“Good Morning,” Carol called, sauntering past Beth’s cubical and over to her own cushy seat behind glass doors. Manager, the sign on the door screamed in silent mocking of the rest of the employees. Everyone knew how she really got the job~ not by conventional means of course, but did anyone actually earn their job anymore.
“Good Morning,” Beth replied, “How are you?”. Carol’s door squeaked back open and Beth let out a sigh, silently cursing her juvenile mistake.
“Beth,” Carol drolled, walking back out towards her now. “What is wrong with you today? Are you sick?”
“No, Carol, I’m feeling just fine, thank you.”
“Then what on earth is wrong with your face? I mean, I always wondered why you tried so hard, but this- this is just unacceptable. We have a reputation at this company. A good reputation I might add and I will not have my name back by, by this”- she gestured to Beth’s face with a look of disgust. “Are we clear?”
“Yes, it’s just, well today is my birthday and I thought maybe it was time to, you know, finally look my age…”
Carol cackled at that. A real life villainous cackle- one fit to make the cruelest of Disney villains jealous.
“You may certainly not-” Carol smiled, “walk into this office with your bloodshot eyes and scared face. We are perfect. Perfect!” Her face hardened now.
“Cover it up or don’t come back,” she said. And at that Carol turned of her five inch heel and clipped back to her office. The Manager sign clanging on the glass door as she slammed it closed behind her. If she had to look the part, so did Beth.