass overlooking the harbor – a magnificent view.

    Ms. Westbrook had her ever-present clipboard and directed everyone to their new spaces. Stepping up to her, Shelly crossed her fingers, hoping for a harbor view.

    In the old basement warehouse, Shelly sneezed and then twice more in quick succession. Harold offered her a stained handkerchief. She politely declined and shuddered as the hanky disappeared into his grimy coveralls.

    She had a view of the harbor, all right. The oil coated water lapped lazily at the debris-choked edges of the unused loading dock. The stench wafting in was a mix of pollution and dead fish. The panoramic view of the harbor from the thirty-fourth floor was much more pleasant.

    “You’ll be needing these, ma’am.”

    Shelly caught the coveralls that Harold tossed to her with as few fingers as possible.

    “You might not want to be wearing those fancy duds down here,” Harold said, nodding in her direction. “Not that it ain’t nice seeing now and then.”

    Suddenly Shelly couldn’t get the coveralls on fast enough. They smelled as if they’d been washed in the stagnant harbor water.

    Earlier, Shelly’s excitement was nearly uncontainable when Ms. Westbrook pulled her aside and said they had a special project for her. Now, Shelly’s heart felt small and cold knowing the project was scanning old documents stored in the old building’s basement warehouse into a central database. Bernhardt, Tufts, and Zalinski had been in business with various partners since the 1930’s.

    Shelly walked down the long aisle, her Italian leather slingbacks’ echo ricocheting around the expansive warehouse. There were row upon row of pallets in racks to the ceiling. Each pallet was stacked high with boxes of documents. She swallowed hard. A quick mental calculation let her know that she would still be down here with Harold when she was up for retirement in thirty-two years.

  3. sldaly

    Writing prompt:
    Your move to a new office building hits a major hurdle when you arrive for your first day only to find out your name wasn’t on the move list. Write this scene.

    I’d been excited about our office move since they first announced it. Closer to home, only two traffic lights and I’d be there. I could go home for lunch if I so wanted, or walk around the campus with its state of the art landscaping. Best of all, I was moving out of my cubicle, my little box in the middle of the rats, and into a real live honest to goodness office, with a door and a window. I was already decorating it in my mind. Out with the tacky flamingos that had graced my desk and in with the tastefully framed family photos – not too many, just enough to show that I had another side besides work.
    In actuality, I led a double life. Office worker by day; belly dancer at night but none of that seeped into my appearance or demeanor at work though. Well, almost none of it. A gold tassle hung from an overhead shelf in my cubicle.
    And adding to the excitement about the move, I’d no longer have to contend with the Human Resources Manager in the cubicle on my left who was on the phone night and day when she wasn’t shopping online and calling to her assistant to come take a look at whatever fabulous sale she’d found. Screaming over the top of her cubicle all day.
    So, it was with some amusement that I pulled up to the gate and found a guard stopping traffic from his guardhouse – even smaller than my former cubicle. It slowed down the process of getting in but that was alright. I looked at the long curving driveway, lined with trees, leading up to the main building. It was going to be a pleasure just to drive in here every morning.
    It was my turn up at the gate. “I don’t see your name on the moving list” the guard was informing me.
    Suddenly I was jolted out of my reverie. “What? I’ve got to be there. I packed up everything in my cube and labeled it. The movers took it on Friday. It’s got to be there in my new office.”
    “There’s nothing on here that says your name, Miss. I’m afraid you’ll have to make a u-turn here and leave.”
    And that’s when it hit me. No matter what was happening, the Human Resources Manager was so far behind there was no way she’d communicated to Payroll to drop me from the rolls. There was so much confusion with the move no one would notice that quiet little old me was missing. I could make that U-turn alright, head back home and still continue to collect my pay check while carrying on my true life as a belly dancer.

  4. jspitler

    If not for the bite of November wind against my exposed nape I may have not been so bothered by the notion that my name was missing from the lengthy manifest of humanity assembled by some office flunky to ensure all would go as planned for this significant office relocation. Still, a strange feeling washed over me while staring at the long list of names. Reading each one I wonder to myself why so many of the names seem so unfamiliar to me. Where have all these people come from, and so quickly? Maybe three or four are even vaguely recognizable but so many are people of whom I’ve never even heard.
    My bewilderment changes to troubling confusion as I turn toward the busy street. A city transit bus stops, air-brakes releasing in a loud hiss, and it’s human cargo pours out teeming into the open plaza where I stand, blank-faced and motionless. Passersby bump into one another as they all make their ways to their morning destinations. Steam rises in the chilled morning air through manhole covers and is set swirling in the speeding morning traffic. The streets are awakening from the dark slumber of early dawn and are enlivened with an energy of purpose from the footsteps of all those who now beat a rhythm of life upon their asphalt flesh. Still, I stand there, frozen in time.
    Flurries begin flying wildly against the steel grey skies but I no longer feel the bitter gusts of wind against my cheeks. A world of chaotic commuters builds with intensity but the clamoring noise begins to fade in silent retreat inside my head until all the frenzy of activity plays out silently before me. I witness it all as if through a thick wall of glass, all sights, all sounds, feeling, everything that once so palpably burned it’s mark upon my senses now leaves me untouched, unfeeling and unseen. Unseen. I become aware of my own distance from this world from which I now lose sight. With each awakening revelation within this surreal reality, my vision begins to retreat, to recede into the distance as though my body is being pulled backward into a tunnel and my perception of all this life I see before me diminishes with each connection of these maddening thoughts. A piercing blast deafens me just as the engulfing blackness steals my last sight and all is silent. All is still. All is suddenly at rest.
    I no longer feel the tug from the concerns of my job. I no longer feel that sense of urgent importance, of deadlines. All sense of obligation and priority are gone, vanished in an instant, washed away into the storm drains of those busy streets where I too once rushed to my job each morning. My name is missing yes, but more than that, I am missing. “My dear friends as you pass by, as you are now, so once was I. As I am now, you soon must be. Prepare yourselves to follow me.”

