Prompt 45 Festering Jealousy – the Office


I never thought I was capable of jealousy. I saw myself as a pretty level headed and aware sort of person. Up until Ross, I’d floated my way through life, not a care, causing no waves of any sort. In fact if you’d not notice me that is how ineffectual I was. The one thing was I was very good at my job and the whole office knew it.

That was until Ross came along. Ross came into our work place as fresh faced and highly qualified young man. The bosses had seen something in him, not sure what for in my mind he was a shallow insipid character who was riding on the coat tails of the boss’ obvious misconception of him.

It was long before Ross or Rossy as the typing pool loved to call him began to make his mark within the company. It was little things at first, the calls he would get from Jaclyn our floor manager and the surreptitious scampering I would observe as he made his way into her office to emerge some time later, a grin on his face that contained far to much information for the young girls who spent their days typing all round him.

It was soon after that that there a noise on the floor as a new and bigger desk arrived for Ross. His initial desk was the same as mine, and it had served me for nearly thirty years without fail. The typing staff flocked around to see this new wondrous item that was surely going to assist Ross in improving his productivity.

Which I might add was on the improve despite some dubious accounting figures but who was I to suspect the young man was doctoring his books. You never heard that from me but I’m only repeating a rumour I heard in the change room last week as two other disgruntled workers of my vintage were discussing the new recruit.

Ross was making waves within the company and by Christmas he was given his own personal secretary a very young and petit young lady called Sharne. Barry who had been at the firm almost as long as me took one look at Sharne and rolled his eyes at me. Later we would meet in the lunch room to continue our character assassination of Ross who by now had elevated himself from the Floor Managers office to his own secretary whom it was obvious to all and sundry was giving him a whole lot more than his morning coffee.

By the time the office Christmas party rolled around the once fresh-faced Ross, had become the seriously driven and apparently gold haired boy of the company. So much so that the next years company prospectus had a photo on the front of the young Ross shaking hands with the CEO of the company in front of a new office which if you looked hard enough you could just make out Ross’ name.

We older employees were furious about this as we had worked there a long time and never once were we invited to adorn the cover of the news year’s prospectus.

By the end of the Christmas break we all returned to find Ross had been moved from the floor where the rest of us laboured away, never complaining just getting on with our respective jobs.

He had been moved into a new position, a Deputy Vice President of Purchasing. His first role in the new job was to address the floor about the new years goals and to urge us to take pride in our work place that the new year promised a whole lot of potential bonuses if we all put out noses to the grindstone as he put it, one for all and all for one.

We thought that last point was a bit rich considering his new position also came with a ten thousand dollar pay rise.

But everyone smiled and wished him well and as we turned our backs and returned to the known drudgery of our everyday you could sense that around the room, the knives were being sharpened. How dare the management elevate this whippersnapper ahead of the seasoned and experienced staff, who had been loyal all these years.

Ross’ rise from the ranks to what we considered an unwarranted position caused a lot of angst among the other workers who took great delight in making sure he received the wrong memos, his coffee seemed to have far too much sugar or none at all and he was always coming out of his shiny new office looking for a pen, as they seemed to vanish with monotonous regularity from his desk.

It was the innocence of the floor that finally did him in. After coming out of his office for the seventh time that day, we kept count; he finally stormed off to the Directors office and never returned.

In the coming weeks Russell was given extra responsibilities but not Ross’s office and the typing girls settled down to their pre Ross dull twitter.

We oldies had order back in the universe.


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15 Responses to Prompt 45 Festering Jealousy – the Office

  1. I so loved your last line my friend. Too often us oldies are shoved to the back burner, for the young ones to blow their trumpets. Glad he left and that calm and normality without the showiness was returned! Picture is disturbing but perfect for the prompt 🙂 I’d be pretty miffed at his pay rise too!

  2. Very realistic Michael awesomely done!

  3. Hmmm…makes one think..great piece, but I’m not sure how to take the ending…are we supposed to see that as triumph or the result of unfair jealousy and sabotage? 🙂

    • Thanks Helen, yes it is the result of festering jealousy, wrong as it is, the oldies won out in the end just demonstrating the lack of resilience among the young. Or words to that effect.

  4. Lyn says:

    Now that is what I call a satisfactory ending. For want of a pen, the golden-haired boy lost the war he may not have even known he was fighting 😀

  5. JackieP says:

    I could certainly see this happening and in fact have a few places I worked. Never take for granted the older trustworthy employees as they may be quiet, but they can be quite effective in getting rid of people when they want to. Great story Michael.

  6. RoSy says:

    So realistic.
    In the corporate world – it’s interesting to see who moves up & who doesn’t. A lot of times (not always) there is a lot of brown-nosing, stepping on others to move up or simply knowing the right people. Kinda’ messed up. I enjoy being a peon. More money would be great. But – I don’t want to deal with more work hours or having to babysit adults that report into me or have to listen to their non-work related complaints. Been there – done that.

  7. Anja says:

    Such a shame that these “oldies” focused more on taking down a good employee instead of breaking from the norm and standing out themselves. Jealousy is ugly and sad. However, I smile knowing that karma will take care of the “oldies”

  8. Well done, Michael…oh, so very realistic!! Love this and even more the ending.

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