Internet Dating

Due to my overwhelming desire to suspend the targeting of coworkers, I pulled out my list of non-thirtieth floor dwellers in desperate need of comeuppance.

And I'm having enough fun reading emails between Mr. Patel and Security Chief Jensen concerning the steps Mrs. Patel can take to keep their pets safe from psychopathic stalkers. Mr. Jensen advised her to never walk the dogs at the same hour each day. If a night stroll is required, he suggests she travel in well lit areas. "Do not physically resist a person or persons attempting to nap your pooches." He literally wrote, "nap your pooches." Regardless their vocation, ass-kissers talk like children.

But I digress.

A few months ago I briefly gave internet dating a whirl. I went on one outing with a gentleman who must have kidnapped--speaking of--the person who drafted the one personality profile I found somewhat scintillating.

The investment banker and I had much to discuss via email. Carrying on an actual conversation, however, proved burdensome.

His profile was a giant fib. For example, he claimed to have spent a semester studying in Italy. When asked to share snippets I couldn't glean from watching travel shows, he responded as if he'd memorized the country's Wikipedia page. "I lived in the capital, Rome, with a population of almost three-million. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within the Lazio region of Italy. For centuries, Rome was the political center of Western civilization . . ."

I asked if he could cite his sources. He didn't get it.

When he mentioned we should, "do this again," I asked for his best guess on when the weather would change.

As I have no interest in settling scores with men who lie for the express purpose of finding either true love or a lady willing to join them for a quick roll in the hay, and would have time for nothing else, the name of my date was not added to my list of targets.

Our server, a black-haired whore, was.

I proposed me and my date meet at a local coffee shop. My companion insisted our first encounter take place inside an upscale sushi palace; one of two reasons he wasn't entirely worthless. His other saving grace was his inability to mask his disgust for our waitress. Whenever graced by her presence, I could tell by the deranged look in his eye that, had he not been on a first date he foolishly assumed would lead to a second, he would have committed a chopstick related felony that left the ghostly diva physically incapable of serving another famished fish-lover.

An ability to let go is one of many traits I didn't share with the gentleman. I'm certain he was able to put the experience behind him because, as I was getting acquainted with the daily routine of our waitress, he and I never crossed paths.

Dog Collars & Burritos

Mr. Patel has asked Brandon's buffoonish head of security to look into the mysterious occurrences plaguing his relationship, so I'm going out with a bang. There are many more colleagues I wish to torture psychologically, and it will be thrill enough reading the email trail between Daniel and (Security Chief) Jensen as they endeavor to identify the person or persons responsible for damaging the former's once flourishing marriage.

Mr. Patel's desktop wallpaper is a large picture of his wife alongside their four adorable collar-clad pooches. After studying the massive photograph closely, I procure identical neck-gear at a pet-centric mega-mart.

In a large envelope, addressed to "Sir King Douchebag," I mail the stylish canine accessories to the Patel residence.

So the postmark will give the pea-brained security "expert" something to go on, I drive to the USPS branch in a town 44 minutes away. Nearby, a fantastic Mexican joint has been proudly serving hungry patrons for twelve years and I'm hankering for a couple of their classic spicy chicken burritos. Dreading the day my gut stretches further than my breasts, I don't often splurge, but when I do, I do it right.

Knowing Mrs. Patel retrieves the snail mail at 2:00 PM each weekday, I wait for an email from her to him. "Please don't call the office with the disturbing news," I mumble throughout the morning.

Thankfully . . .


From: Carmen Patel

To: Daniel Patel

Subject: Dog Collars

Sent: Friday, December 17, 2010 2:22 PM

If your story is accurate and someone is getting revenge, they are familiar with our pets.
Dog collars arrived in the mail today; dog collars matching those worn by the quartet.

One of the subsequent scenarios is therefore true; you showed--or gave--a secret paramour photographs of our dogs, a lover you spurned spies on me as I walk them, or those determined to make you suffer are stalking my every move.

None of the above makes me want to do anything other than curl up in the fetal position.

It's also not comforting that the man you charged with solving this riddle hasn't a clue where to begin.

Is he incompetent or is he aiding your infidelity?

My guess is the latter, but I'm just a housewife, so what do I know?

In everlasting obedience,



Not only has she mastered the art of sending flawless emails, Mrs. Patel's biting sarcasm is brilliant. I wish I could respond praising her wit but will sadly have to admire her creativity from afar.


The Reasons

Allow me to explain the multiple reasons I have for targeting the president of my company, Mr. Daniel Patel.

First of all, he thinks a heavier paycheck proves he's better than me.

I must admit, he's an extraordinarily gifted man, but I have always been, and will always be, better at what I do.

The fact that their legs tingled while watching Michael Jordan participate in the activity at which he thrived doesn't mean #23 was a better human being than the cheering spectators in awe of his unprecedented basketball skills.

I'm not scolding successful people, I rate myself one, I'm saying that it should be instinctive to locate your passion and excel. If your calling leads to an inability to remember in which garage you warehouse your lightest blue Ferrari, great, but it doesn't make you superior to those who operate with equal vigor.

I wouldn't target an individual solely for his or her egregious pomposity. Most of my disdain for Mr. Patel stems from taking blame for the heinous crime of precisely following his meticulous instructions. A general example . . . He orders a large box placed five feet from his desk. He later trips over the cardboard obstacle. Resulting anger is aimed at the peon who wasn't off by an inch.

Such behavior is unacceptable--especially bearing in mind that the receiver of scorn is powerless to adequately retort.

I'm all for pushing laborers to the limit. If I owned a large firm would expect value for every dollar of payroll I shelled out. However, ethics would prevent me from putting any subordinate in a no-win situation.