  5. ReadyForPrint

    The morning started out all wrong. The coffee pot spilled over, and messed the counter. The toast was burnt.
    The poached eggs were more like soft boiled. The orange juice was sour. The hot water in the shower was lukewarm.
    If I had been paying attention, I probably would’ve known all these factors added up to a miserable day; but I was too busy contemplating the move to a new location ,and my promised promotion to lower-level management.
    When the knockout blow hit me up the side of the head like a boxer clipped by a right cross, and sprawled all over the canvas; I couldn’t even blink. My right temple started to throb incesantly. I visibly shuddered.
    The message in my morning email was curt “Meeting in my office, 9 AM. Be prompt!” J. Sessions
    I arrived five minutes early. the boss was seated behind his overlarge oaken desk. he didn’t look up.
    The words struck my ears like a cold steel blade cuts soft flesh. “You’re staying here to help co-ordinate the move from your office. You’d better get on it. We have to be in before 5PM, and fully set up today. You’ve got a lot to do. No time to waste.” That was it. No transfer. No promotion. No opportunity to get out from under his watchful eye.
    I thought about the counter coffee mess. I thought about the burnt toast. I thought about the overcooked eggs. i thought about the spoiled juice. I thought about the broken promise. I had a terrible migrain.
    I started to leave, turned around, and shouted ” You can take this job, and your move, and all your crummy orders and stab someone else in the back. I’m outta’ here”
    I turned as if I was executing a military manuver, and left, purposely clicking my heels all the way out the door.
    I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.

  6. trackstr

    So I now found out the trickster in my office had me again. After some explaining to the security personel, I was prompted on my phone message service to call Henry. Here I stand talking with some low paid person, that has a new job for the day, and my friend the great one is on the phone. I try to explain several times only to find the that this security person speaks or understands very little english. (Seems he is trained to only look for names that match with a badge). Now I have Henry on the phone propmting me to tell the security person that I must be on the list, because he (Henry) put me on. But as usual, he saw a humor in leaving me off for the duration of the day. Now that I think of it, our long hours of work, along with all the overtime in creating the spacing in the new office had me working so many hours, only to realize this is saturday, and only those employees involved with the set up of the office are there today. Damn Henry got me again, and I just can’t wait till monday.

  7. cherylweber

    Pencil pusher—that’s what you could call me. Wait. Maybe, in the 21st century I should be called a mouse pusher. Anyway, I’ve declared repeatedly—to anyone who listens–that I wished I didn’t work for Wally’s Vending Machines.

    I am on the bottom rung of the corporate ladder doing grunt work for a company that manufactures and stocks vending machines for everything from plastic mood rings to condoms.

    And, since the markets for cheap toys, quick snacks and one night stands are apparently booming, the company has outgrown its quarters.

    And so, here I am, riding to the fifteenth floor where my new office awaits.

    The first two people I see as I step out of the elevator are Mandy Hall and Calvin Bryson, inventory control and machine tech, respectively.

    “Hey, Mandy, Cal, how’s it going? Where’s my desk?”

    They both stop and stare at me, infinitely puzzled looks on their faces.

    “Excuse me?” Mandy’s left eyebrow lifts in suspicion.

    “Ahhhh. My desk, —my new place, where is it?”

    ““I don’t know who you are or what you’re talking about.” Calvin folds his arms across his chest.

    “Ha, ha, ha. Very funny. I’m Sherry. Research department? Remember? Computer Four for five years. Directly answerable to Jerry Nivens?”

    Calvin looks at Mandy and nods at her. She immediately turns and hurries away.

    A short, brown-haired woman with a mole on her left cheek hurries up to Calvin. “Hey Cal. How soon you can meet with Jerry in regards to the Eden Foods account?”

    “Lady” Calvin turns to me, “This is Harriat Kawalski and she has worked at Computer Four for the past ten years. “

    My heart pounds in my chest and it suddenly feels very hot in the air conditioned building. “Look,” I shout. “If this is some sick way of letting me know I am fired, then just say so.”

    Jerry Nivens approaches. “Jerry, what is going on here? Cal and Mandy insist I never worked here and they don’t know me. You know I work for you Jerry. ”

    My heart sinks into the pit of my now nauseous stomach as Jerry looks at me with suspicious eyes totally devoid of recognition. “Ma’am, you have never been your boss. If you want a job, you go to our human resources department.”

    “Okay, lady, let’s go.” Two powerful hands propel me towards the elevator. “These people say you don’t belong here so you need to move along.”

