“I just don’t think you’re worthy of a promotion,” Augustus shrugged.
I was seated across the table from my manager in the meeting room, in the process of receiving my annual employment evaluation.
I leaned forward and placed my hands flat on the low structure between us.
I stared into his face and could feel the anger burning into my cheeks. My eyes narrowed as I dared him to respond.
He threw his hands up in a gesture of exasperation. “You see what I’m saying? You have no respect for authority.”
“Respect?” I bellowed. “Respect?”
I jumped up so quickly it startled him, and threw my copies of the performance evaluation down on the table. I pointed down at him, with every word exiting my lips stabbing at him like an invisible dagger.
“You sorry piece of excuse for a manager!” I yelled. “You come here with no experience, not one shred of aptitude for this job. All you do is strut around here like you’re an effing king!
“How dare you say to me that I am not ‘worthy of a promotion’! Who do you think trained all the buyers in this department? Who do you think they look up to for advice and knowledge? Certainly not you! They all have more respect for me than you! You are just a figurehead! You’re only in charge of this department because your boss is an idiot! The entire board of directors is about to fire his ass, just as soon as they get rid of yours!”
Augustus looked up at me with his mouth agape. He was almost cowering in his seat and kept glancing sideways at the door, but not trying to get up. He said nothing and seemed to be hyperventilating.
I sat back down but continued my tirade. “I’ve had just about enough of you and your crap! You’ve been on my case since you got this job three months ago! I don’t know what’s your problem with me but you don’t know me!”
I grabbed a few sheets of my evaluation off the table and shook it before his face. He recoiled a bit more into his seat.
“This is what I think of your stupid evaluation!” I began ripping the papers before him and threw the remains on the table.
Sinking back into my chair, I continued to glower at him. My chest heaved and sank in rhythm with my folded arms as I awaited his response.
Somewhere in my head, my subconscious registered a male voice calling my name. “Emma! Emma! Are you okay?”
I became aware of a tear or two escaping down my cheek and instinctively wiped away the wetness. It was my manager, Augustus Antonius Inflatus, seated across from me in the meeting enclave, asking me if I was okay. He was giving me my annual performance evaluation and denying my request for a promotion. I remained silent, waiting for the courage to tell him what I really thought about him, but too scared to say anything.