Though my money doesn't pay their salary, I cringe every occasion my inbox contains an email from a colleague promoting a link to an internet video that "I gotta check out!" Without viewing, I respond, "Wow!" The word covers videos that induce laughter, videos meant to warm the heart, videos that remind us of a simpler time, videos that make us wonder if our domesticated animal has talents worthy of visual documentation, and videos that make us jump out of our chair.

The third and final major reason Mr. Patel is my current target; perennial failure to carry out oaths.

In my job as IT maven, I've seen a plethora of emails to Mr. Patel from disgruntled staffers claiming that during heated negotiations he promised ultimately undelivered perks. The senders all cried out, "You told me I could trust you!" The perks were usually petty; a better parking spot, a meager bonus or a reduction in weekends spent toiling at the office.

Most employees possessing a, "Now that my John Hancock ornaments the softball sign-up sheet, what actions will the powers that be take to keep me gratified? After all, thousands of local corporations would pay big bucks to have me play solitaire within the walls of their finest cubicle," attitude, I wouldn't think negatively of Mr. Patel had his inbox occasionally contained emails regarding his lack of integrity. But, despite our company's diminutiveness, the number of electronic letters he's received on the topic is staggering.

Besides, I know firsthand that a pledge from his trap and $2.00 will get you a small cup of black coffee.

And if you disrespect Murph, suffering ensues.

Ned Jensen, Head of Security for CEO Brandon Sandoval

From: Daniel Patel
To: Carmen Patel
Subject: Truce
Sent: Monday, December 13, 2010 11:17 AM


I give.

You're not crazy.

Your fears have foundation.

But I have never been unfaithful.

Someone is getting revenge. My 9-5 actions have been responsible for the countless loss of jobs. With me, it's always business--never personal. Unfortunately, those obligated to present their spouse with a box containing belongings that hours prior decorated their cubicle wall find it cathartic to pretend I took pleasure in ruining their lives so that my take home pay would increase by a fraction of a percent. They don't know me from Adam, yet believe I view them as trailer trash and therefore laughs of glee accompanied the document signing that unchained their alarm clocks.

The weird phone calls, the woman at the restaurant, and the strange mailings are clever ways of enacting what they consider justice. Perhaps it's a communal effort by people who shared a floor.

I apologize for reacting to your suspicion with anger. As I've asked of you, I should have trusted you had solid reasons to doubt my fidelity. In my defense, being falsely accused of horrific deeds immediately makes one so red in the face that rationality flies out the window.

I will ask the leader of Brandon's security detail to look into these strange occurrences and assure you that I will get to the bottom of them.

In the interim, all I can do is ask that you have faith.



Thankfully Brandon's security chief is one of the dumbest individuals on whom I've ever laid eyes.

The CEO entrusts the protection of his family to such an enormous idiot because said idiot is the consummate "yes man." Competent armed defenders have an attitude that lets everyone know they are in control.

If Ned Jensen, Brandon's security guru, is asked by his boss, "Is it safe to engage that angry mob of gun toting enemies assembled in the street below my office in a face-to-unkempt-faces debate?", Mr. Jensen wouldn't answer based on his expertise as a former county sheriff, he'd respond based on what he assumed his commander wanted to hear.

Safety second; butt kissed constantly first.

I am very impressed with the above email by Mr. Patel to his wife, however. Were he to conduct his day-to-day business with such consideration, perhaps he wouldn't be in this mess.

Dinner Near Mr. and Mrs. Patel

My reservation was for 9:00. Thankfully my table placement was smashing. My repulsive boss, Daniel Patel, had his back to me. Please don't misunderstand, thanks to an elaborate disguise I was unrecognizable, it's just that paranoia can be quite the bitch.

I kept my neck upright just long enough to see any semblance of color disappear from the cheeks of Mrs. Patel the first time our eyes met. I continued to feel them as I re-read the vast selection of appetizers.

Knowing Mr. Patel's smart phone constantly rings, beeps and buzzes, I tapped mine to the tune of Tiny Dancer on the tabletop to give the illusion I was either awaiting an important call, or contemplating placing one.

Out of the corner of my left eye, as I perused the gaudy collection of Italian art adorning the walls, I noticed Daniel turn around and look my way. Though blurry, outlandish body language indicated he was informing his suspicious wife that never before had he seen my face. Making multiple moves Mrs. Patel would deem abnormal, I put my head down and softly mouthed the dessert menu. I giggled at the word, "mascarpone." I not so subtly adjusted the abundance of material covering my real breasts.

No longer having the stomach to eat at the restaurant, I apologized to the waiter, handed him a hundred-dollar bill, and asked that the entire helping of penne al'arrabiata be boxed up so I could devour it in front of the television clad in sweat pants and a colossal sweatshirt made of wool.

He chuckled, then informed me that, despite the large crowd awaiting seats, my plea did not put him out. He scampered to the kitchen and made my meal suitable for travel, tying the plastic sack so tightly that no aroma would linger in my rental.

Were I portraying myself, I might have non-verbally expressed a romantic interest in the uber-professional waiter. Nothing makes Murph weak in the knees like competence.

With my left hand atop the bag of food, stocked full of breadsticks inconsumable by a single human being, I used the index finger on my right hand to summon the super-sexy server. Seductively into his ear, I whispered that underneath my plate was a second hundred-dollar bill that I hoped could go toward the purchase of the alcoholic beverage Mr. Patel sips at the conclusion of each hard day. Because the Federal Reserve Note was worth ten drinks, the waiter agreed to make the delivery a full five minutes after I vacated the premises. The contents of the glass, he would loudly announce.


You can convince yourself to accept any scenario if you try hard enough. Look at your significant other and believe he or she has been unfaithful. It's possible, right? Thursday it took them an hour to make a video run. During the outing they didn't answer their cell phone and when you later asked for an explanation they nervously claimed it failed to ring. And why the insistence a rare visit to the video store was all of a sudden necessary? It'd be one thing if it were 1988. Their desire to sit through a tenth showing of The Goonies was that overwhelming?

