CLEVELAND – Discontentment had been festering within Charles Bennett for quite some time now. After a rough year that included a smashed bumper, a home break-in, several poor investments, and an awkward rejection at the company Christmas party, Charles was beginning to come apart at the seams. Despite some of the more glaring signals, such as Charles’ newfound disregard for personal hygiene, his slow collapse was going mostly unnoticed by his fellow employees at Kramer Ink & Toner. Finding witnesses who could provide a statement proved to be challenging.
“Charles who?” said HR Supervisor and Charles’ cubicle mate Bob Clemmons. “Never heard of him. It’s a big company here.”
Feeling like a man with nothing to lose, Charles was very candid in his recounting of events. “That Thursday morning, it seemed like one bad thing after another. After spilling coffee on my pants and being repeatedly called ‘Chad’ by my new boss, Bob tore into his second bag of kettle chips. As the chomping sound pinged back and forth between the cubicle walls, I reached for my stapler. I wanted to shut Bob’s mouth once and for all. It was at that moment that Judy, the office secretary, walked by and treated me like an actual human being. I put the stapler down and reveled in her kind words for the next 45 minutes.”
“All I said was I liked his tie. And I did, it was a nice tie.” said Judy. “But then he just gave me this look, like I had just lifted a car off him or something. It was kind of creepy. Next time I don’t think I’ll say anything.”
Thanks to this timely compliment, Charles’ meltdown was put on hold, and the frustration he felt was pushed deep down inside so that it could safely materialize as a hernia in the weeks to come.