By Scott Wilson
Word Count: 1,130
Jess knew that she was a bad boss and an outright bitch, but she just could not help it. She knew how much she took advantage of the guy she replaced when promoted six months ago. Out of the office of five women, all of them were friends, or had become friends since starting work together; they often went to the pub at lunch and on a Friday night. The only male in the office was the manager, who was not a particularly secure man. If any of the girls didn’t feel like doing something the manager asked them to do, they would start carrying on about having their period, that was a sure fire way to make him go away. Sally Cho, the most rude and abrupt of the girls, often stuck a clipboard up at the end of her cubicle saying ‘Too Busy, Go Away’. If they worked in private industry and not the public service, there is no way they would get away with their actions.
Only a few weeks after Jess got the promotion, all of her friends left, moved on to other jobs at the university or outside, anywhere to get away from her appalling management skills. She looked after herself first and lacked any meaningful kind of empathy, often looking like she was amoral. Jess would not listen to her employees when they asked for help, or needed time off for any personal issues, especially child related. She was forty, single, and had no interest in the family life, preferring to pick up a different guy every Friday night to make her feel attractive and desirable. Her friends had partners and thought she was a bit of a skank, but were used to her flirtatious nature.
Pub lunches were still a big favourite with Jess, and most afternoons she reeked of booze on her breath and out of her pores. The one-hour lunch often, slide into an hour and a half or two hours. Because of this, she was extremely strict with the staff timesheets, even going as low as asking another manager in the same office to monitor how long her staff had for lunch, or when they arrived or left. That was mainly because she didn’t usually start work until around nine-thirty and had long lunches herself.
Being out of the office for so long each day, she was never available for assisting the staff or answering question they might have. Jess would rip them a new one if they didn’t finish the work she asked them to do, even if she were too drunk to clearly explain exactly what she wanted them to do. Half the time, she forgot entire conversations she had with staff, even if it were at the weekly staff meeting.
In the last six months, Jess had achieved a one hundred percent staff turnover. The longest any employee lasted in her section was three months. Her favourite trick was to employee a bright, young, and upcoming guy at the end of their degree. She would flirt with them and lead them on to think that they were in line for a promotion if they put in the hard yards. Jess knew that there was no position to move into apart from hers, and she wasn’t giving that up anytime soon. Apart from that, she knew that she would be able to do a job in the real world; she had absolutely no knowledge of her job, or any other job of the same level.
Tony gave his resignation to Jess in the morning, after only two day of working in the office, a record for even Jess. He caught on tho her real personality when she must have forgotten how long he worked in the office for. Instead of the slow build up of demands and bitchiness, Jess let loose a barrage of verbal degradation and abuse when Tony couldn’t understand a direction she gave him. Of course, it was in the afternoon, after a few Strong bow Cider’s and in the stupid time of day for her. Even though Jess quickly realised what she had done, it was too late; the damage was done. This happened on Thursday and Tony gave notice Friday. Jess planned to drown her sorrows later that night, along with picking up a guy or two.
* * *
Jess ended up going out by herself; the girls were all busy with their partners or family. She went to a usual haunt, The Paddo, where she often chatted up one of the bartenders for cheap drinks.
As the night progressed, Jess found herself with a group of Greek men, suave and smooth, and extremely well off by the look of them. They chatted with her, bought her drinks, and eventually offered to take her back to their place. Jess decided that some group sex might not be that bad, especially after the day she had just had. She hoped in a cab with the three guys and headed back to their mansion at The Gap.
Jess quickly undressed as the tallest of the trio did the same, the other two went out of the room for a short period before returning with a camera and video recorder. Before Jess could complain, the footage was taken, as was her clothes.
“What’s going on?” she said.
“Oh, just a bit of just deserts, you bitch,” Tony said as he walked into the room.
Jess tried to grab something to cover herself, but there was nothing lying around in the large lounge room.
“What are you doing here?” she said.
“What, at my brother’s house?” Tony said. “He works for ASIO and has quite a lot of resources at his disposal. Like access to the name and contact details of everybody you have screwed over in the last half a year.”
Jess heard footsteps on the polished wood floor. A steady stream of past employees and guys she’d picked up and used for sex then dumped, flowed into the lounge room until there were over fifty men and women surrounding her.
“No,” Jess cried, trying to cover herself with her hands. “You can’t do this to me.”
“Yes we can,” said the oldest of the three men from the pub. He played back an mp3 recording that sounded like Jess agreeing to dance naked in front of the crowd at Toni’s party.
“Yes, Jess you’d better give us a good show. I mean, you’re going to be streaming live on YouTube as you go.”
The crowd laughed and clapped.
Jess trembled and looked at the multitude of cameras and video cameras trained on her every move.
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