I wanted to create a situation that the world had never seen before. – Ma Anand Sheela
“Sorry , but I really don’t think I can make it in to work today. I have a doctor’s note though. Can I bring it in tomorrow?”
“You don’t think you can come in, or you just don’t want to? Unless you bring that doctors note in today, you’ll be written up for missing work without due notice.”
“But I’m ca-“
“Same day call-off’s aren’t allowed, you know that. If you’re well enough to make it to your doctor then you’re well enough to make it to work, too. Just drop off the note.”
An eye roll, followed by rolling back out of bed into the wet, cold air. Or maybe it’s not the air, maybe that’s just us. Sick and clammy.
Cold spots burn through our worn-out slippers in Swiss cheese patterns, and we can’t help but wish we were the icy floor beneath us. Sure, we would get walked all over, but what else is new? At least then we wouldn’t have to feel it.
Should we drink some coffee, or a bottle of cold medicine while waiting for our Drop Off ride? This migraine is blinding white hot. Nauseating. We’d better make both. Caffeine for the migraine, and Work Fast Cold Medicine for the rest. Besides, the coffee might make us more nauseous otherwise.
The coffee is boiling hot, scalding, hotter than the migraine. We go to sit outside, wait for our ride, and hope the frigid February air will cool our brew down enough to drink. Huddled up, hunched over our travel mug, we hold it close to try to get warm.
“I Will Work Harder!” the mug tells us in cutesy letters.
Steamy vapors dance out of our mug, rising up and active despite the cold.
Warm, caffeinated, medicated, placated. But the cold has a way of slowing everything down, even the lifeless poison air wafting from our drink.
Fuck! How is it that cold already?! As the coffee coats your throat, the Work Fast Cold Medicine burns through like ether.
Thank you for riding with Drop Off! Would you like to rate your ride?
We know they won’t get paid unless we leave a good review, but that Drop Off driver was clearly sick. Possibly contagious. That was also the scariest Drop we’ve ever taken. The driver was driving like an animal! Like they were drunk on Work Fast Cold Medicine. Goodness knows we are. Is this what they call a bad trip? Was the driver drunk, or is that just us? Maybe the ride was normal. Are we the animal?
When did we get to the elevator? Let’s wait to rate our Drop Off driver until we’re feeling better. Even though they could have gotten us sick. Double sick! Ugh.
Thank god we already hit the button for our floor. Ew, did all that goo really come out of our face? Why is it that color?
The neon orange slime oozes down rows and rows of buttons. It’s so gross, we’re so gross, why can’t we stop staring at it? As the elevator lurches downwards, plop! some sneeze juice drips to the floor and snaps us out of our trance.
Damn, we don’t have any tissues to clean it up. Maybe we can use a sleeve? Nope, not gonna happen, that stuff looks toxic and we just know it’ll stain our sweatshirt. Although, the sweatshirt is already pretty stained and gross anyways. No, no, then everyone will know that we were the one who sneezed on the elevator buttons. Oh no, what if someone gets on and sees us, alone, drunk and hypnotized by goo!
Quick! Get off at the next stop!
BEEP BEEP BEEP
“Aren’t you gonna get that?”
“Other people need to use it too, ya know!”
Something hard presses into our shoulder. Where are we again? We lift our head to see a thick, wagging finger in our face. It’s stained yellow, waxy. Calloused and translucent, it looks like old hard cheese that was left open in the fridge for far too long. Smells like it, too.
But we can’t see anything past the big figure with the wagging finger in front of us. We can’t see anything, period. The smell of cheese and cigarettes assaults our nose and burns our eyes, churns our stomach, and makes us dizzier than the Work Fast Cold Medicine Coffee from this morning. Which reminds us!
We jump up, woah, blinded! and dizzy! and shoulder our way past Big Cheese without seeing who it was. Who cares. All we care about is getting our coffee concoction out of the microwave.
The cup is burning hot, but at least that means our drink will be too. Pulling our sleeves down for makeshift potholders, we notice some new stains. Some orange stains. New neon orange goo stains. Did the Big Cheese notice too?
Aw man, I hope Big Cheese didn’t just see that! Let’s just keep our eyes closed, they can’t see us if we can’t see them, right? What floor were we on again, maybe we can get the doctors note to boss without opening our eyes! No, that’s ridiculous. On the count of 3, we open;
AH! A MONSTER! Good lord, is that what we look like? Maybe we should have kept our eyes shut after all.
Underneath a spatter of orange, our reflection makes us look like we just got slimed.
Would you like to say a couple words as Winner of the Corporate’s Choice awards?
We’d be honored to! Thank you so much for your support, everyone! Thank you Coffee, for keeping us going when we’re tired, and thank you Work Fast Cold Medicine, for keeping us going when we’re sick!
Gosh, we could sure use some more of that medicine right now, too. Are we sweating from the spotlight, or the headache? Damn, are spotlights really this bright? Can everyone see how sweaty we are, do they notice us squinting?
And of course, to the folks who made it all happen, we’d like to thank Corporate from the bottom of our heart! Not only did they give us the opportunity to work while contagious, they encouraged it! We couldn’t have done it without them! We wouldn’t have done it without them, and they made us a better person because of it!!
Hot, wet, oozing orange slime drips down all of us. We close our eyes to keep the slime out, and when we open them again we’re in the Corporate bathroom drenched in sweat. Have we ever been so aware of gravity? The sneeze on the mirror is now a puddle on the counter, we feel the sweat pouring down, our stomach is in our knees and our heart is in our guts.
Everything, all of it, we all fall down, eventually.
Thank you so much for reading! Stay tuned for Part 2 ✌️😊