A Drop Of Blood


brainStacy took command of the round table that she always sat at during lunch. It not only was big enough for her cohorts, it afforded her a clear view of the rest of the lunchroom. She was starving. Stacy had decided to go on another diet and really had not been eating too much at home.  Food at work though didn’t count. She expended energy thinking and doing her work. She exercised by parking her car a few spots farther than normal and walking to the building. She had taken the stairs one day but that damn near killed her so she gave that up. Stacy was pretty sure she had lost at least 5 pounds.

Her cohorts were all there today.  Brenda, Delicious (Del please) and Milton sat with their backs to the room and facing Stacy. They would have told you that they thought that maybe Stacy had gained weight.   None of them could tell you how it came to be that they sat there every day. None of them rally liked Stacy but all of them enjoyed the gossip that she supplied.  It broke up the boredom of their work and their lives.

Stacy saw Meg walk in. Oh Good she loved to pick on that woman. Meg was a mouse and irritating with her “don’t ya know” after every sentence. Made Meg sound like she knew everything, which, of course, she didn’t. Hell, Stacy knew three times as much as that woman. Besides Stacy was fulltime, regular employee and Meg was a temporary employee. They could send the mouse back at any moment. Stacy wasn’t sure why the company kept them, the temporary workers. They were expensive, costing the company three times the amount that regular employees cost.  In the beginning, they needed the extra help but Stacy thought Meg had overstayed. .

Meg had a sandwich from the machine Stacy noticed. Well that was different. The woman always brought food from home, as if she was poor.  Not.   Not at the amount, they paid the temporary agency. Stacy had heard about Meg dropping all her stuff this morning. She took a bite of her hamburger and leaned forward.

“Did you know that Meg was late to work today?”  She informed her table mates, who gasped and pretended to be shocked.

Of course, they knew Meg was late, it wasn’t that big of a building. Unless you worked in the call center, everyone knew everyone.  The call center was a mysterious cave of a place. No one knew what or who or the why of the department.  Meg’s disastrous entrance this morning, however, was old news. Stacy went on though.

“She dropped all of her stuff this morning and ruined a report that was due this morning. I heard that she could not even redo the report, that she had to find her thumb drive. I would have been able to retype it from memory. “

Her audience nodded. They knew better then to try to interject anything when Stacy got going. And Stacy had gotten worked up. She went on to tell them in great detail how Meg dropped her food and was late to work and then couldn’t find her thumb drive all while explaining how none of this would have happen to her, Stacy . In fact, perhaps Meg was too old to be working anyway. Stacy decided to go ask how old Meg.

Stacy pulled herself from the chair, with just a little groan (see she was losing weight!) and walked over to where Meg was sitting by the windows.  There was no chair for Stacy to sit down, so she just hovered over Meg.

“Hey Meggie, I was wondering aren’t you going to have a birthday soon? I ask because I am on the Cake Committee so I thought I saw your name”

There was no response from Meg, who seemed to get smaller, more mousey by the second.

Stacy smiled with fake sweetness “How OLD are you going to be? I mean you look like maybe you are going to be well I would say 60.”

Still Meg refused to answer her. That irritated Stacy. She hated people who would not stick up for themselves, besides Stacy was being nice.

“Well how old are you going to be? Retiring soon or what?  65 is retiring age DON’T YOU KNOW?” Stacy’s voice rose with each word.

A drop blood fell from Meg’s nose, then another and another.

Stacy stepped back. If there was one thing she did not like it was blood, the sight of it made her dizzy.

“OMG she is bleeding!”

“Shut it Stacy”, Meg finally spoke up. “One of these days you are going to pick on someone and they are going to take you out.

“Are you threatening me? You will regret threatening me.” Stacy started yelling in order to include the entire lunchroom.  “This woman is threatening me. She says she is going to kill me. AND can someone PLEASE call 911 before she bleeds all over the place.”

Meg got up and ran to the bathroom, blood dripping for between her fingers she had holding her nose.  Stacy laughed after her.  Several people to up and tried to go after Meg but Stacy put her arm out to stop them.

“I wouldn’t if I was you; it might be contagious besides all that blood is a biohazard. Milton is our safety captain he will deal with it. “

Milton stood up and nodded. He walked by Stacy to leave the lunchroom and call the fire dept. and an ambulance.

“You really shouldn’t pick on her,” he muttered.

“Shut up Milton.”

He nodded and walked out leaving Stacy grinning. There was enough to talk about for years to come, Stacy was happy.  Maybe she was wrong about Meg and hoping she was recalled. Maybe it was worth having her around.  Stacy walked back to her table, picked her now cold hamburger, and took a bite. She surveyed the scene before her.  People were standing up and looking at the drops of blood on the carpet leading to the restroom.  Maybe she was wrong about Meg’s value indeed. Stacy took another bite and smiled as the paramedics showed up followed by the fire dept.  She was still smiling as the firefighters asked everyone to remove themselves from the lunchroom until they could get the blood cleaned up.