I bet you can think of a similar situation . . .

Whenever possible, I use paranoia to my advantage.

Often, however, it's the reason sleep eludes.

A recent unannounced trip to my office by Mr. Patel included a full minute of silence during which he focused his eyes on a Post-it note stuck to a new desktop computer. Though I was careful to disguise my cursive while addressing the envelope to his wife, perhaps Mr. Patel is an expert in the art of calligraphy and was positive he stared at a familiar loop.

Irrational fear was making my stomach queasy. Therefore, I had to act.

That Friday, via email, Mr. and Mrs. Patel decided to meet for dinner at a quaint Italian place a block from their house. Though pricey, the renowned eatery has an extensive menu and it was alleged by online critics that their mouthwatering portions were huge. It was an ideal opportunity for me to try their lip-smacking penne al'arrabiata; always good to load up on carbs before a long Saturday morning run.

Prior to piloting my rental car--can never be too careful--I was compelled to don a disguise. My collection of wigs double digits, I have a multitude of colorful options. I chose to be a buxom redhead. The style and shade went great with the tortoise-green frames I bought at the Salvation Army. I applied a few coats of makeup and filled a bra, larger-than-my-chest-demands, but, then again, aren't they all, full of fake plastic breasts that I secured at a post-Halloween blowout sale. I added some faux junk to my waifish trunk and slipped on a drab dress.

Their reservation was for 8:30 and, because forcing understrappers to wait makes him feel like a giant among men, Mr. Patel is uniquely late to work appointments.

At 8:45, through the large window separating the dining room from the sidewalk, I spotted the Mr. and Mrs. Patel. I instantly detected his alleged affair was the subject of a very lively debate.

A compact pulled from my purse reassured me that Murph was nowhere in sight.

Finally, I was ready to learn exactly how paranoid my actions had made the stunningly beautiful Carmel Patel . . .


The affinity some have for jewelry boggles my mind. Regardless where a piece of bling rates on the glitter-meter, I can't understand how accentuating their body with an object dug from the ground makes a person feel pretty.

If a parent tells their physically frightful child, "beauty originates from the inside," the ugly tyke rolls his or her eyes. In modern society, such talk is trite. In my opinion, it couldn't be more accurate.

I'm far from hideous. In emails from males to their friends offering, without my permission, to facilitate a blind date, my looks are praised. I envy Kate Hudson's bust, but have an athletic body and comely mug.

To most, the above is seen as boasting. I have no desire to brag about things over which I have little control. You can't pick the natural shape of your nose. I don't exert 'round the clock to achieve a forehead proportionate to the remainder of my face. Actions impact the tightness of my posterior, but it's not kept firm for the express purpose of attracting complementary looks.

Bone structure is not how I judge, so I'm certainly not impressed with the quality of good hanging from ones earlobe. In most cases, sparkling diamonds prove you've managed nothing more than reeling-in someone with loads of disposable income.

Even watches are difficult to fathom in this day in age. A clock is in my sight line 85% of the time I look straight ahead, be it the one on my computer, the one in my car, the one on my microwave, the one on my stove, the one on my nightstand, the one on my smart phone or the one on my television. A push of the clicker-button is required to view the clock on my television but I hardly think such a minor inconvenience excuses a major purchase.

Despite my aversion to timepieces, gemstones and precious metals, the other day I was in the necklace section of a mall jewelry store. After selecting a basic piece made of gold, I paid the poorly-dressed man, disguised as a well-dressed man, and then hit the pretzel booth for a sans butter original and medium lemonade.

As usual, the human dough dispenser responded to my sincere "thanks very much" with chilly silence.

At home, I adorned my neck with the necklace. Beneath my chin it sparkled as I paid a couple bills and hand-addressed an envelope to Mrs. Patel. On blank pieces of typing paper I practiced my penmanship. I wanted the envelope to scream, "Sent from a psycho bitch!"

The following email resulted . . .

From: Carmen Patel

To: Daniel Patel

Subject: Necklace

Sent: Wednesday, December 1, 2010 11:22 AM


I presume you'd appreciate applause for dumping whichever mistress sent back the lovely necklace you exchanged for sexual favors. The envelope it came in was made out to Mrs. Patel. What--didn't have the courtesy to tell her my first name? Would've made it too personal? How stupid are you? You're not supposed to piss off a concubine if she knows where your wife lives! Hey, maybe I should be ecstatic you suck so bad at cheating! Maybe it means you lack experience.

Your faithful wife,


Rounding Out the Thirtieth Floor...

Mitchell Cantwell is in his mid-thirties. His deep voice, boxy haircut, square jaw, and mechanical movements contribute to his inhuman aura. Mitchell will be the prototype for future robot servants.

Like most, Mitchell is an asky guy who declares it imperative I order him every device about which he reads on random websites.

Several months ago, I created a fake technology blog that raved about the Apple iCarumba 5G. I emailed Mitchell the link from a fake address and name. With old cell phones and other antiquated gadgetry, I fashioned a hip looking contraption of which I took professional quality pictures. I included the best photographs in the blog post along with dazzling reviews from technology experts throughout the world. Within the hour, Mr. Cantwell had in a most urgent request for a product that has never existed. He didn't respond to my respectful email indicating that upon him a fast one had been pulled.

The CFO, Frank Beck, 41, is a cross between George Costanza and Cindy Brady. George Costanza in appearance, and Cindy Brady in speech impediment and bad-habit of squealing on peers.


From: Frank Beck

To: Daniel Patel

Subject: Murph

Sent: Wednesday, August 5, 2009 11:37 AM


I'm perusing time sheets more thoroughly and noticed Murph is working inordinate overtime. My combing is unprecedented. Perhaps she's been gaming the system for months? I'll dig further and update you. Be thinking of appropriate retribution and, if there's substantive reasoning, I'll run it by Ophelia.



