It was war.
The entire Malbec Manufacturing office was gathered around Jennifer’s cubicle, waiting for the next barrage.
The air was thick with tension, and the dull hum of fluorescent lights seemed to grow louder as each “soldier” prepared for battle.
There had been a lot of casualties that day – as one errant order spawned three bouts of ‘per my last email’, two papercuts, and one passed-out manager — he was presumed to be dead and the maintenance department scavengers had begun a reconnaissance mission on his desk, looking for any morsel of a keepsake.
Jennifer’s eyes widened, and her pulse quickened as Brenda’s latest message came flying in, shoving the other emails down with a triumphant fuck you.
In big, stingy CAPITAL letters – the subject line read: YOU SEE THIS? And attached was a picture of the boxcutter she ordered from Malbec.
The office groaned.
Ed from accounts receivables puckered asshole fell onto the ground and Cindy, the receptionist stepped on it with a squish.
Jennifer scrolled down. Unphased and continued reading.
” DO YOU SEE THIS FONT? I ORDERED BERLIN SANS FB DEMI AND NOT BERLIN SANS FB” before adding an excruciating three exclamation points because one wasn’t enough. And to really sell the mishap, she drew a hasty circle around the box cutter because she was in fact, that extra, and had that much time to blow.
Jennifer frowned, seeing the message within the message. To her it read, “You fuckin twat, don’t you read the instructions? It’s only YOUR JOB.”
Suddenly, a cry came from the back of the cubicle. Heads turned.
Joey, the dramatic intern, stood on a chair and screamed, “They’re going to use those box cutters on us! Then yanked his tie and ran down the hall screaming.
The office exhaled. He was a theatre major, and quite frankly, they didn’t like him… he didn’t know how to turn it off.
Jennifer stared at the email and frowned. She wasn’t going to let this little tantrum phase her. She knew how to be petty, trained by a boss who needed the prying arm of a bulldozer to let things go.
So she did what she did best – she dug.
The cool, blue glow of her computer screen bounced off her face, and the scent of warm electronics filled her nostrils as she burrowed her way deeper and deeper into her inbox.
And then, like a mischievous imp, a grin slowly spread across her face as she unearthed the perfect nugget of information.
There it was, in bold letters that practically jumped off the screen -a purchase order for 12 box cutters, with a little note – Logo in BERLIN SANS FB font.
It was the kind of discovery that made her feel like a detective. The kind of discovery that was going to keep the boxcutter business booming. The kind of discovery that would make the executive fat cats proud.
She rolled herself back from the desk, chair screaming across the carpet as she moved toward her printer.
Gary, from inside sales, spoke up. “Get the Hell out of her way – she’s got something!” and shoved Dennis and his doughnuts back into the wall.
Then like a trained assassin, she reached into the printer and pulled out the purchase order, holding it high for all the office to see. A damning smile grew across her face. “Well, well, well,” she said, her voice dripping with sarcasm as she studied the paper.
“Looks like ol’ Brenda doesn’t remember what she ordered.”
Signed, sealed, and delivered.
The rest of the office crowded around her, their eyes wide with anticipation. They knew that when Jennifer had that look on her face, something good was about to happen.
She continued, “According to this order, Brenda specifically requested the logo to be in BERLIN SANS FB – not just BERLIN SANS FB DEMI. Looks like someone didn’t double-check.”
A loud fart thundered across the cubicle. It was the sweet smell of relief.
The room erupted into laughter and cheers as if Jennifer had just delivered the punchline to the world’s funniest joke, as their lives had faded into beige, and everything is funny when everything else is beige.
Even Joey, who had been lying on the ground acting like he was being repeatedly stabbed with box cutters, stopped and laughed, collecting himself, acting like this had never happened.
Now it was time to act. Jennifer pursed her lips and faxed the order to herself as she prepared to enjoy the sweet sip of a drink called “I’m-right-and-you’re-wrong.”
She exhaled and grabbed her keyboard, savoring every moment, and began to type.
“I’m sorry, it looks like we gave you EXACTLY WHAT YOU ordered.”
She imagined Brenda’s head exploding like a Yosemite geyser. Each letter was a middle finger fully erect.
Then she added – “Would you like to order some more?”. It was the cherry on top. It was her mount-fucking-Rushmore. It was Jennifer.
She pressed send before uttering,
“Fuck you, Brenda.” and slumped back into her chair.
The office cheered.
Suzanne, with the 80’s haircut, kissed inside-sales Jalen, who immediately threw up. And the maintenance department reemerged and scanned the ground, looking to sweep up any spare change that might have fallen in the celebration.
And now, stretching her legs, Jennifer wiped the sweat from her brow.
Sometimes, the smallest battles have the sweetest victories.
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