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."