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Saturday, May 7, 2016

A Trip to Human Resources, send food.

Yesterday Becky, from Human Resources, called us in to her office. A small, square, bland, cream colored box with a few posters on the wall, dealing with equal rights, equal pay, a few things about discrimination and one of a cat hanging on a tree with the saying "hang in there" across the top. Her desk was wood toned but did not really look anything like wood. Pictures of a life outside the building were scattered across her desk. Husband, children, pets, vacations, it was almost a biography of her last ten years, chronologically laid out across the sides of her work station. It was a perfect place for an ambush.

Becky looked pleasant. Bright, blond hair, a flowered, flowing knee length dress. She was tall, athletic looking and smiled politely as we sat down. Somehow the effect was awful, and hellish.

"We have had some complaints about your language in the cafeteria. Swearing, and loud threatening behavior. Many people find it intimidating, and offensive." She would look at a computer screen, glance at us, and then make a few small marks on a papers, in manila folders, and then starting the circuit over again. It was ritualistic, almost sinister. 

"Loud, abusive language is not tolerated. It is a violation of several policies. As department lead persons you should both know the rules." She said, her voice steady, monotone, and terrifying. She seemed to grow and a foul light swelled around her. 

The room grew colder and smoke curled around our feet, as she turned from the monitor and glared unblinking at us with an intensity, anger and animosity that was terrible, awesome and unbelievable. 

"It wasn't us." Joe said. "It was the girls from marketing. They curse, get loud, and laugh like hyenas."

"Oh," she said, typing furiously on her keyboard, as the lights and temperatures slowly climbed in the room. "It wasn't you two."

"No, we would never talk that way. We try blend in, not be noticed, being from the research department opens us up to all sorts of ridicule. We don't even want to draw attention, the less people see us, the better." I said, relieved, we were going to walk away without any problems. I was starting to breath again.

Becky smiled, kindly, generously, a Mother's smile. We were home free. "I'm sorry we troubled you with this, we will talk to these associates and get things straightened out."

"Yeah," Joe said, "we only sit by them because they are hot." 

Oh no.

A lock clicked behind us, and a small lightning bolt crackled to my right. It was going to be a long meeting.