Keeping my mouth shut was difficult, but I had no alternative. My name still prettifies a thirtieth floor door because Mr. Patel swiftly responded with four words: All Murph overtime preapproved. Almost makes me feel bad about ruining his marriage . . .

Frank Beck is my second favorite target.Lastly, there is our in-house attorney, Ophelia Udall. She's a forty-year-old African-American bookworm whose father professes at an Ivy League institution. The finest dressed female on the thirtieth floor, Ophelia grayed prematurely. Currently her hair is a perfect blend of black and silver. Though she holds the most degrees from the most prestigious universities, Ophelia converses like an every woman.

Preferring my own brand of justice, I have no patience for lawyers, particularly one who incorrectly assumes I have no more skills than a pink-collared worker.

I enjoy making Ophelia a target. I do not fear battling her before a judge. She possesses the legal expertise while I have mastered the art of appearing likable.

As well as the one fellow I actually revere, you have now been presented with information about every contemptible bastard and bitch that spends a third of each weekday on the thirtieth floor.

Haley Johnson, Executive Assistant to the CEO

Though her behavior suggests she's approaching forty, Haley Johnson is two years shy of her thirtieth birthday.

Sitting behind her desk, a photograph of the snappy dresser should immediately emerge after typing "executive assistant" into Google images. A strict vegan lifestyle leaving her far too thin, the consummate professional moves awkwardly, however, like a too-tall teen desperate for the meat to start sticking. Though naturally attractive, a protein-poor diet is responsible for under-eye circles that extend past the middle of her petite nose. To conceal the darkness, she daily applies the amount of makeup I use in a month.

Haley fully understands what's expected of her. Her job is to assist the CEO, Mr. Brandon A. Sandoval, without causing him undue stress. In other words, she's not to reveal to her boss that everyone in the company despises the assistant to Mr. Patel. Instead, Ms. Johnson was hired to sit quietly while an object thrown by her officemate whizzes by her ear and crashes into the wall. Dust settled, eyes fixated on her monitor, Ms. Johnson is to ask Cassie, without emotion, "What's the matter?"

Don't get me wrong, Haley is no pushover. She's the exact opposite in fact. On the few occasions no vein pops from the forehead of Cassie, even she attempts to please Haley.

Making the CEO's aide a target is not enjoyable. Her eventual reaction piques my curiosity.

For example, while I was pulling an all-nighter, I accessed her computer and discovered that every vital and non-vital password was concealed within a Microsoft Word document cryptically labeled, "Haley's Passwords."

Since cyber-security isn't Haley's number one priority, I changed a couple. One extremely important and one that would only be considered momentous were she a 15-year-old boy with oodles of free time.

I waited a day . . .

I waited two days . . .

Then I waited a third . . .

A week later, I again accessed Haley's computer. At the sight of a completely corrected file, my jaw dropped. I admired the woman for not instinctively crying out like a damsel in distress. She independently found a solution to what was unquestionably an urgent problem. She didn't send a string of panic-stricken emails, nor did she show up unannounced at my office door demanding I correct the glitch that prevented her from logging into her Victoria's Secret account. And we're talking about a lady who orders fancy panties by the butt-load--no pun intended.

Many on the thirtieth floor view Haley as a cold bitch. To our wunderkind number cruncher she's Dagny Taggart of Atlas Shrugged fame. In emails to the CFO, Mitchell Cantwell quips, "I'll check Brandon's availability with Dagny. If I’m not back to you within the hour, please alert the proper authorities."

Cassie Andersen, Executive Assistant to President Daniel Patel

Cassie Andersen, Executive Assistant to President Daniel Patel, is undoubtedly my favorite target.

Full of big bones, her violent temper is displayed hourly. If we erected a glass barricade in front of Mrs. Andersen, and charged the general public a scant dollar to view her in a zoo like setting, our yearly profits would easily triple.

I too cannot restrict my rage. However, I work hard to isolate my fits. Also, I consider my temper a troublesome weakness. I fight to subdue the intense anger. Like a serial killer recounting their latest conquest in a letter to the local newspaper, Mrs. Andersen beams with pride at the conclusion of each tantrum. "Look what I got away with!"

Around Cassie's pudgy puss is a mess of short black hair. The unflattering 'do should have by now inspired Santa Claus to leave beneath the Andersen tree a book instructing women how to style their locks in a way that accentuates the shape of their face.

Though it takes her hours to accomplish tasks others need only minutes to finish, she thoroughly satisfies Mr. Patel, even if she's forced to transcribe, file, and make reservations into the wee hours. The ability to perennially please her direct supervisor, the president of the company, gives Cassie the freedom to make each and every peer miserable.

Beneficially for me, due to the volume of the routine rants, thirtieth floor employees completely tune out Mrs. Andersen. They don't listen to her complain about traffic, they don't listen to her complain about her husband, they don't listen to her complain about the hectic schedule that keeps her "crazy, busy", and they definitely don't listen to her complain about the bad luck that befalls her on a weekly basis.

I, however, found fascinating the story of a recent printer-ink shipment that was thrice rerouted to her former home in East Lansing, Michigan.

"Really, three times it happened?" I asked.

"Yeah, and their customer service reps kept telling me that I was logging into my account and changing the shipping destination! Why would I have printer-ink delivered to an address I haven't lived at since the last millennium!" she cried.

To reiterate, being an expert in the field of computers, and possessing the ability to imitate a person oozing with what society refers to as integrity, means my technology related statements go unquestioned. So of course Mrs. Andersen didn't doubt me when I said, "I've read about similar instances, Cassie. There's a glitch in their mainframe. The dirty little secret is that they're fully aware of the problem, yet, fearing you'd summarily delete their website from your list of favorites, refuse to admit it's a systemic issue."

