Another day has slowly crept in without notice. Man, how does time fly so fast? I wonder as I get up. My system craves for that extra five minutes of sleep. I have a splitting headache. It’s the booze talking.
Damn! I should’ve said no to Sofia when she asked me to join her for the binge session at Ernie’s. Bad Idea! Bad, Bad Idea!! But I was reviewing the boring McClarington case and thought few drinks would…
The McClarington Case!
AND I HAVEN’T FINISHED REVIEWING IT!!!
The next twenty minutes pass in a blur as I reach my office. I never noticed that my buttons are wrongly done (which Eric pointed out) and my fly is unzipped (this time it was Maggie. Her way of coping with our breakup? Maybe). I run to my cubicle and search desperately for the McClarington case file.
Can’t find it.
Where could it be? A trainee lawyer’s cubicle is one of the most uninhabitable areas in the world. It contains at least a million sheets of paper. And spotting one file is not easy. But it couldn’t have gotten out of my cubicle? There’s an unwritten code when it comes to case files.
“Never touch others’ files.”
Too late, I see the RED post-it note on my computer monitor screen. Only one person uses RED post-it notes in our office.
THE LORD OF THE FILES
aka F.Norman Borman IV aka My Boss. The nastiest sort of boss anyone could get in the whole wide world. I take a deep breath as I read the note
“Mr. John Roebuck Jr, the McClarington case file is with me and I have noticed that your comments are not present along with. Please discuss first thing tomorrow.”
I, John Roebuck Jr, am officially fucked.
The Lord of the Files had the file and sure as hell, it did not have my comments.
Well duh! I was drinking my night away, while The Lord had undoubtedly come sniffing around. I take the 23 feet journey to The Lord’s office. Boy, these 23 feet seem like 23 light years. I am marching right into the slaughterhouse. The Lord hated tardiness and he definitely hated trainees like me.
I pause outside the sheer glass door of his office and look at the name plaque on it. It is an old piece of wood with the name F. Norman Borman IV inked in red. The paint job looks new and I have this sneaky suspicion that he uses us trainees’ blood. Maybe my blood will be used today.
With shaking hands, I knock at the door. I hear a grunt and take it as a signal to enter. I push open the door and walk in. The Lord has his nose buried in a case file – The McClarington Case file. I gulp in large quantities of air and try to compose myself. I make no movement to announce my presence nor does he, anything to acknowledge my presence. I dare not sit down.
I look around the room. Neatly stacked law books, case files, the tasteful bookshelf, the solid oak coat stand, the stationery kept with immaculate precision… everything seemed to gang up on me and shout at me for my tardiness. I clear my throat and try to speak to him
“Mr. Barman… oops.. Mr. Borman…”
Nothing. My mind starts racing, my words start slurring and in the end, I manage a feeble squeak. The Lord raises one eye, takes in my shabby appearance (with his eyes locking with my red, puffy eyes for a moment, which made me gulp again) and goes back to the file. He doesn’t say anything. I stand there sweating profusely, knowing I have screwed up and royally at that. I know I would be slaughtered because that’s what the Lord did and I feel shit scared.
It’s been ten minutes since I entered the Lord’s lair and I still am standing. I am 26, but I feel like a 6-year-old caught at school for not doing homework. I take another look at the room and notice it has been painted orange. Somehow that color does not calm me. Instead, my mind flashes back to the orange Chevy pickup which hit me once and Claire dumping me after that. She was wearing an orange T-shirt that day. I hated orange, no, I feared orange.
I look at the Lord. He’s engrossed in the file. This is it, the end of my career which never began. I am prepared to even beg on my knees for my job. I look at the picture hanging on the wall behind the Lord’s chair. It shows a gorilla wearing a suit and holding a phone with the words “The Boss is Always Right” on it. Nothing like rubbing the message in. I’m totally engrossed with the Gorilla that I forget the Lord of the Files for a nano second and it is at the exact same time he puts the case file down, removes his reading glasses and barks