The rest of the week was Hell.
I sat at my desk and listened as my coworkers flitted around like overactive birds. They spoke excitedly of their projects and their assignments, work that they’d spoken of just days before with tones and enthusiasm usually reserved for root canals and colonoscopies. Suddenly every meeting was important, every presentation a chance to shine, every last menial task an opportunity to flex their full creative faculties. I heard grown men and women talk about animated gifs and stickers and slides and audience engagement, and I was sickened and alienated all at the same time.
Even Lisa was no comfort to me. I lingered by her desk after a trip to the water cooler, smirking and ready to talk trash with her. I found her sitting with her head down and a pen in her hand, furiously scribbling and doodling on a legal pad. “Hey, you’re not going to believe what I heard Gabe talking about the other day. He said he was going to–”
She just turned and gave me a look angry enough to stop me mid-sentence. “You weren’t going to say something negative about Gabe’s idea, I hope.”
“Is it negative if I say that it was ridiculous?”
“Yes. I won’t have you bringing negativity into my environment.”
I frowned. “You didn’t even let me finish., You know the investor’s meeting? He wants to bring in guys in costumes for it. Like it’s a kid’s birthday party or something. Can you believe that?”
Lisa sniffed. “I think it’s a wonderful idea. It’ll be fun. They won’t be expecting it. It’ll brighten their day. Make a really positive change, you know?”
I felt my lips twist in derision. “Have you ever seen an investor’s meeting before? The only thing that brightens their day is nude serving boys bringing them silver trays full of money and cocaine.”
Lisa rolled her eyes and smiled. “I’m sure. I think they’ll see things Gabe’s way once he gives his presentation. Or have you forgotten Dr. Shiny’s speech already?”
Oh, my God, I thought. She thinks I’m the crazy one.