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April 10, 2013 / magickittenblogs

Write Night Writing 1: Project Manager

My first Write Night offering, written in response to the challenge to discuss workplaces with a partner, then write from the point of the view of someone in that workplace, who doesn’t want to be there.  Comments welcome…

3:45pm.  She leaned back, blinking; the sun, slanting through the cheap metal blinds, glanced off the plastic desktop and into her eyes.  The cursor blinked on the spreadsheet in front of her as she stood, stretched then twisted the blinds 30 degrees to repel the unwanted glare.

What in God’s name was she doing here?  It was Saturday.  It was July.  Everyone else had somewhere better to be – she had somewhere better to be – but here she was, nonetheless.  It never seemed to be enough for Steve.

She’d been with the company for three years now – she thought regretfully of the interview in the warm, clean, suite, soft blue paper lining the walls, complementing the pinky upholstery of the sofa and arm chairs.  The panel, relaxed, smiling, welcoming her – so refreshing to have a female applicant in this industry.

For Steve, however, she’d gone from novelty to endangered species in a few short months, despite working longer, and harder, and better in most cases, than her male counterparts.  Even the surroundings here exuded testosterone, as if attempting to smother her productivity.  Could furniture conspire?

Soiled, sweat-stained high-vis vests hung from a row of hooks by the door – size XL – emitting a pungent odour of building site.  Even the white plastic hard hats on the shelf above looked life someone had used them in an American football game.  Of course, on site, you had to be safe – the builders certainly weren’t – but was there some kind of dirt leader board she’d missed the memo for?

Her own workspace, while she’d never call it tidy, was full of mementos, souvenirs of destinations, photos, postcards, a framed Good Luck card.  A small oasis of interest.  As soon as she raised her eyes to the view above the computer monitor, though, she was met with the grubby once-white side of a Portakabin, and, beyond that, mud.

Inside, around her, the carpet was brown.  The walls?  Brown.  The interior of the week-old mug on Steve’s desk?  Brown.  With slight speckles of blue and green starting to bloom.  Still, at least it meant she wasn’t the only life in the place…  The ancient computer’s cooling fan whirred as she clicked ‘Save’ and started to turn off the lights.  Steve could bugger off.  She was going to the pub.

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