"It serves me right dealing with a faceless corporation interested exclusively in the bottom line," she barked.

Thankfully I'm not stuck in the office where Cassie spends ten-plus hours freaking out each weekday and the sporadic Saturday. That chore is handled by the Executive Assistant to the CEO.

Andrew Hernandez, the Mailroom Guy

You've probably grown tired of reading about how everyone on earth is deserving of harsh scorn with the exception of this blog's humble author. Therefore I wish to apprise you of my admiration for the thirtieth floor's Hispanic-American staffer.

His name is Andrew Hernandez. He delivers our mail with great precision. Not once have I received a letter addressed to an associate. Not once has my mail reached my inbox later than 9:30 a.m.

Though attractive and socially functional, Andrew is a self-described geek. He knows computers, loves science fiction, can discuss the most obscure independent film, as well as the most popular situation comedy.

Andrew would be more aesthetically appealing if he'd shed a hunk of belly fat. Though it's the location most men carry excess weight, Andrew's gut is unusually burdened. If he laid off the fried cheese and shaved away the patchy goatee Andrew could introduce himself as a fashion model.

Andrew doesn't ask for help with his personal electronic machines, he waits for me to offer my services. As I explain exactly how I can enhance his video game console, the lighting up of his eyes is a reaction that gives me great pleasure.

When offered, he brings the devices to my office so I can tinker while enjoying a turkey sandwich with a side of baked snack crackers.

Morally, Andrew and I are twins. We take equal pride in office performance. His penchant for spending every spare ounce of time and money on useless gadgetry separates us.

Emails to his mother are often pleas for help with paying the rent, most sent seconds after he ordered what gaming pundits have labeled, "The hottest video game of the century!"

As I disclosed earlier, everyone in the squadron, including Andrew Hernandez, must accept his or her share of bad luck. But, unlike his coworkers, post ill-fated incident, Mr. Hernandez's money struggles are somewhat alleviated.

In fact, just last week he failed to timely deliver an urgent letter addressed to President Daniel Patel.

To make up for the headache for which I was directly responsible, I overbid on a trunk full of items Andrew had posted for auction online. Speaking of, does anybody have an empty mantel on which twenty previously owned Atari 2600 joysticks would look great?

Rarely leaving the town painted red, I categorize monies used to further my reign of terror as entertainment related expenses.

I felt the reward was vital due to the lengthy and boisterous tongue-lashing dealt to Andrew by Mr. Patel's assistant, a hot-tempered, husky woman loathed by all.

The HR Lady/Office Manager, Tanya Flowers

The HR lady/office manager despises me for absolutely no reason, a fact which does not sit well with me.

I am disgusted by the large number of grins I display per chat with Tanya. Rarely perplexed by my own behavior, my desire to please her is a mystery. Mrs. Flowers, late thirties, refuses to verbalize her hatred, but there's no doubt that my simple presence makes her cringe.

Irrational fear a weakness, I worry that, the morning after making her a target, Tanya will be at my office door, accompanied by a burly security guard, ready to declare, "I know what you did and it spells the end of your career. Don't bother submitting your resume to another entity or a single career placement agency. Every viable employer in a three state radius is on my speed dial and I plan to warn them all."

Cruel edge notwithstanding, Tanya has short blonde hair that bounces cheerfully when she walks. I'm not sure if one attempts to achieve locks capable of displaying emotion, or if they're a product of genetics. Either way, I happen to find such strands off-putting. In the washroom, her designer spectacles are described as "kicky." In concert with her sub-peeper freckle clusters, Tanya's bright mop gives the illusion that she was born a decade later than her birth certificate states.

Though new hires and temps are advised her bad side is not a desirable place to reside, Tanya is usually rather pleasant while conversing. She constantly prattles on about her beloved cello. She passes out flyers detailing recital specifics as a desperate fourth-grader promotes a birthday party after being convinced by both parents that the turnout will be surprisingly massive. Of course the parents of the fictitious pupil then phone the mom or dad of every kid on the classroom roster and beg for the presence of their offspring. It sickens me that the one after-hours company related event I attended was a cello recital. Not only was my appearance a pathetic stab at turning around a relationship I care nothing about, but I can no longer sit through a song from Michael Jackson's best-selling album Thriller without being reminded that the ditty wasn't written in hopes it would eventually be amateurishly reproduced on a bowed string instrument. If I ever contemplate switching careers, the dismantling of that vile instrument will be my swan song.

It's a pleasure reading emails sent to Tanya Flowers from her husband, a portly man who adamantly opposes the consumption of drugs and alcohol. He turned his wife onto the cello, and, though he does not require her to abide by his puritanical lifestyle, repeatedly reminds her electronically of the toll her partying ways takes on their two boys.


From: John Flowers
To: Tanya Flowers
Subject: Beer Bottle
Sent: Friday, November 12, 2010 10:51 AM


I found your empty beer bottle at the TOP of the trash this morning. I moved it to the receptacle in the padlocked basement per our decade old agreement.

I know my demands are rigid, but, as I affirmed BEFORE we exchanged nuptials, my kids won't be tucked in by a parent who reeks of booze. To people abstaining from libation, the aroma is far from pleasing and it's vital the memories of our children be positive, and more importantly, innocent.

I adore you more than you'll ever know.



That is a finely crafted email indeed; no way a first draft! Perhaps a thesaurus was even consulted.

Possibly Tanya hates me because, on some level, she understands that I am cognizant of the running feud between her and Mr. Flowers, and that I side with her husband. They had a verbal prenup after all. If you're not going to abide by a set of rules, why agree?

Or maybe she is jealous of the friendship I maintain with her underling . . .

