Ulterior Motives

The owner’s wife stopped by to take a tour of our shop one day.  Just as the boss was bringing her over by the press that I was running, my knife slipped out of my hand and I caught the blade awkwardly, cutting my finger.  After my finger was bandaged up, a meeting was convened in the human resources office up front to discuss the incident.

It was a large corner office with the blinds drawn against the evening light.  There were loose files piled all over the tables and cabinets.  A couple of my co-workers lounged on leather sofas across the room, while my boss and I sat before the HR woman’s desk.  My boss insisted that I had cut my finger on purpose because the owner’s wife had been there.  My co-workers across the room grumbled in agreement.  I wasn’t sure why I would do that or what I would gain by cutting my finger in front of her – a point that I tried to argue in my favor – but again, they just insisted that I was playing dumb in order to appear innocent.

We went around like this for a while, every argument I made they twisted around as more evidence of my guilt and my shady motives.  Finally I couldn’t take it anymore.  I stood up, declared that I quit, gave my boss the finger, and left the room.  I could already hear them behind me twisting this latest turn.  They said that this was just a ploy to make it look like I was telling the truth.  The funny thing is that they were actually right about this.  They had kept at me until I started to feel the I really was guilty of something, and I really had just quit to make my point.

But I hadn’t cut my finger on purpose, and I had given up on trying to make them see that.  The HR woman caught up with me in the parking-lot, asking me to come back.  Of course, I had counted on someone coming after me, but now I didn’t really care.  I told her, “There’s no way I can defend myself.  They do this all the time.  They always look for the absolute worse in everyone.  I’m done.”, and I turned and walked off.

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4 thoughts on “Ulterior Motives

  1. I once worked for a printing company, Starr-Toof printing, I think it was. It was family owned, so the slightly attractive, plastic-faced, woman would come to the warehouse, where thing tend to get dirty, and everyone would act like the Virgin Mary had just appeared to them. I would just continued along, paying her no mind, and this eventually caught up with me, when I got fired. “Miss Toofy said you were always disrespectful…” blah, blah, blah. I was like, “How does she know? Her face is so tight I don't think she has peripheral vision.” Still don't know why they fired me.

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