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.