    “Bernie, Bernie, “ I gasp to the security guard. “You know me. We’ve had conversations about the meaning of life when I stayed late to work on special projects.”

    “We ain’t had no conversations about nothing, Lady, and you are not employed here. So please leave before I call in the guys with the handcuffs.”

    Out on the sidewalk again, I glare up at the mountain of glass and I am reminded. “Be careful what you wish for because it just might happen.”

  8. ryder

    “Its probably just a typo.”
    “You Think so?” I asked nervously.
    “um sure”.
    we walked up to Anne, who was looking down at her trusty clipboard.
    “Hey anne” jake said. he was so much better at talking to people than i was.
    “Good morning jake.”
    “well anne its not a good morning” he said “you see my good friend bills name is not on the moving list. now i know that cant be right my dear”
    “oh whos bill?” she said genuely confused.
    “uh i am” i said raising my hand.
    I wasn’t surprised at all that she didn’t know me. I usually kept to my small office in the corner.
    “oh you must be new” she said nicely.
    “no. Actually ive been working here for 2 and a half years”
    Anne looked at jake for some sort of explanation.
    “Hes the weird guy from the corner office” said jake. he mouthed the word sorry to me when anne returned to her clipboard.
    “oh we all thought your name was robert. your in the corner office” she said.
    “see” said jake “and you were worried”

  9. onaway

    Last week in the building, we are moving to a high rise by the water. I had been asked to work late last Tuesday. I don’t mind having the place to myself, and it isn’t much different than working in the day, it’s just darker outside when I take smoke breaks. I haven’t made many friends in this office.
    “Burning the midnight oil?” It was James, the janitor. Probably retired from the Big 3 now pushing a broom to make ends meet and keep away the boredom. He comes in an hour before the office closes.
    “Yup.” I says. Man of few words.
    “Well I’m ‘bout done here. Have a good one.”
    “Right.” I hear him throw some things in the closet in the hallway. His keys turn in the lock to the outside door and I’m locked in here like another piece of office equipment. I type furiously. I think about making more coffee after the next cigarette break. I think about just leaving and driving to another state.
    Outside its dark and still warm, I like it in the city at night. I stroll a bit to see around the building and catch a view of the downtown lights where all the action is. The bars and clubs. Where everyone is probably at. Where I should be.
    “Ah well.” I sigh, and am slightly amazed at the amount of smoke I’m exhaling. In that lull there is an enormous crash and slamming of metal like a car crash, if you’ve ever seen one of those. I know I physically jumped into the air at the suddenness of it. I thought it was a car crash, but it was from above and I thought: how could a car crash into the second floor of the building? But it wasn’t a car. Something exploded on that floor. In the office.

  10. chopper

    LOL…..Good read. I guess this Herman Cain thing has a lot of us thinking and writing along the same way, or should I say, “Herman Bid-Daddy Sugar-Cane”

  11. wordnerd

    Alex packed up the last of his office gear. His files, computer, and books were ready to go; the moving company hired by corporate would move all that stuff. He made sure his name was on each of the boxes and turned to his personal items. Corporate would accept no liability for their loss, so employees were advised to box up their tchotchkes and take them home over the weekend.

    Tchotches…trinkets ‘n trash…memorabilia. Whatever you call it, he’d be sorry to lose it. So he carefully wrapped the photos in the bubble wrap he’d gotten from the office supplies room. Mugs, convention badges, awards all went into the box. He looked at each award as he wrapped it. One for five years of service—a clock. Another for exceptional customer service to the firm’s clients—a small plaque. And still another—a large Lucite paperweight—for a successful transition project when the company had completed a large, complex acquisition. He’d been with the company for more than ten years, most of them happy ones. Lately, though, he’d felt the culture changing. Some of his peers, with the same tenure or even longer, were being let go. Younger people were coming on board, tech-savvy and full of energy and ready to keep up the pace. Such a loss of accumulated knowledge, he thought of his former colleagues. He taped up the last box, loaded it on the small hand truck he’d brought from home, and turned out the lights.

    On Monday, Alex entered the shiny, new office building through the main lobby, as he had no idea where anything was. He’d left his personal boxes in the car until he could locate his new office. He walked up and down the corridors of the first floor, looking for his office or those of others on his team. Nothing. He moved to the second floor. He found a couple of his teammates’ spots in one corner, but still not his own. Alex felt panic beginning to build, threatening to choke him. He stepped onto the third floor, the last of those to be occupied by his firm, and started walking down the hall.

    Rain pounded outside Alex’s window as he sat bolt upright in bed, covered in sweat. His bedclothes were as drenched as the sidewalk outside. He looked around, realized where he was, and sighed in relief. A monstrous dream, he decided, all in his imagination. Then he caught himself up again: or was it? Alex headed for the shower, approaching the day with hope and dread.

  12. egg

    Office Moves. Part 2

    Suzie is daintily withdrawing items from a box and placing them with meticulous care on her desktop. Her new office is impressive, and I can only guess that this is Dean’s way of announcing her promotion; a promotion that should have been mine.

    I smile smugly as I saunter into the room, and mentally redecorate the office to suit my own, more sophisticated tastes. “Nice view,” I mutter as I peer down at the Central Park wilderness. “Anyone would think that you were sleeping with the boss.” I turn to gauge the woman’s reaction but, to my chagrin, there is none. “You know Dean asked me to finish packing up the old place after work yesterday?”

