Office Theft
Bara Swain


The morning Lucille Ball died of an aortic aneurysm, my boss lost his hearing aids.  Dr. Kagan entered my office as I filed my last fax receipt for the day.   “Janet, did you send the physician roster to Human Resources?” he asked.  

“Yes, Dr. Kagan.  And their board certifications, UPIN numbers, contact info and --”  

My boss interrupted.  “Did you include their board certifications?”  

I raised my voice.  “Yes, Sir, I did. I need to leave now and pick up my daughter from day care.  

“I care,” Dr. Kagan snarled.  “That's who cares.”  

Like the all-American redhead, he vanished suddenly. 

Let him stew, I thought, as I threw on my cardigan, and stashed a package of electric pencils into my purse.  

“Janet?”  My boss reappeared.  The dandruff that settled on his collar softened me – momentarily.  “I expect my staff to know one’s place,” he growled.  “I’ll let it slide today, but if you are insubordinate tomorrow --!”

 “I’ll try harder, sir,” I said, the words falling on deaf ears.  

After his final exit, I unzipped my purse and added a stapler and three bottles of white-out.  I toyed with emptying out a Rite Aid bag of wrapping paper and assorted ribbons, and replacing the contents with our brand new paper cutter.  On second thought, I made one final call before leaving.  Oh, I was tired, but I made a last exerted effort.  

“This is Janet from Dr. Kagan’s office,” I said.  “Can you tell me when his hearing aids will be ready?”  


First published: May, 2010
comments to the writer: doorknobsandbodypaint@gmail.com