I had just gotten back from lunch in the break room to discover a stack of papers larger than the ones I left. I sighed and sat down in my chair ready to tackle the rest of the work I would have to do.
I had been working in the same design firm since I graduated from college as a computer science major. Luckily I had found a job fresh out of school, seeing as most of my friends were not so lucky, but I was slowly making my name here.
I watched as my boss, Elliot Rhodes, strolled out of his office on the way to the break room going through the maze of cubicles.
“Horan, Styles, we’ve got a meeting in a half hour, I expect you both to make it this time yeah?” Mr. Rhodes said.
“Yes sir you’ll see us if we can get cracking on these papers.” I commented.
“Alright looking forward to it boys.” he said and continued on.
I looked up from the stack to see my mate Harry sighing as he looked at his pile.
“God that guy is really starting to get on my nerves, just because he’s the boss doesn’t mean he doesn’t have any work to do, he shouldn’t just be strolling around the office with his fly down watching us all work our asses off.” Harry ranted.
“Well it is quite enjoyable watching him make an ass of himself everyday, it at least gives everyone something to talk about.” I laughed at him.
“Where’d these stacks come from?” he groaned.
“Well you’re supposed to be proofreading them so that I can code them in.” I commented. “Just more work for me to do.”
Harry was a good guy, we got hired at the same time five years ago and took a great liking to each other from sitting in cubes across from each other. Now he was one of my best mates and I’m glad we got stuck in this company together.
I looked down at the first sheet and logged back into my computer. I was mainly involved in writing code to send off to our clients to use for their websites which is a long and tedious process. I had to relearn how to code in HTML and CSS once I got the job. Luckily most in the stack were just fixing a few fonts here and there but I had two complete template changes to work on as well due in by the end of the night.
“Wanna get a drink after work? Today has been completely taxing.” Harry asked.
“Yeah I’m in, as long as this gets done.” I sighed.
The two of us kept typing away and passing each other papers up until our meeting. The whole office started standing up and rolling their chairs off to the conference room while I was finishing up some code.
“Come on Ni, don’t want to walk in late.” Harry said while standing and pushing back his hair.
“Alright give me one more second I don’t want this to crash.” I commented.
I put the closing brace on the code and saved it to look it over after the meeting. I stood and straightened my tie and followed Harry into the room, sneaking in the back so we could make a quick escape when the time came. Rhodes gave us a glance as I shut the door behind me. We were always the last ones in the room and attempted to be the first ones out.
“Alright ladies and gentlemen, just a brief meeting today.” Rhodes said clearing his throat. “We’ve had new employees training over the last couple weeks and they’ll be joining us all tomorrow so welcome them and help them out.”
“Just what we need, more employees whose work we’ll just have to redo.” Harry muttered to me under his breath.
“I’ll be calling many of you into my office throughout the rest of the day to talk a few things through with you but don’t worry there’s no layoffs this quarter.” Rhodes continued.
You could hear the entire room exhale, myself included, at this comment. Apparently we were doing alright business, this is the first quarter since I got here they haven’t fired or laid anyone off. We’ve been pretty lucky.
“This Friday is bar night at McKinley’s, I won’t be there I’ll be out of town but it all still goes on our tab. You’re welcome.” he joked gaining a laugh from the room.
He took another ten minutes of our time talking about the new clients who we will be working on and showing us some finalized long term projects. It was refreshing to see some of my collaborative work up on the screen. I have been in this company long enough and it was exciting to finally get recognized for all that I do. Nobody seems to understand how hard it is to do what I do.
“Alright everybody, you can go on back to work. I’ll meet with some of you later.” Rhodes said closing his binder.
As promised Harry and I were the first two out the door making a quick escape. We rolled back to our desks and sat back down to our work.
“The last thing I want to do is sit down with that man alone, I have so much shit I have to get done.” I sighed.
“He acts like he’s all high and mighty over us but he’s just facilitating, I doubt he can even start his computer.” Harry chuckled.
“I just don’t know what he even has to talk to anyone about in private.” I said while typing along.
Rhodes continued to call people in and out of his office throughout the afternoon. Most of the people walking out looked incredibly distressed with a stack full of papers. Maybe it was a good thing we were getting some new employees in. One of our mates Nate walked out and rolled his eyes as he carried a large binder.
“Harry, do you have any extra time to look over this for me? It just got vetoed by him for a third time. I don’t know what I’m missing in it.” Nate asked while leaning on our cube.
He was a proofreader, like Harry, who got hired last year sometime. He was a young guy fresh out of college but fit in with us immediately. Rhodes liked to give him a hell constantly.
“Yeah, I’ll look at it. What did he say about it this time?” Harry asked.
“A direct quote would be ‘Nathan these margins look like shit and the font size is obviously very far off. This is some of the worst workmanship I’ve seen from you yet.’ But he’s not gonna discipline Eliza who was the designer on it who made it look like shit because he’s been fucking her. This is fucking bullshit.” Nate groaned.