    “He mentioned it,” says Suzie through ruby lips. She tsks as she withdraws her headless, ceramic puppy, and glares at me as if I was a dog murderer.

    “Er, sorry about that,” I say, even though I’m not. “So, did everything else turn up all right?”

    Suzie regards me quizzically. “More or less.”

    My palms are sweating like crazy and I press them against the side of my trousers. “Nothing missing?”

    “Well, now that you mention it, there is one particular, personal item that seems to have disappeared,” she says, scratching her perky nose with catty, red nails.

    I take a deep breath as if I can suck in atoms of courage from the atmosphere, and slowly exhale through my mouth. “Would that item be a box of strawberry-flavored, ribbed, extra-large, novelty, condoms?”

    Suzie looks at me with a sly, little smile playing on her lips. “As a matter-of-fact, it would. Would you happen to know where it is?”

    “In my briefcase, actually. So what would you do to get this particular, personal item back?” Suzie leans back her head, exposing a long, alluring neck and my confidence grows. “Before you answer, please note that strawberry is my favorite flavor.”

    “And don’t tell me,” she says, “extra-large is just your size?”

    “Absolutely!” I immediately regret the eagerness of my reply.

    Suzie laughs uncontrollably, and wipes tears from her eyes. “Are you hitting on me…. Again?”

    I am confused.

    “Because if you are, I might have to ask Dean to add ‘sexual harassment’ to the reasons for your immediate dismissal.”

    “What? What reasons?”

    “Why, theft of personal property, of course. You admitted to it yourself.” The sexy smile has turned sinister.

    “Personal property? It’s incriminating evidence!” I insist.

    Suzie laughs again. “This isn’t L.A. Law, Dennis. I suggest you be gone by the time Dean gets in. He was pretty angry when I called him earlier to tell him of your criminal tendencies.”

    “But you’re screwing the boss!” I yell in the hope that this revelation would somehow send her cowering into a corner.

    “Yeah, so? There’s no law against it,” she says. “And oh, if the rubbers fit, keep them. Turns out you’re a bigger dick than I thought.”

    Suzie turns dismissively and I slink from her office to contemplate my next move.

  13. RAGS

    Since day one when Kris and Tony started their company they knew what roles they were going to play in the day-to-day operations. Kris, with his parents connections and wealth, was the financial backing and mutually agreed CEO. While Tony had the technical knowhow, humble beginnings that lingered boarder line lower middle class, but most extraordinary was Tony’s gift for creating demand and training the employees to meet the demand.

    His rapid successful in business had the company’s human resources earning time and half and splitting two shifts to broaden the company’s line of products. The first year in business marked massive gains in profits, demand for the company’s products were endless, and single handedly turned the city unemployment rate from the highest in the nation to the lowest in the nation. As a result the building could not provide work space for the company’s new employees. Solutions were found in the city’s four Starbucks coffee shops, professional offices throughout the city were convenient for some individuals, and some people took on their work while in their own living rooms.

    Senior workers successful raised awareness amongst all workers who were not granted the privilege of performing work outside the office headquarters. This brought high levels of animosity amongst co-workers in a short period of time. Like a Tsunami at sea the wave of emails that Tony received all in one day caused his smart phone to lose its battery supply. Thirty minutes later he was convinced to his sole that he had overlooked the unfairness and discrepancies that were on the workers minds. Tony found himself for the very first time needing to call his long friend and the CEO of the company. While things were running like clockwork on the path of constant growth, Kris was never missed. Contact was sent in an email by Tony to his business parnter.

    Tony instantly got a message on his phone that he received an email from Kris. While still in his office, Tony pull up the email and read through it with special attention. It addressed the timing, need, and space for the company to expand. Attachments with the email included a map highlighting all the different ways to navigate through the downtown area freeways to locate the new work place. The other document was a roster in alphabetic order indicated what floor employees were to report to. With his name nowhere to be found he thought there was a mistake. He sent his problem in a reply to Kris. Kris simply said no mistake.

    I would like to show my appreciation for your efforts in the company by giving you full ownership and control over the keystone building. You earned it!

  14. stevendaniel

    Moving Day
    Steve Aguilu
    Hey Mister can you tell me, where a man might find a bed? He just grinned and shook my hand. No was all he said.
    – Dylan ‘The Weight’.

