Hell in a Handcart – Chapter two

Chapter two: A wolf in sheep’s clothing

Mae shared her workspace, a meeting room with a gigantic table in the middle, with three other interns. They also came from the same university of applied science and had the same major. But they’d never met before.

     “How could they? With so many second-years?” the Right-Devil asked.

Indeed the college had many students (and still does) and it wasn’t a strange occurrence for people to start their first year at university with friends from High School, but be put in separate classes and never actually seeing each other again.

#

The girls Mae worked with–Sanne, Monique and Elyse–were kind and generous and the four worked very well together. They were all very excited to be “properly” working and the morning they’d met they’d gone over the things Beastly had agreed upon. They were allowed to work at home for a maximum of two days, they were supposed to start at 10 and work till 6, their lunch was paid out of the company’s pocket and they were going to be paid 250 bucks a month.

     “Not too shabby,” said the Left-Angel.

Not too shabby indeed. And it started out pretty well: they did their research and compiled data. They wrote articles and in general had a great time. But gradually, they began to get the feeling things weren’t going so well. That things were a bit off.

     “Dun dun duuun!” Right-Devil exclaimed.

#

It started out with their boss, Ivan Beastly, being late. Only a few minutes at first, but little by little, the minutes turned into half hours and half hours turned into full hours. It wouldn’t really have been that much of a problem–well, sure it was annoying, but the interns were of the forgiving kind. Well, all the interns except Mae, for whom punctuality was very important–, if the door to their workspace hadn’t been locked.

You see, there was no key beside the one Beastly owned. So they would arrive on time, 10 o’clock sharp, and find the door closed and locked. And although they all had their laptops to keep them company; sitting on a cold, hard and sticky floor, with your back against the wall, having to change positions every time people come through the corridor to enter their workspaces, isn’t what most would call fun. Or professional for that matter. Especially when you sit there for hours.

     “Unbelievable! How very impolite!” Left-Angel said.

And he wasn’t even reachable on his cell phone number! They got his voice mail every time. Whenever he eventually arrived, they’d try to tell him that this wasn’t the way to go about working, but he usually brushed them off.

Mae especially tried to impress on him that it was wrong of him to do that, but he waved their concerns away. It wasn’t until he had left them sitting in front of the workspace for two and a half hours that she’d had enough. When he came into the office, with nary an apology, she accosted him. When he saw that she was really mad, he repented. Or so she thought.

     “Was it around this time you contacted your supervisor to keep him in the loop?” Right-Devil asked.

Yes it was.

     “And was it also around this time where the pit in your stomach started to burn?” Right-Devil continued.

Yes, yet it was.

     “And”, Right-Devil said, “was it around-“

#

Anyhow, she contacted her supervisor to make sure he knew what was going on, just in case. But Beastly continued to be late, sometimes for really long times. And that wasn’t all!

     “If only it was,” sighed Left-Angel.

After the weeks passed, he started to go back on the internship agreement he’d signed–in the first week–and its terms. Suddenly, they were supposed to pay for their own lunch, which wouldn’t have been that bad if they hadn’t already agreed that the company would pay for it, and he wanted them in the office five days a week instead of three. When one of the girls told him she had her sports practice those two days they were supposed to work from home, he told her work was more important than sports.

     “Which is why he was so pudgy,” Right-Devil sneered.

#

When Mae’s laptop suddenly died, after years of faithful service, she was told that if she didn’t get herself another one within the week, she was out. Panicked, because she wouldn’t be able to find herself a different internship that year, she had to beg her mother to help her purchase a new laptop. 500 bucks for a new laptop. 500 bucks of money she and her mother didn’t really have to spend at that point and had to scrape together.

#

The man had absolutely no idea what his priorities were. Monday this project was more important, Tuesday it was another. There were too many things he wanted to do–he wanted them to do–and if they didn’t get it right or finished those in time, he’d blame the girls. And he would insult them, not directly, but he’d hit below the belt, so to speak.

It were the little things like that, that slowly drove Mae to anger. It were the little things like that, that made her have murderous thoughts and fantasies. But it were the bigger issues that eventually pushed her to the edge.

     “Dun dun duuuun!” Right-Devil hummed.

#

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