The Receptionist, Cyndi Griswinksi

For a spell after college I lived in a border city. The flashing sign indicating I approached a school zone purposely blocked by an overgrown tree, I was cited for speeding one sunny spring day. Because they placed financial gain, stemming from trickery, ahead of protecting innocent children, the instant my lease expired, I permanently moved across state lines. I never did business in the offending state again. At Christmastime, I mailed the treasurer a running total of how much that ticket cost his community.

Not letting go is a great way to let go. "Write it down and put it out of your mind because revenge will soon be obtained in a most satisfying way." This phrase, I habitually repeat, allows me to live in peace, for, despite my immense hatred of people, I'm extraordinarily happy.

When I step off the elevator every morning, the first 2-4 words out of each yap I pass physically hurt me. Having received no indication I approve, colleagues remove a letter from my last name, a last name of which I am exceedingly proud. They find it pleasing to call me "Murph," and the universe is full of those who act in accordance with their own desires.

"Hey, Murph."

"Yo, Murph."

"What up, Murph!"

And, yes, even, "How's it hanging, Murph."

I respond to each basterdized utterance of my surname with a smile as fake as the tan layering our receptionist.

Speaking of the receptionist . . . She is an exceptionally fetching, unashamedly busty, brunette of 23. As she is of her cleavage, Cyndi is enormously proud of her slightly large--by today's standards--posterior to which her tight trousers and short skirts draw attention. She's adequately friendly, though, were I occupying a similar position, not as hospitable as I'd be. Mastering a joyful expression when encountering strangers should be a priority when your job is to greet people.

Cyndi Griswinski is a spring chicken. Our interactions are minimal. Therefore, I primarily leave her alone. However, to further the illusion the curse refuses to discriminate, I inject a smidgen of misfortune into the life of everyone in the company.

Of course my goal is to have cause.

Last month, for example, following her failure to immediately inform me my lunch had arrived--the reason being it was imperative she conclude an important call which I later discovered had been placed to a trendy department store--I bought advertising space on a Russian language website where I offered a goose pimple inducing massage in exchange for a measly twenty American dollars. Potential clients were promised unprecedented tingles. Draping was optional. All they had to do was ring Cyndi.

The ad was posted at 11:00 PM on a Wednesday night. From a prepaid cellular, I called her at 11:30. Surprisingly she answered, screaming into the phone before I could utter a syllable, "Nyet speak-o Russian!"

I had no idea she was trilingual.

That Friday, our HR lady/office manager distributed a new phone list. Cyndi's portable number was updated. The young woman likely only suffered a semi-sleepless night plus a few minutes on the line with her wireless provider. I'm confident a language barrier prevented an understanding of all the vile requests she received.

Busy, Busy, Busy

A guy-friend I got to know well in college lives in my area. He's married with two young boys. I rarely see him.

Other than our infrequent outings, along with the two evenings per year he and his wife employ me as their emergency babysitter, and the 10-12 hours per day I spend at the office, I'm alone.

How do people have so much time for mindless socialization? Why are they not wanting of fulfillment due to their own lack of production? The result doesn't have to be groundbreaking; a trinket, a knickknack, a Best of Blondie mix CD.

In addition to haunting my floor, I have side projects. One at a time, I make past evildoers screech, "You've got to be kidding me!" I never abide by a statute of limitations.

Existing in the age of social networking means eliminating sanity from the life of a target is a snap. My stellar memory and uncanny ability to decipher codes adds to the ease. I remember the name of the childhood pooch owned by the family of the lad who sat in front of me in eighth grade. I remember the make and model of first cars owned by high school classmates.

I won't expose the precautions I take to assure alterations of cyber-profiles aren't traced back to my computer, but I will say that everything is taken care of. And the changes are so insignificant or embarrassing that the target usually doesn't notice or complain.

I work hard to make my enemies think they've been left red-faced by a most unfortunate computer glitch.

In the event a password is too cryptic for even my brain, using one of many fake profiles, I get friend requests accepted with ease. After becoming fast acquaintances, I gather enough specifics to complete my mission.

Target number one was a girl who befriended me during her first week at my elementary school. She'd moved from Michigan and didn't know a soul. I showed her around, every day parted with half my turkey-on-wheat lovingly prepared, then carefully packed, by my father the sandwich artist, and shared innumerable secrets. She was my one true school chum. After a solitary week of friendship, the dimpled newbie was embraced by the popular girls and informally invited to join their exclusive social circle. The loss of a close companion admittedly hurt, but her lone punishment-worthy deed was revealing to the entire school every one of my hidden gems.

Prior-to-turning-18 transgressions aren't deserving of harsh punitive consequences, so I use them to hone my skills, and have some fun.

On her social networking profile, my first mark proudly displayed both her married and maiden name. Even with a domicile full, a bikini suited her frame. Her email address was her first initial dot last name @ the company for which she worked.

Thankfully, she also divulged an excess of personal details during our solo Monday-Friday as best buds. Deducing her password was smokeydayne3762 took a paltry two days.

Upon logging into her account, I learned Mrs. Driscoll, nee Franklin, had been exchanging messages with an old college flame named Steve. Nothing indicated they'd been physical or even seen one another since becoming reacquainted through the magic of social networking, but much of their electronic back-and-forth was ever so steamy.


To: Steve

From: Amy

I let you drip hot wax where! I have no recollection of that and have certainly never done it since! I currently light candles to make the living room smell like a blossoming cherry orchard. I must have been super-drunk. Do you remember that one time in the pool at my apartment complex!? You were in excruciating pain after being forced to abruptly stop when my landlord showed up! Even with my husband I'm not that uninhibited. It's always with the lights off and me screaming, "You sound like Monica Seles--shut the hell up already!" With you and me it was the other way around, like the time you shoved your crusty sock into my mouth! I started to protest but you hit me with a look so smoldering that I had no choice but to behave! Those were the days. It sounds weird but I remember how that sock tasted. It was nasty. At the same time, I often crave to feel it between my teeth. What's really sad is I bet that wretched thing is still in your rotation!