    There’s one more door left. I look for my name on all the others but it isn’t there. I even checked all the cubicles, the gray anonymous honey comb, the place where all the workers buzz around one another, shaking their bodies in the dance of the hive, telling everyone about the pollen but not quite saying where it is. I no longer belong at the water cooler. I leave hoping no one strikes up a conversation.
    The sound system is playing a synthesized version of The Band’s ‘The Weight’. I walk down the last hall toward the last door. It’s a corner office that overlooks the Bowling Green fountain. The red flowers were beautiful this morning. A nice distraction from the ‘Occupy’ people cluttering up Wall Street for the last two years.
    I command my legs to carry me along, willing the door to come to me. I can almost see the lettering on the name plate, but the words keep blurring, running together. I don’t think I rate a corner office. Not with the way the GreenTech buyout went last month. Not with the way Charlie Dix was grinning at me at the broker’s meeting last week.
    I heard it all over drinks at the Pub. ‘Fair strike price…acceptable profit margin…pretty good use of leverage.’ Well meaning drivel uncorked with overpriced champagne. It was only a small deal. A half million dollars rattles down the halls of Castor Burke Investments like so many dry leaves just before the winter frost.
    I check to see if anyone is watching and duck into the office, keeping my eyes averted from the name plate. I am in…safe. Then I look around. It’s not my stuff.
    Charlie’s family photo sits on the desk, perfect wife, perfect kids, a boy and a girl, an apricot AKC pug in her arms. They’re all wearing the same grin that Charlie wore last week, even the dog.
    Charlie has his back to me, sitting in his favorite chair, fine grained leather, the color of old blood. He is looking out the floor-to-ceiling window, past the chanting crowd below, past the red flowers around the fountain, past the Statue of Liberty.
    It was easy, just a good hard shove. The plate glass gave way easily and I watched as the chair tumbled out, end over end. I watched the grin appear, then disappear, growing smaller with each rotation. I watched the Occupy crowd part as the chair hit the street 30 stories below. I watched them form a ring and dance a slow victory dance around the chair, now the color of fresh blood.
    Charlie rotated around in the chair.
    “Hey Mike, this is a surprise! How do you like my new office?”
    I shrugged. “It’s okay. I just came to say goodbye…see if you were coming to my house un-warming party next week.”
    He grinned and shook my hand. “No”. And that was all he said.

  15. vspiritoso

    Finally the move was over. It has been two long weeks for everything to be moved in and set up. Now we’ve moved to the 30th floor of our new office building where there is a window that has the view of the sky in every office. Even the employees in the cubicles could have a window view of the sky. I really liked this building because the security is excellent and with the business we in, which is the IRS, there are angry people out to get us. As I entered the building, I see Wayne Waxen checking to security. “Hi Wayne, how are you today?”

    “I’m good Sage. How are you?”

    “I’m good. Just a little nervous about auditing Calvin Freeman. He’s coming up today with his receipts. He claims that his accountant messed up his tax return. I’m auditing him because he claimed too many write off in his business. He owned $10,000 in back taxes. He was pissed when he spoke to me claiming he wants to see me at 10.00a today.”

    “I’m glad I’m not you.” Wayne said smugly. “I heard about this guy…he is a real prick! He’s one of the reasons that Jonas quit. I guess he didn’t tell you about Mr. Freeman.”

    “Of course he didn’t. Jonas was a prick himself.” Wayne and I let out a huge laugh.
    As I went to show the security woman my ID, she looked at her list and said, “Sorry ma’am. I do not see your name on the list.”

    “What? Sage David. Sag…”
    “Ma’am I know how to spell it. Your name is not on the list.”
    “She does work at the IRS Miss. You can let her up.” Said Wayne trying to be suave.
    “Sir, I’m talking to her. Be on your way sir.”
    “I’ve tried Sage, see you upstairs.”
    “Yes, thanks Wayne.” I said sarcastically.

    I looked at this woman in disbelieve. I said, “I have an important client in an half an hour, let me see the list. Maybe you’ve over looked it.”

    “What are you trying to say Miss? You figure that since I’m a security guard that I’m not smart enough to see a name like ‘Sage David’ on a list. You people think you’re better than me.” The security woman said infuriated.

    “What? No one called you stupid. What is your problem? I just want to see the list because it is possible it could be overlooked.” I said very upset. I really wanted to punch her in the face.
    The security guard said with a cocky attitude, “Look for yourself.”

    I looked at the list and to my dismay, she was correct. My name wasn’t on the list. “Do you see your name or am I blind? I can not let you in since your name isn’t on the list…have a good day!”

    I didn’t respond. I really wanted to slap her good. I’ve called my secretary immediately. “Barbara, listen. Do you know why my name isn’t on the list for me to enter the building?”

    “Who is this?” Barbara said in a funny voice.
    “Barb this is no time for jokes.”
    “I’m sorry Sage but you really sound pissed off right now.”
    “Ha, Ha, very funny but seriously I tired to get in and they said that my name isn’t on the list.”
    “Of course it is Sage.”
    “Apparently not! This rental cop here said that I’m not on the list.” I said loud enough for the security guard to hear.
    The security guard hears me and gave me the finger.
    “I gave Jim the revised list.”
    “Jim?”
    “Jim the security supervisor. I’ve check the list this morning and noticed that your name wasn’t on there so I brought the new list down to him so the list should be there. Ask for Jim if you have any problems.”

    As I walked back to the security desk, a husky man came towards the security woman with the name Jim on his name tag. “Are you Jim the supervisor?” I’ve asked.
    “Yes ma’am!”
    “My name is Sage David and I work upstairs on the 30th floor. My secretary said that there is a revised listed for the IRS employees down here that was given this morning and my name should be on the list.”

    “There isn’t a revised copy!” said the woman security guard.
    Jim said, “Yes there is a revised list, remember? I told you to discard the list dated 11/4/11 and use the one that said 11/7/11. Which list do you have Ms Porter?”
    Ms. Porter looked at the date on the list. “It says 11/4/11.”
    “If you where not paying attention to your nails you would of remebered that. I’m sorry Ms. David; Ms Porter is new with us. Here are you badge and access pass. Have a good day!”
    Right next to me was a gentleman dressed very Armani like but looked like a hustler checking in with security and he asked me, “Are you Sage David?”
    “Yes sir and you are?”
    “I’m Mr. Freeman. We have a lot to discuss today. I hope you’re not planning to take a lunch break.”
    And my day is just beginning.

