“Since we’re stuck in traffic, what else is on your mind?”
The two furniture movers sat in traffic that moved ever so slightly then stopped suddenly every few minutes, with the driver, Andrius, keeping an even pace with leg muscles refined through years of playing football. Jane, meanwhile, had been glancing through a technical book before they got on their impassioned previous employers topic.
“Why do you think bosses act like that? Rude, passive-aggressive bit-“
A loud car horn to their left censored the question.
“Oh, I dunno.” “Maybe it’s because they’re insecure? My last boss at the library was nice to me for all of about a week before she started pulling some really rude stuff. I don’t even know why, either, it’s not like I acted rude toward her at all. Maybe she thought I wasn’t good enough at something? Or maybe I wasn’t social enough?”
Jane clutched the empty pack of smokes in her hoodie pockets.
“Could be anything.” “I wonder if it was because I smoked? She probably didn’t like that. But we had people in the area that smoked, too! I’d chat about tickets all the time at the smoke hut. I used perfume to mask it, and even wore a jacket outside so no one’d really smell it… I dunno, Andrius!” “Maybe it was something else?”
Andrius quickly looked in the rearview mirror at his short, red hair.
“Could’ve been anything, really…” “Yeah, sometimes bosses like that, they just act like that because they don’t know any better. Or maybe you were a threat somehow. I know when my p- well, people close to me always tell me about how their bosses are rude. Maybe it’s just a power trip thing? Controlling others is a weird thing.”
Jane batted her shoulder-length ponytail of brown hair back.
“Yeah, could be.” “My significant other was telling me about a situation a while back where the boss there was just so rude. There’s a certain point where you try to work through it, and even after rounds and rounds of going to HR, reporting abusive situations, and still nothing? That’s when it’s time for a change.”
Jane had stopped nervously moving her book.
“What’d you two end up doing?” “Oh, umm…” They were stopped so Andrius took a quick glance over at Jane, who was slouching in her faded-black hoodie and well-worn black jeans, but was not wearing any make-up and had never seemed overly judgmental. “I’m helping him look for work now. He had to quit. It was too much.”
Jane shot up in excitement.
“Oh, cool! What kind of work did he do? Or can he do?” “He was a high-level systems administrator, like, I think, you were doing, right? The market is kinda dry right now, which is why you’re here, too, right? Well, we’ve been looking and there just aren’t too many jobs right now, so he’s working at the Drip and we’re both studying to be ambulance drivers.”
“Nice! That’s good paying!”
|Sources: Musings on my professional experiences.|
|Inspirations: Andrius was just such a compelling character that I wanted to continue his story for a few more short stories. Maybe it was because he brought out more of Jane’s now-dry, monotone personality?|
|Related: Somewhere in the Sammohini Arc of “The Story.” Part 2 of 4 after “Some Passive-Aggressive Punkery!“|
|Photo: Liftgate over bricks, Pike Place Market.|
|Written On: September 6th [1 hour]|
|Last Edited: October 9th [10 minutes]|