Kudos [from The Cube & Other flashlings]
About the Writer
Robin Throne is an Iowa writer & educator whose work has appeared in The New Poet Journal, Tipton Poetry Journal, Gypsy Cab, Mankato Poetry Review and North Coast Review among others. She was the recipient of the fourth David R. Collins Literary Achievement award from the Midwest Writing Center.
Yesterday, Marilyn from the web team brought me lunch from Snyder’s deli and I had to ask, What’s up? as if I did not know what her weekly check-in would bring me.
We’re screwed, she said in her usual succinct ecommerce way.
Yup, I replied, biting into a half-Snyder-club-on-asiago. This was a fact Marilyn (our only female web developer) needed to confirm at least once per week even though she was the in-house expert on pay inequities across divisions. She had at least 10 years on me, so you would think she had verified this over many more work years than I, but I concurred like always to keep her talking. I knew there was more.
Big boys gonna’ blame you again, she forecasted.
Why this time? I asked politely and kept on chewing. No eye contact was ever needed with Marilyn, who peered out over a shoulder-height wall as if she were on foxhole lookout for a sniper ready to take off our heads.
Barry in media design offered to take you down.
Barry was a long sad story and a plagiarist who had failed quality checks so many times, I often wondered if he ever passed any. Last month, he had used code from a major competitor’s site as if someone (me) would fail to notice tags from Baker & Morgan around for the past century.
Right, I said.
Didn’t hear it from me, she said, then knocked her knuckles thrice on my desk, which was the usual cue that a VP or higher was out checking crops in the cube farm.
Did-n’t, I echoed with a musical multi-syllabic response as I swung my chair back round to face an oversized flat screen that could be viewed three aisles away.
Rick, the VP of sales’ too-chipper synthetic voice hovered above my crown and I kept on typing.
Always hard at it, aren’t we my dear?
I nodded once and kept on typing.
Our star, I thought to myself before he even said it aloud.