  16. chopper

    “Look at her—you call that a skirt? Looks more like a handkerchief. She’s such a slut. How the heck did she go from being a receptionist to Joe’s executive assistant in such a short amount of time?”

    “Now, Donna, let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. Joe Ward is the CEO and a very smart man. He wouldn’t do anything that stupid. As for Lia, maybe she prayed for the promotion.”

    “Prayed??? I’m sure she’s been spending a lot of time on her knees, but I guarantee you it wasn’t for prayer. Shhhh—here she comes. Let’s get the rest of our stuff and go over to the new building.”

    I heard their comments, but I didn’t care because I was finally going to get what I deserved. And while the rest of them were packing up post-it notes and haggling over window cubicles, I was selecting art work for my new corner office overlooking Lake Michigan.

    Upon entering the new office building, I saw Dave the security guard with a worried look on his face. As I approached the security desk, he started to say something to me, but stopped and began starring at my boobs as I passed by and entered the elevator. The atmosphere on the 25th floor was chaotic, as people scurried around searching, finding and organizing their new spaces. I headed straight for Joe’s office. He wasn’t there, so I went down the hall to my new office. I turned the door handle and to my surprise, it was locked. I began to hear faint whispers inside and peeked through the closed blinds, but couldn’t see a thing. So I knocked on my own office door. At first, nobody answered. I knocked harder and Joe opened the door with a panicked look on his face.

    “Lia? How did you get up here?”

    “Oh, hey, babe. What do you mean? What are you doing in there?” I asked as I walked in. Just then, a woman seated on a couch behind me stood and startled me.

    “Hello Lia. I’m Joann, as in Mrs. Joann Ward, Joe’s wife.”

    I swallowed hard, as my eyes suspiciously darted back and forth between the two of them.

    “Joe, what’s going on?” I nervously asked.

    “I—I’m sorry Lia. Security was supposed to stop you downstairs. I didn’t want you to find out this way,” he said.

    “What way? What are you talking about and why is she here?”

    “Let me handle this, dear. You see Lia, my husband has made many mistakes in life, you being the latest one.”

    “Lia, just listen to me,” he interrupted.

    “Shut up Joe! When you were supposed to talk and break things off with this bimbo you couldn’t. So, I’m here to do it for you. Lia, you’re fired!” She yelled.

    “What? Get out of my office!” I demanded. But, she looked me straight in my eyes and laughed.

    “Your office?? Oh God, you poor girl. Is that what he promised you—a promotion? I’m sorry, but this is my office. I’m the new assistant. I’ve gotten a bit bored at home now that the children are older and this way, I can keep an eye on things if I’m here every day.”

    “But he hates you! It turns his stomach to look at you. Tell her Joe! Tell her what you told me—that you want a divorce!”

    “And you believed him? He’ll never divorce me. I’ll never allow it. He’s way too good of a provider and a father to our three children for me to ever walk away or let him go.”

    I looked at Joe and waited for him to jump in and defend us to his wife. But, the only thing he offered was silence and glances of guilt and shame. Then, I knew. I knew that Joe had abandoned me and switched sides in this three way battle. But, he would soon be forced to join me again, as I turned to his wife and said, “Well, it’s good to know he’s such a wonderful provider. Then, I’m sure he’ll be that and much more to me and our unborn child that’s on the way.”

  17. PicChic

    Pulling into the lot the moving vans remind me today is the day. Wish I’d thought of that when I chose my outfit. Mondays were “dress-to-the-nines” day. You know, positive motivation on the first day of the work week.

    I doubted I’d feel too motivated after standing all day in these heels but the temporary change of duties was welcome; so much so that it surprised me. Maybe all I needed was a change? Change of scenery, get out of the ruts. New ideas… no time to think about it now though.

    Reaching for the door I saw Marilynn headed out with a load. She only nodded then turned her gaze downward when I opened the door. “No problem!” I teased my friend as she disappeared past the van. Wait a minute…. she passed the van!? I trotted over to catch her. I could see then she carried a box of personal things and was headed to her car.

    “Marilynn wait!”

    She glanced up balancing the box to open the door. “What’s going on?!” I asked without thinking….”I mean…are you leaving? Did they……I didn’t know they were letting more people go”.

    “I know you need some time. Call me later OK?” She nodded again and was gone.

    Getting off the elevator the move was evident. Chairs, file cabinets, computers and other things littered the hall. “Why can’t they plan a little better?” I grumbled. And what of Marilynn. Hardworking, honest, intelligent, she was one of the best and hadn’t she been here forever?

    I turned the corner to my desk and nearly ran over Vic as he straightened himself from the note he was writing. “Mr. Vicneli….Uh…Good morning” I stammered with a chuckle. He managed a slight smile and asked to speak to me in his office while reaching for the note.

    My stomach immediately went into a knot.

    Behind closed doors, amidst the clutter of moving boxes, the good Mr. Vicneli told me I was no longer needed. It wasn’t a surprise. Not really was it? Then why did it feel this way?

