Jonesey stepped in horse shit.
“Oh, yeah,” said Dan, his tail flicking, “guess the janitor hasn’t been by yet. Sorry, bro.”
Dan dropped his cigarette on the ground and stomped on it with a hoof. Then he pulled out another one from the packet in his shirt pocket, lit it with the lighter in his shirt pocket, and blew smoke in Jonesey’s face.
Sharon was watching. The HR woman. But she wasn’t watching Dan–she was watching to see how Jonesey would react. So Jonesey grit his teeth behind a pursed smile and walked away.
Problem was, Dan’s cubicle was right next to Jonesey’s. Eventually Dan returned, smoking yet another cigarette. He loomed over the cubicle walls between his office space and Jonesey’s. Dan needed a standing desk, of course. An especially tall one. None of the other employees got standing desks, but Dan was special. Oh, yes.
Nickleback played loudly on Dan’s radio. Only centaurs could like Nickleback, Jonesey decided. That was the only reason Nickleback was popular–centaur listeners.
Blissfully, the song ended. An ad began.
“Jumpin’ Jesus,” said Dan, “I fuckin’ hate these fuckin’ Spence Diamonds commercials, man. Eh?”
Jonesey agreed, but he barely wanted to acknowledge Dan, so he pursed his lips and nodded while still staring at his computer screen.
“Fuckin’ guy’s voice, man,” Dan went on, lips half-wrapped around another cig. “And I’ve never, like, NEVER, heard the same ad twice. It’s like those faggots and cunts have nothing to do but tape ads all the live long fuckin’ day. AM I RIGHT?”
Yeah… Oh, sure. Mmm. Yes, that’s… (And an assortment of similar noncommittal responses from the other cubicle drones.)
Jonesey couldn’t take it anymore. Dan was rude, crude, sexist, racist, homophobic, chain-smoked indoors, and LITERALLY shit on the ground. This couldn’t stand, no matter how un-PC it was.
He marched over to Sharon’s office in HR.
“I’m having friction with another employee,” he said between grit teeth. He hoped his large beard hided his intense anger.
“I’m sorry to hear that,” said Sharon, blinking her beady eyes vaguely. “Have you spoken to this individual about the issue?”
“It’s just…” Jonesey began.
“It doesn’t seem right.”
“If you have a complaint to lodge, please fill out a form–completely anonymous, I assure you–and leave it right here.” She patted a drop box.
“Where you can see me?”
“I won’t know it’s yours if your name is on it.”
“But you’ll see me drop it in the slot.”
“We get enough letters I won’t distinguish them.”
Jonesey took the form and filled it out against the wall of the HR office. He didn’t want to return to his desk–and Dan–to do so. When he was done, he dropped it in the drop box slot and heard it click down at the bottom. There were no other forms.
A week later, Jonesey received a message. “Please be aware that employee prejudice against differing races, genders, sexual orientations, and mythical species will not be tolerated in this place of business. Further behaviour may meet with termination.
“What’cha readin’, dicknose?” Dan asked, noshing on a carrot with his mouth open, his half-naked torso leaning well over Jonesey’s cubicle wall.
“Nothing,” said Jonesey. Was he really prejudiced? Were all centaurs as horrible as Dan? Was it fair to Dan’s culture to judge his behaviour?
Jonesey felt disappointed in himself. He would try to be better from now on.
Today’s three random writing prompt categories were, “Centaur,” “Chainsmoking,” and, “Bad commercials.”
Seriously, though. Eff Spence Diamonds forever.