I got sick. Apparently part of the reason I was having issues actually finishing writing was because my body was working it’s way up to freaking out and crashing. A day and a half of a 103 degree fever and I’m feeling a bit better, although I still feel relatively miserable. Anyway, this is some of what I’ve managed to accomplish. I’ll post the rest of it tomorrow, or part two. I have a feeling it’s going to wind up being longer than two parts.
There was a store in The City where you could purchase an assistant. It’s the best way to use your bonus pay. You do less work and reap all the rewards. Not that bad for a first year lawyer at Schwarz, Blass, and Grau.
At least, that’s what Reggie’s boss had said. His boss had 5 Personal Assistants. Reggie could never remember their real names, though his boss had once joked that he chose different hair colours for them so they would always know who he was speaking to.
They wandered though the office blankly, stacks of papers in their hands, going about their tasks, giving everyone their necessary paperwork and doing whatever research was needed. Occasionally heading back through the Boss’s door before running off to their next assigned project.
Some of his coworkers rolled their eyes when they saw the assistants lumbering about. Others whispered in dark corners of the break room that they were fairly sure that the boss used them for more than work related purposes.
One of the girls from accounting allegedly knocked one down the stairwells when she was on her smoke break, sending it crashing down four flights of stairs, spilling metal and grease as it flew. There wasn’t an accounting department anymore though, so no one could really say if that was true.
Everyone saw the ads, billboards lit up like fireworks in the night sky: “Give yourself a break,” they whispered.
“Make more time for your life,” they hummed, while smiling faces handed work to their blank faced counterparts.
Reggie had to admit he was curious.
The people who had assistants seemed so much happier than those who didn’t. They didn’t stay late in the office when he had to, because they had something else stay for them. Their Assistant always brought them their coat when they left for the day. They never made mistakes the way people seemed to, and even if their owners screamed at them they shrugged it off with a smile and a bow.
He watched people and their assistants when he ate lunch in the cafe around the corner. Slowly munching on a sandwich as he watched a blank eyed woman order from the catering menu for an office nearby. Saw the dull faced man hold up an umbrella for woman who grumpily chatted on her phone, a small hole beginning to run itself through her stockings as they trotted along the sidewalk.
It was the eyes that bothered him. Their faces. They were soulless. Empty. They would nod their assent, and smile if someone asked them if they were happy, but then their features would relax and suddenly they would be absent, blank. Reggie didn’t think he could deal with something like that in his life, day in and day out. He figured he could take the long hours and overwork.
In the end, it was only 3 months before Reggie was standing outside of the small glass storefront, staring up at the sign, shivering in the rain. A pair of assistants stared past their glass prison back at him, still as mannequins and dressed in office attire.
A pale faced blonde’s hand reached out to delicately touch the corner of a non existent earpiece to better hear a phantom voice, while a dark eyed man mimed pushing a cart of letters for the office, his lips curved up into a pantomime of a smile.
Reggie found himself wondering if the chill that ran up his spine was entirely related to the poor weather, but he still found himself opening the door and stepping inside.