    I thought of my attempt to connect with Marilynn and felt a total failure. Collecting myself I said I understood there were many changes going on and I hoped he’d give me a good reference.

    “Of course I will” he said. “You know this is beyond my control now. I appreciate you’re dedication. Too bad things aren’t still like they were when this place was new.” He glanced around with a sigh then caught me totally off guard.

    “Lauren, you’ll benefit from this change.”

    I didn’t know whether to hit him or hug him. He’d been a great mentor but how could he know what this felt like?!

    “Thank you” I mumbled and turned for the door. Then I realized I’d have plenty of time now to figure why I’d been so excited by the though of changes earlier. Maybe there was a blessing just around the bend?

  18. mydahling1

    “DON’T PUT THAT THERE!” The movers were trying to put things in my office that did not belong to me. I explained for the fifth time. “Yes it is my office. I don’t care what the list reads—the list is wrong. A7 is my space.” Now I was blocking the door with my body.

    This had been going on for over an hour and my cell phone conversation with Shelly from facilities was not going well. “ I believe that you had it all planned Shelly and I believe that you’re an excellent planner, but there’s been a mistake. The A7 office is mine and the movers are trying to move someone else into it.”

    The mover was really starting to lose patience with me. “Lady if you don’t move—we’re gonna hafta move you.” Looking at the size of some of those guys, I knew it wouldn’t be difficult for them to do just that– but I had to try. My window with the view was at stake.

    “Oh Jewels (her normal way too singy voice) it’ll be alright. Hold on, I’m on my way. I’ll check the list.”
    “Shelly, I’m looking at the list that you gave to the movers and I’m not on it.”
    “Of course you’re on it silly, why wouldn’t you be on it? Wait juuust a moment Jewelsy. Now, I know I had that list. It’s on my pink clipboard and it was right here in my bag. Now let’s see. I saw it when I reached into my bag for my wallet to buy my yummy pumpkin latte—OMG have you tried those? Oh no! I think I left it at Brew Baby! I took out the clipboard to get my wallet. Sweetie it’ll just take me five minutes to breeze back over there. I’ll call you when I get there.”
    “No! Shelly do not hang up! Listen to me! These people are trying to commandeer my office and I don’t know how long I can hold them off. Can’t you just tell them that I’m supposed to be on the list? This way I don’t just sound like some strange passerby trying to get an office?”

    “Jewelsy of course…”
    “QUIT CALLING ME JEWELSY”
    “I’m sorry Jewels but…”
    “JEWEL! JEWEL! IS THAT SO HARD???JEWEL! (realizing she’s now screaming, she calms down and speaks softly, but strained… Not jewelry, not jewelsy, not Jewels, there is not more that one of me– just Jewel. I don’t think that’s too much to ask. Is it Shelly? Is it too much to ask? And is it too much to ask to get my name, just jewel on the BLASTED LIST???? IS IT SHELLS??? HUH SHELZY?? IS IT TOO MUCH TO ASK TO HAVE MY NAME ON THE MOVING LIST ON MOVING DAY SHELBYKINS???

    I remembered thinking—as they carried me away by my armpits with my legs flailing in mid-air, “this is how people feel right before they make the decision to be sane or insane…

  19. tim_tobin

    I went to Nancy to complain. “My name’s not on the move list,” I said to her.

    She looks up at me with exhausted eyes, sarcastic eyes. “You’re not on the list! You’re not on the damn list!” she yells to me. “Listen, pal, I’ve just moved a thousand people and you’re not on the list!”

    She collects herself and asks me, “Have you and your wife ever moved into anyplace new? Did she complain about anything?”

    “Sure,” I answer, “she complained about everything.”

    Nancy is yelling again, “Well let me tell you! I just moved a thousand people and nothing is right. I have complaints about computers, phones, lights, water fountains, bathrooms, cubicle sizes, and the color of the damn walls!” She took a breath and hollered some more, “And why aren’t you on the damn list? How the hell do I know! Go sit in he cafeteria, I’ll figure it out but you are number one thousand on my list!”

    Humbled, chastened and, frankly, scared of Nancy, I found the cafeteria and sat and pouted. This could take hours, days, forever.

    Less than an hour later she stormed into the cafeteria. Steam was pouring out of both ears. Her eyes were black as coal, and her nostrils somehow reminded me of a cobra. Oh, boy, I thought to myself. I am a dead man.

    “You’re a dead man, you jerk!” She slammed a sheet of paper on the table and pointed at something that looked strangely like my name. Yep, it was me. Cubicle number fourteen it read.

    “But,” I tried to say. “But what? Can’t your even read? Do you know how much time you cost me?”

    I tried to apologize not really understanding how I missed myself.

    Her tone now turned soft and kind. She patted my hand. “Don’t worry about it, pal. You’ve been assigned to my section so we’ll have a lot of time to talk about it.”

    1. PicChic

      Interesting POV with lots of potential to develop. Just a bit too wordy…in my humble opinion. I’d read more to find out how his life got so messed up.

    2. RAGS

      Good images! I sense the conflict of one persons sense of reality vs. all the other characters in the story. How does that person accept his reality or change it? You got me wondering where the story could navigate different paths. Nice!