Unluckily for Mrs. Driscoll, the above note was forwarded to her husband by my clumsy typing hand.

I check back periodically. I'm happy to report that my target remains married to the grunting husband that displeases her sexually. My goal wasn't to break up a family. I just wanted her to spend a drive home in agony.

Sadly, she's ceased recounting unsanitary sexual encounters with sock-wielding Steve. Should I send him a friend request?

We Go Together...

Though almost always able to maintain calm in the presence of others, I have a wretched temper. Unintentional errors made by yours truly rarely cause my coworkers inconvenience, therefore no object for which I shell out hard-earned cash should prematurely stop pleasing. If a device fails, my ensuing outrage is defensible. The bare minimum is all I desire, yet I'm regularly disappointed.

In a country ruled by trends, the popularity of failure never fades.

Being an expert in the field of computers means relationships never run their course. Monthly I receive a voice or email message similar to, "Hey Murph, it's Dan--I did Mr. Sandoval's bidding for eight months in 2007. How are you? I'm fantastic. Joey turned five last weekend and I'm still with Myerson-Wagner. Anyhoo--I just got a new computer and was hoping you could drop by this Saturday to help me hook it up. The IT people at my organization aren't nearly as knowledgeable or as nice ;-) as the beautiful and talented Murph. It shouldn't take more than a couple hours. I plan on using it to make videos of Joey playing soccer. What's FireWire? Is it important? We can discuss when you're here. My wife will be serving her famous spaghetti and meatballs alongside a scrumptious loaf of crispy garlic bread! Let me know. Thanks a bunch!"

If sitting down for a meal with a group of strangers was ever left out of a work request I might occasionally accept. Why do people think dinner will persuade me to come-a-running? Is it because most human beings go to extremes to defile their mouths with fatty foods funded by the wallet of another? Is the assumption that all unattached individuals over the age of thirty miserably choke down formerly frozen entrees night after night--the time in between the few moments of pleasure we receive from smacking our lips are spent wishing a person was so proximate that he or she was getting an earful of our digestive noises?

I can't imagine life with a spouse. How do people handle the incessant togetherness? No matter how strong the bond or how many years they've been attached at the hip, no individual can truly be themselves around their partner.

Having a great desire to perform kind acts for persons about whom one cares deeply is human nature. The love my parents feel for each other is so strong that they continually strive to sacrifice their own happiness. Their relationship is an endless parade of "up to yous." When the three of us are together, even I join in. Thankfully they are the only two people worthy of such sacrifice.

Were I to meet a man with the requisite decency to consider dating long term, it wouldn't be possible to put my needs above his, which makes exceptionally comforting the fact that his whereabouts will eternally remain a mystery.

It's early yet, but I'm having fun writing this blog. Typically wishing authors would get to the point, I'm discovering why just the facts often fail to induce the turning of pages.

This endeavor is not my first attempt at artistry, however. In the midst of enacting revenge upon people who have wronged me, I develop fictional characters, such as the woman engaging in illicit relations with Mr. Patel, and portray her--or him. This particular creation is angry. Something went wrong. The object of her affection is paying her slight attention. Has the novelty warn off? Was Mr. Patel lying when he said his marriage lacked legs? Is she one of a dozen harlots?

As the strumpet, I stomp around my living room grinding my teeth. The scorned mistress yearns to be with him and it sickens her that he and his wife continue to struggle for a single pair of sheets.

The Job

Office tasks I perform to the best of my ability. Forget about fame. Forget about fortune. Whether you're a dog collector, a janitor, trumpet player for Scottish indie-pop sensation Belle & Sebastian, or CEO of the world's largest note card manufacturer, doing your job passionately is the optimum way to leave your mark upon this earth. Being one of the few employees occupying the thirtieth floor determined to earn a kudos-peppered annual review and my primary duty assisting people use the piece of machinery without which they could not function, means I have incalculable friends.

Friends I despise.

If they had an infinitesimal idea the enormity of my contempt; if they knew how much access to their personal data I possess, all would feel ill at ease each time they read across my office door, "MURPH, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY."

But nobody thinks twice before sharing secrets with friends and relatives via emails from the account I set up for them.

Confiding in me is second nature. I'm a good listener. Not because I care. Because I'm always on the lookout for information I can use to my advantage.

My favorite line from a song to which I easily relate is, "I'm almost a tall guy, and fairly good looking, so people they trust me, but sometimes they’re wrong."--Jude Christodal.

Mr. Patel asking yours truly to obtain the photographs needed to prove his innocence, while keeping my lips shut tight, is a perfect example. I suppose it goes without saying that I unquestioningly obliged his odd request.

Mr. Patel is oblivious to the fact I am the sole reason his fidelity is on trial. Prior to his recent and unexpected rise to the position of second-in-command, resulting in a lottery jackpot like increase in pay, the native New Delhian had limited success with the ladies. But, wouldn't you know it, once almost everyone on the thirtieth floor answered to the man, his initial petition for a date with an underling was met with a gleeful response. In fact, a whopping twenty-eight exclamation points followed, "I would love to have dinner with you, Daniel." I should know, my curious eyes were first to gaze upon the reply.

While I was servicing his computer as a board meeting transpired down the hall, I discreetly sprayed the suit jacket of Mr. Patel with a travel bottle of perfume somehow inspired by the music of a platinum blonde pop star. To ensure the fragrance was detectable to the beautiful stay-at-home mother of four hand-fed lap dogs, I directly applied an additional dab later in the afternoon; seems one of the programs I installed didn't download properly and my appearance in Daniel's office always prompts a visit to the executive washroom.

His machine running flawlessly, "I shouldn't be required to study this door for confirmation I'm stepping into the correct office," Mr. Patel reminded me as I politely waited for his reentry.

I nodded as if I understood everything.

