At the office Christmas party, Johnson had a bit too much to drink and thought it'd be a hoot to photocopy his butt using the office copier machine. It sounded like a cheap thrill at the time, but he forgot to snag the copies off the machine before he left.
So what does he tell Mr. Sanford the following day when those copies wind up on his boss's desk?
Resisting the urge to wipe my sweaty palms off on my slacks, I ask, "Yes ...?"
"Have a seat," Mr. Sanford says, interrupting me. He motions to the overstuffed leather chair, the only place to sit that isn't behind his desk. Like a puppet whose strings are cut, I plop down onto the edge of the chair. A look of irritation flickers across his face. Fingering the folder, he shakes his head sadly. "Johnson, Johnson, Johnson."
"Yes." With a nod, I confirm that's me. The triple-name play, not a good sign. Now that he can't see my hands, I smooth them down the front of my pants. I suspect he wants me to ask about the folder, so I don't. If he's going to prolong the agony for me, I don't have to roll over and take it.
Without a word, he passes it to me. I know I'm just another lowly peon to him, some upstart kid in the advertising department, so unimportant he has to call me Johnson because he doesn't remember my first name. So when he tells me, "Take a look in there for me," I know it's not some impending business decision he wants me to review, or a major campaign he wants my opinion on, because that's not who I am to him. This is the end of my career at Sanford and Associates, LLC. With a mix of trepidation and fear, I take the folder and hold it in my lap.
I don't want to look inside.
As if he wants to give me some privacy, he stands and comes around from behind his desk. Past me, to close the door. That small gesture alone tells me this might get nasty. The moment he's out of view, I open the folder and grimace at the first of several black and white photocopies staring back at me.
Someone's ass, flattened against the copier's glass. My ass.