Writing Exercises

 

The Office

Grace Marshall - Friday, October 20, 2017

 

Lucy pushed a loose strand of fiery red hair behind her ear. No matter how much time she spent in the morning fixing it up, it would escape throughout the day. She stretched her long legs under the desk, discreetly slipping her feet from the confines of her heels. Her emerald eyes moved from the computer to the paperwork on her desk. This one was a puzzler and her brain was already taxed from a long day.

"You think you have problems,"Blake Roper murmured glibly, standing behind Lucy and leaning against the cubical frame. "Wait till I show you what top brass wants." Blake didn't like Lucy's aggressive firebrand style of one upping everyone. The office in front of the bosses. There was being competent, then there was showing off, but blast it, she was attractive and somehow he couldn't keep himself from chatting with her throughout the day. Women!!!


Lucy looked up at Blake. "You think I haven't?" she asked sweetly, a hint of sarcasm in her voice. She drummed her fingers on her paperwork, then leaned back, stretched, and wiggled her chair back from her desk to stand up. "Oh goodness," she said with a yawn, "I'm tired. Want some coffee?"

Blake almost winced. There it was, that better than thou attitude. He bared his teeth in a grin. "Uh, no thanks on coffee, but you'd better slip those high heels on and enjoy 'em, 'cuz their days are numbered around here." He smirked.

Lucy raised an eyebrow. And what the heck was that supposed to mean? As if he would even know if something was coming down the pike. She did sleep her heels on though, as she asked, "Oh? Why is that?" She stretched and looked around. Seeing that the office was almost empty, she let her hair out of it's confined bun, running her fingers through it as it fell, the scent of her conditioner and her perfume lightly wafting on the air as she did so.

Blake smirk grew more smarmy if it were possible. He wasn't management, but having been with the company a couple decades meant something. "Too provocative. New dress code for female personnel, no skirts, heels, or "provocative" blouses. We have our new head recruitment and personnel to thank for it too. You meet her yet? Real femanazi I hear!" Blake couldn't help grinning giddy with how ridiculous this gossip was. It felt so good to divulge it finally! He'd been waiting all day and carefully planning who to tell. Unfortunately, his first choice had fallen through due to a sudden illness, so now he was just getting it off his chest, and Lucy happened to be the unsuspecting confidant.

Lucy rolled her eyes as she turned toward the breakroom for coffee. "So she wants us to be men? You aren't being provocative just because you wear heels." She'd already started walking down the hallway but she paused to ask, "the bosses are letting this change go through?"

Blake frowned. "Seems like it." He murmured, absently puzzled. What was she talking about? "Though it's still in discussion, so please don't tell anyone I told you." His frown deepened. What the heck was she talking about?! "I don't wear heels!"

Lucy raised an eyebrow and laughed lightly at his words. She flashed him a humored smile and then continued her trek for coffee. "I wasn't saying 'you' wear heels. I meant women aren't provactive just because they wear heels."

Blake flushed slightly, catching on. Wow, how to recover? He followed her to the break room. "Oh yeah? Well guess females deserve it, pushing for equality and all that while prancing around the office in "seductive" skirts, low cut blouses, and high heels!" he taunted. He really did dislike the females who wanted to be treated as professionals yet didn't dress respectfully. Though he also didn't like the idea of them looking like men either. Blake realized he was in a hard spot.

A coy smile fleeted across Lucy's lips. "Well if a man can't concentrate because a woman is in heels, isn't that kind of his problem?" She shrugged, and now at the kitchen, poured herself some coffee. "You shouldn't have to dress like a skank to feel beautiful and you're right, it shouldn't be in the office. But women can be strong and independent, and should have the freedom to be proud and comfortable as a woman while they work."

Blake grimaced at the typical 'have it both ways line.' Maybe it was the months of putting up with this woman's superior "can do" attitude, or that he felt HR was finally adopting policies supporting his viewpoint which emboldened him to let out a derisive snort. "You feminists. You're just like the gays, you want the option to choose but the protection to escape the consequences of your choice! Either dress like a female and act like one and know your place, or dress like a man, be professional and deal, just like us men have to. But for Pete's sake stop this incessant complaining that 'it's not fair.' Blake felt incredibly good to get that off his chest finally. He was proud that he even managed to add a whinny tone and air quotes to the end of his performance. His glee suddenly turned to cold fear as he realized what he'd just done.

Lucy began to laugh, a laugh that expressed just how ridiculous she thought his statement to be. She hadn't intended to be rude, but his rant was ridiculous. "Be and act like a female and know our place?" She'd probably have been offended if she didn't find it too amusing to be so. "And what is our place? Licking your boots?" She rolled her eyes at him and after she finished pouring her coffee, she headed back to her desk. "I feel that I should press some sort of harrassment or discrimination charges, but for crying out loud Blake, we aren't in the 1800s. Women aren't less because they have reproductive organs on the inside." She kicked her shoes off as she reached her desk, unbuttoned the top button of her blouse and ran her fingers through her flowing hair as she turned to look at him. Her smile was nothing if not flirtatious as she batted her eyelashes. "Okay, there, I just lost 50 IQ points right? Because of the things I just did? Better find a man to help the oh-so-needy me."

Blake was taken back entirely. Anger flushed his face but the feeling of having dodged a very real danger of being dragged before HR to explain what would no doubt be viewed as negative "sexist" remarks stopped him from giving in again to the desire to teach this impudent woman her place. Instead he just curled his lips and turned and retreated to to his cubical.

 

(**Photo from Pixabay)

 


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