“He’s been fucking her? Of all people?” I whispered to them. “I mean neither of them are dime pieces by far but she could do a hell of a lot better.”
“How do you even know all of this?” Harry asked flipping through the binder.
“Josie knows absolutely everything in this office, talk to her sometime.” he said. “I better go back to my desk, he’ll come out and snap on me otherwise.”
I leaned back in my chair and looked over the other sheets of paper in my stack. I was halfway through the other template change when Rhodes walked out of the office to get his next subject.
“Styles, Horan, both of you in here please.” he said looking in our direction.
I groaned and cracked my back before standing up. Harry closed the binder and we walked across the sea of cubes to his office.
“Why do you think he wants both of us?” Harry asked me.
“Maybe because he knows we can’t stand him when we’re left alone with him.” I shrugged.
We walked through the door into the glass walls and I shut the door behind me. Harry took a seat closer to the wall leaving me to be directly in front of Rhodes.
“Boys, I’m sorry I’ve been dumping all this extra work on you lately, you guys are really the only two I can rely on to get it done.” he explained. “I’d actually like to promote both of you and give you raises, how does that sound?”
Harry’s eyebrows went up and my mouth opened slightly. We looked over at each other and he scooted his chair closer to Rhodes’s desk. He was being awfully nice to us. This was completely unlike him.
“That sounds more than alright.” I answered for both of us.
“I thought you might say that. But you’re going to get a few more responsibilities around here. I’m gonna have you supervise a few of the new hires and the freelancers who we’ll have coming in over the next few months.” he continued on.
“How many people will we have to manage?” Harry asked.
“Well I’ve decided to put you two and a couple of the new hires on a team together. One is a print designer and the other is a web designer. You’ll teach them the ropes a little more and they’ll slowly become more independent. They have great promise. Niall, you’ll work more closely with the web designer and hopefully teach him a little code yeah?”
“That is very manageable.” I replied.
“And we plan on using that long bar on the windowsill to be for the freelancers who will be in and out. Throw some computers along the edge and it can be a very modern place for them to work. I have a few that are coming in starting tomorrow, but they’ll work in the old room. There’s four other new employees that Josie and Nathan are going to look after, and then I hired another secretary named Kaine because poor Helen has been swamped for the past month out there. So I told Kaine to report to you guys too.” he continued on. “I think that’s about all, any questions boys?”
“I don’t think so.” Harry said looking at me with inquisitive eyes.
“You think Nate can handle people working under him already?” I questioned.
“You know, I like to give him a really hard time just because he’s still new here but he’s a hard worker and does some good stuff. I think he can do it.” Rhodes said. “Anything else?”
“Nope, was just interested.” I answered.
“Alright, so thanks for your hard work, you deserve the raise. Don’t make me regret giving them to you. There’s plenty of other people who deserve it, so don’t screw up.” he said.
Ah yes, there was the old Rhodes we knew and hated. Harry and I got on our feet and shook his hand before walking out the door.
“What the hell was that?” Harry laughed as we knocked shoulders in celebration.
“I think we have to go get drinks now, on me.” I smiled.
We walked back to out desks and sat down to finish our work for the day. As soon as the clock hit five we shut down the computers and grabbed our belongings. I put a couple of files in the leather knapsack I brought with me everyday to look over at home and grabbed my keys off my desk.
“Meet you at the Pony?” I asked.
“Yeah sounds good, I was hoping you’d suggest that.” Harry nodded as we walked out of the building. “Hey Nate, come with us for a drink?”
“Yeah where are you headed?” Nate said catching up with us.
“The Pony, it’s on 10th.” I said.
We got to the pub and sat at the bar with the rest of the people just getting out of work.
“Hey how’s things going with Kira?” Nate asked me.
“Eh they’re alright. You’d think we’ve been together long enough that she wouldn’t constantly try to pick fights with me, but you never know. Especially when she comes to mine after work she gets pretty testy.” I admitted.
“You still have the ring?” Harry questioned.
“Yeah but lately I haven’t wanted to marry her with how she’s been, if things get better I might propose, but it’s not looking too good right now.” I sighed.
“I mean, you’re 27, you’ve been looking to settle down by now haven’t you?” Nate asked taking swig of his beer.
“Yeah, I’m just gonna feel it out. I don’t wanna force it you know?” I explained myself.
“Don’t ask her if you don’t want, you’re still young Ni, all the ladies will swarm you.” Harry joked.
“Thanks buddy.” I smiled.
We finished up and paid for our drinks. I said goodbye to the lads and drove off to my flat.
I still had some work to finish off. I grabbed the leftovers out of the fridge then went to sit down by the TV and pulled out my papers. After I finished my last papers up I stood up to go into the kitchen.
I cleaned some dishes and took my pills before I headed off to my room and laid in bed.
Tomorrow was another new start.