Such a remark typically hits me like a punch to the gut. At my desk, harsh rebuke stinging, my top and bottom teeth would press against each other. Shuddering, I'd peel away thick strands of his jet black hair that had accumulated on my blouse and skirt. These actions I'd perform while devising a plan for immediate revenge. What can I say, I'm a multitasker. Emotional pain unbearable, I'd beat myself about the chest without fear I was making it flatter.

But already in the works was a scheme to replace my target's euphoric existence with one that had him muttering, "What the hell went wrong?"

Besides, my blood can't justifiably boil. I purposely failed to execute my duties. And Mr. Patel always returns from the executive washroom in a huff, I think because the visits remind him a personal commode does not adjoin his office. High class problems.

You may think I'm afraid Mr. Patel will put two and two together. Do not fret, my friends, for, in the corporate world, common sense is the exception.

Mr. Patel's lone superior, the CEO, rarely graces the thirtieth floor. He's too old and rich to care. He lets his faithful and loyal president, the aforementioned bespectacled beanpole, run the day-to-day operations of the company.

I will credit Mr. Patel for two things: a tireless work ethic and attention to detail.

Attention to detail is a pet peeve not only of Mr. Patel, but also of me.

"Nurse, did I say inject the patient with twenty milligrams? Oops, I meant to say . . ."

Odds are that a variation of the preceding revelation will be the last words I hear.

I have little in common with the majority of my peers. They certainly don't share my commitment to excellence. It would take two or three of me to keep most companies running smoothly. Murph goes it alone.

The laziness I witness on a daily basis makes me wonder how America prospers. It makes me wonder why skyscrapers don't constantly come crashing to the ground, and why airplanes don't fall from the clouds with such frequency our government is forced to erect enormous signs alerting We The People to stare skyward every seven seconds. I'm surprised "Fifty Killed by Falling Fuselage" isn't a headline with which we're sadly all too familiar.

I suppose constantly air bound aircraft are constructed by the likes of Mr. Patel; his type builds perennially standing skyscrapers.

A twin must exist. I can't be the only moral go-getter.

Is it ethical to make a wife incorrectly believe castoffs of her husband's quickly dissolving back-heavy mane are the bane of area hotel maids, you ask, already having judged?

If he started it, it's not merely ethical, it's mandatory.

President Daniel Patel

From: Carmen Patel
To: Daniel Patel
Subject: call
Sent: Tuesday, November 9, 2010 10:31 AM

You ass!

Not 15 minutes after you tell me there is noone elese in your life I get a call from a young lady asking if she may please speak with you. When I inquired who wass on the line the bitch abruptly hung up. She was very polite for a 18 years old. I know you've always been paranoid I am after one thing and only one thing. I bet you're convinced her infatuation is genuine.

I can't belive you'd do this to me knowing what I went through with mom and dad. I told you that if you ever wanted out I'd hold the door! It's not the deceipt, it's the unknown. I can't close my eyes without images of secretaries and whores popping into my head. Part of me desperately wants to believe your ever expanding pile of pathetic excuses, which makes me feel small.



I am outraged at the number of typos in the above admonition.

My emails are flawless. Why is proof-reading the exception in routine correspondences?

I am privy to such messages because I am an IT person. For the unnamed company that pays my salary, I am the IT department.

I am going public to spread the fun.

To spare us both unneeded suffering, I'll refrain from revealing career jeopardizing minutia.

The floor on which I work is cursed.

Very bad things happen to colleagues. I claim bad things happen to me.

Misfortune not only strikes on the job, but also after hours, for we are never safe.

Some believe supernatural forces toil around the clock to fill our lives with angst. I assure you that I am no supernatural force. I am, however, the antithesis of the stereotypical IT schmuck, and not because I lack testicles, can attract members of the opposite sex, and am covered with a healthy tan that barely fades during the winter months.

What separates me is my willingness to cheerfully do anything for anybody with whom I work. All they have to do is ask. And ask they do with great frequency.

Fellow thirtieth floor dwellers assume I make them happy, but my impact often devastates.

Perhaps devastates is too strong. Let's just say I leave them on edge 24/7.

Their actions torture me, why shouldn't I return the favor?


From: Daniel Patel
To: Carmen Patel
Subject: RE: call
Sent: Tuesday, November 9, 2010 11:41 AM

Honey, if I was doing what you accuse me of doing, why would I give my mistress our unlisted phone number? It was probably a telemarketer who hung up once she learned her target consumer wasn't available. They're only polite when a potential sale is possible.

How many times do I have to scream, I WORK WITH WOMEN, so it stands to reason their perfume would attach itself to my clothes? I can't exactly tell ladies in my office to keep a safe distance. "To prevent wafting, please keep every part of your body, save your drafting arm, perfectly still, and also, during the composition of this memo, stay at least fifteen feet away from me. Sorry about all the rules, they stem from my wife's recent psychotic behavior."

I gotta say--knowing I did nothing wrong makes this overwhelming. You have no clue what it's like being baselessly accused, especially of something this heinous. I treat you like a queen. Regardless, the moment doubt creeps in, you assume the worst . . .

I've done everything you've asked since you started going batty. I showed you time-stamped pictures of me exiting the parking garage on the nights in question. We went online and looked at statements for every credit and debit card I own searching for exorbitant withdrawals, or hourly hotel charges. I've agreed to phone you every thirty minutes. I've agreed to fill a cup so you can be certain it reaches the level of someone who's been unsatisfied since the last time we slept in the same bed, and to refrain from taking matters into my own hands for fear an underwhelming vessel would lead to even more unsubstantiated mistrust. No amount of evidence will convince you I've been faithful.

Remember that I am NOT your father and not every man is inherently programmed to lie and cheat on his wife.

I'm done explaining. I'm done feeling guilty for being true. Cheating has never entered my mind.

I'm sick of it and I'm about sick of you.