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It was around Christmas and my boss was preparing to throw the annual thematic party; oddly enough, he seemed unusually excited about the event. I was not the biggest fan of that particular job, working as a writer for a magazine that was hard to understand even for me, yet forced to keep it so I could pay my rent. My right to free expression was limited with every single article, not mention that my creativity was undermined in a way that I completely disagreed with. For three months, I had woken up with some kind of sickness, thinking that I had to spend a minimum of 8 hours with some greedy wannabe corporates when I could perfectly stay at home and read a book; it would have been more profitable for both the world and me. I never understood why some members of the team could have spent so many years around that annoying boss and his sneaky servants. No one dared to say a word, not even me, cheering up myself with the fact that it was only temporary, constantly thinking of opportunities that could have taken me out of there.
We were all curious about what would happen next, even though the skepticism regarding my boss was always a protective halo for me as my relationship with him was pretty nonexistent. Our conversations were summed up to a cordial salute – because I am always polite, no matter how much I disregard someone – and some lame sermons regarding how bad we are to his business, cherries topped with following new irrelevant instructions given just for the sake of persecuting us. Well, life gives you lemons so sometimes you just have to take it as it is. And I took it for almost three months, tolerating a person that I could not stand to work with professionally.
Physically, he was very imposing, his tall stature and fancy costumes resembled a man taken out of magazines, I couldn’t argue that, just that his inner soul was over intoxicated, possessing poisonous affinities that were fairly making me think of him as Grinch rather than old Santa Clause. He had the same grumpy face like Grinch, accessorized with a maintained beard and a pair of expensive glasses. His art of playing us, especially my coworkers, and yes I am a modest person, was incredible. Imagine that each one of us was working with their own equipment, sitting at separate desks but everyone in the same room, so he had a special tradition of taking on pure guess one of us and humiliation torture in front of everyone.
And don’t think he was doing that with transparency, clearly stating what’s black and what’s white, no, he had an agonizing sneaky way of asking questions that he already knew the answers. The only thing making me and my indoctrinated colleagues go further in that stinky environment was his absence, as he was in all sort of exotic or business trips around the world, having us working our heads off for his business. So, it was my first Christmas at that magazine and from what I heard our off days were much disputed.
Of course everyone wanted as many free days as other employees were having but that was something intangible in our office. Best case scenario we would receive the 25th of December free and that’s all folks. I was already used to the idea that when everybody waited for Santa I would be in front of the most loyal thing in my life: my computer and that’s what happened after all. The night of 24th had found me writing some bullshit report about cars!? (maybe something involving Santa would have been more productive) when my inbox alert waked me up from mourning my crappy life. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read that we had to be on call on the 25th of December, meaning only New Year’s Eve off.
My head was already exploding, splashing the Christmas spirit with ideas that weren’t exactly delightful. My reflex urged me to delete the car report and start writing my resignation and that’s what I did, using all the resources I had to compose something very creative for the best article I ever wrote there. I couldn’t resist and I didn’t care about the money anymore. After I finished my article and my resignation, I left for home where my darling boyfriend waited to spend the Christmas Eve. While we were enjoying our dinner we came up with the idea for a prank to play on my boss. Maybe the euphoria of plotting with my boyfriend gave me too much confidence because I had a great Christmas Eve together with my boyfriend, staying up all the night talking and joking on all sorts of situations until we came up with the most evil idea on such a holy day.
I left out for work the next day with a special dish of Christmas brownies that my boyfriend and I made specifically for him. I informed him very polite that we can’t continue our business partnership and I quit, handed him his Christmas gift and headed out the door. As the door was closing I could hear how him yelling that he this is not over, that I have broken my contract and he will make sure I pay. A few hours later, one of the girls I trusted at the office called me that she saw him eat my special brownies and I couldn’t help but smile in utter glee. Guess who never called me to pay anything?