Friday, December 9, 2016

Christmas Sneer with Brownie

(I come into work and Brownie, the office administrator and busybody, has Christmas-ed all over the place; fake holly sprays adorning every cubicle, glittered plastic pine and pinecone garland strewn around door frames, vinyl wreaths here and there, and personalized felt stocking for everyone...except me. I sit down at my desk. Brownie rushes over.)

Brownie: (hands on cheeks, dismayed) I'm so, so sorry. I didn't have any more stockings.

Me: (sips coffee) Good morning.

Brownie: I thought had got enough for everyone in this office but I got here early and started putting everything up and saw that I didn't have one for you. (hand on heart) I feel terrible.

Me: It's okay. I don't need one.

Brownie: You just tell me which one you want and I'll go back to the store and get one for you--

Me: No, thank you. I don't want one.

Brownie: --there's reindeer, snowmen, snowflakes, um, lemme think....

Me: Don't worry about it.

Brownie: ...and I think I saw some Christmas trees, gold stars, elves-those were cool if you like those. Just tell me.

Me: I don't want any. Thank you. This was nice for you to do, but I'm okay.

Brownie: I could go to another store and see what they have. I could go out to Target on my lunch break and see what they have. They usually have a lot of--

Me: No! No stockings. Please don't do anything.

(Brownie stares me down, exits. Later, at a meeting with my boss and other coworkers.)

Boss: (leans over) So, I hear you don't want a stocking.

Me: Uh, what? No, I don't actually.

Boss: We all have them, just take one and say thank you.

Me: I don't want one and there's no reason for Brownie to put out more effort, especially for me.

Boss: (with intensity) Take it and shut up about it.

(After meeting, back at my desk, I find a reindeer stocking with my name one it. Brownie peeks over the barrier between our cubicles. I turn around and her head disappears in a flash.)


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