  20. jmiff328

    “I’m sorry, but who are you again?” I stared at my boss wondering what I did to warrant this big a prank. I responded just to go along with the joke. “I am Jonathan Simpson, I work here, and as funny as this is, I need to get to work. All of you can stop pretending now.” I had collected quite an audience as everyone was staring at me. The best part was how serious everyone was. Their faces betrayed nothing of the practical joke being played. I decided to play along and push my luck a bit. “Mr. Rodgers, I need to get to my desk, can you please point me in that direction so that I can do some work. I know that is a foreign concept here in this office but I’d like to give it a shot.” Mr. Rodgers turned around and glanced over a few cubicles in the office. He turned back and spoke softly. The tone was patronizing and intended to make me feel stupid. “Listen partner, I know you might be confused but you don’t work here, We just moved into this office and maybe you are mistaking this company for the one that used to be here?” “NO!” I screamed. “I am not confusing anything, this was a hilarious joke but I am tired of it now. Please tell me where my cubicle is and get out of my way!” I felt arms seize me from behind and I was then pulled out of the office and back into the first floor lobby by a hefty crimson headed man with biceps like a wrestler. When he spoke it was soft like a child but with no hint of fear or the adrenaline I was experiencing. “Listen guy, you gots to go on now, ya hear? I don’t want to call the laws on you but I will if you give me mess. You understand guy?” I understood. I shook my head and stomped out into the morning heat. July in Florida was hot, too hot to walk so I had rode my bicycle to work. I hopped on and headed for home.
    On the journey I tried to comprehend what was happening. I convinced myself yet again that this was just a practical joke they were taking to extreme measures. I was going to go home and compose myself. I would eat some lunch and then head back to the office. They would all be laughing and slapping high fives at the great prank they had pulled. I was home within fifteen minutes and found a blue Chevy Silverado parked in my driveway next to my wife’s Prius. I knew she was having a plumber come to look at the leaking faucet today so the scene didn’t alarm me. I walked into the house and straight back to the kitchen. My wife was at the table with a man eating burgers and fries. They both looked up at the same time and my wife screamed. The man stood up and hit me hard in the stomach. “Who do you think you are, just coming into my house pal?” he said. My wife calmed down and told this stranger to get me out of the house. He complied and threw me out on my back. I laid down on the sidewalk and tried to understand what was happening and who had deleted me from my life.

    1. Bluestalking

      You could take the idea of a man deleted from his life and really run with it. I see two choices, if you’re looking to write a longer piece:

      1). If you’re techno savvy explain things in great detail re: how the antagonist accomplished this and why, the full impact this had on the man and everyone he knew before. If there was a before.

      2). Go the minimalist route. Don’t explain how in detail, just explain the man’s perspective and what happens to him from here. His emotional state (or lack thereof, if he turns out to be some sort of cyber-creation, escaped from a lab maybe? set free as an experiment?) You can pull it off without technical details if you go full minimalist.

      Definite potential here. Nice take on the prompt.

      Lisa

  21. jcs

    ‘That stupid security guard,’ I thought I was just thinking, “he will know who I am soon or my name is not Rhonda Roads. Imagine 35 years as Mr. Bird’s personal assistant and I can’t even get in the building, and if that is not frustration enough I see by the move list (the list that is missing the name Mrs. Roads,) that Mary Doolittle has the corner office with the view of the park out of one picture window and the bay out of the other. Move list, who ever heard of a move list, what is that? I can just see all of Mary’s Dollar Store crap covering up that magnificent view.”
    As I stand outside in the threat of rain I don’t know if I’ve been talking to myself or just thinking so loud that makes the pedestrian’s eyes pan from their dumb smart phones in the palm of their hands to the top of the steeps and onto my straining face struggling to hold back tears of disgust.
    I try to compose myself and look for a pay phone. ‘Where did the payphones all go?’ I am sure that I THOUGHT to myself.
    I sigh and go to the park, not a payphone in sight. ‘I will not have one of those cell phone gadgets; they say that it will give you cancer. Well not me by golly. Angry Birds! I heard those Angry Birds coming out of MS. Doolittle’s cubical on more than one occasion, and I told Mr. Bird, yeah you bet I did. And all those computers – everywhere! All they are good for is to get away with playing solitaire at work. Not one girl or gay guy in the office can take dictation or compose a letter the way I can! I got a note here in my pocket from Mary: ?4U If U R going 2 B serving coffee @ todays meeting, can I plz have T? Goodness Gracious – the world has gone mad.’
    ‘Oh I love this park, it is my park. I remember growing up here, I kissed Tommy Seitz on a bench under the big tree back in 1971 – we were so stoned. The bench and the tree are long gone.’ I passed by this spot just four hours on my five mile power walk. At 57 years old I could stand next to all the 30 years old hussies in my bathing suit and boy wouldn’t they be envious.
    “Mrs. Bird! What are you doing here?” I say as Mr. Bird almost skips my way.
    “Rhonda, Max told me that a beautiful 40 year old lady tried to get in this morning and then left in a huff. I knew it was you.”
    “My name was not on the move list.” I said successfully holding back my tears.
    “I’m sorry Rhonda; I have a new assignment for you if you choose to accept.”
    “What is it?”
    “Will you marry me?”
    “Only if I get that corner office.”

COMMENT