Here we are again

When we last met, Jin had run into an old acquaintance. Please join Jin for his first day of work.

‘Jin, is that you?

It was the last time I checked, but who may I ask are you?

Jin exuded an air of unfamiliarity that his old acquaintance found shocking.  It was his natural inclination to repel anyone who attempted a sense of familiarity with him based on the assumption that they shared a past.

‘Oh! Is that the way it goes these days? You knew exactly who I was when I used to keep you from getting your ass kicked on the way home from school.  I guess short-term memory is the first thing to go. It’s Sandra! You know Sandra Allen, your first kiss, your first girlfriend, your first bodyguard, hell your first everything.  The gall of your acting as if you don’t recognize me is nothing short of disrespectful.  I mean, you look good, but you will never look that good dear.’

For a moment, Jin thought of the best way to handle this misstep.  It was far too early in the morning for a verbal altercation, and his mind was still focused on the great impression he wanted to make on his first day.  Most of all, Jin took notice of Sandra’s bulky physique, the one she had developed long before the rest of the boys in school and one that looked as if she would still be able to rip him to pieces at her whim.

‘Listen, Sandra, my focus was on getting here on time and finding my destination.  You see, today is my first in this building. Please excuse my lapse in recognition, after all, it has been at least 7 years since I saw you last.’

‘Speaking of when you saw me last, Lil Jinny, remember how everyone would call you that? How funny! Like I was saying when you saw me last, do you remember that?  We never had a pretty important discussion.  You know I would…’

Knowing full well what the next words from her mouth would be, Jin interrupted Sandra before she could finish.

‘Sandra, it was nice to see you again, and I hate to be rude, but I really need to get upstairs.  I am doing my best not to be late for my first day of work, and this makeshift reunion is very ill-timed.  Perhaps we will run into each other again soon and pick this up then.’

Before she could respond, he was walking away at a pace that dared her to follow him.

The last thing I want this morning is converse with Sandra fucking Allen.  I mean really, who could forget that monster?  I can’t believe she thought it would be cute to strike up a conversation about old times at 830 a.m.  I have to put Sandra and her foolery out of my mind and focus on my working my magic. It’s time to shine baby!

As Jin neared the elevator bank, he scanned the directory hanging on the wall.  He quickly located Frontier Publishing on the 32nd floor, selected the button to go up and scrambled into the elevator as fashionably and as quickly as possible. When the floor indicator bell chimed, he exited the lift into an elegant hall, lined with black marble and chrome finishes.  The floor to ceiling doors gave the kind of majestic appeal designed to empress the dignity and lineage of the establishment on its visitors. Jin instantly felt like this was where he belonged.

Now, this is what I’m talking about.  This is the kind of place that fits one such as myself.  The decor could be updated, but all in all, I think that this will do nicely.

‘Hello sir, how can I help you?’

A tall thin man, who appeared to spend very little time outdoors, asked as Jin entered the waiting area.

‘That depends’, Jin said, ‘you part of my welcoming committee? I’m Jin D. Darwin, pleased to meet you.  Please let everyone know that I have arrived so that we can start the tour of the office and my day, thank you’.

‘Oh, is that what I should do?  I should let everyone know that you have arrived? Well, you just let me get right on that, I am sure that they have all been waiting with bated breath for your arrival.  I’m Paul, please take a seat in one of the chairs in the waiting area, and I will gather the parade’.

Paul gave a wry smile as he got up from his desk.  Filled with antagonistic glee, he made an about-face and glided swiftly down the hall to let Bayne, Jin’s new boss, know that he had arrived.

‘Bayne, your new star is in the waiting area expecting a full brass band to greet him and give him a tour of the office.  I sincerely hope he has the matching talent to accompany his obviously aggrandized opinion of himself.  I for one doubt it very seriously, but I am definitely here for the show.’

‘Thank you, Paul, will you let him know I will be there in the next five minutes,’ Bayne said without ever lifting his eyes from the monitor.

‘Oh gladly! I will let his majesty know it will be a few minutes, and that the parade was canceled.’

‘Mr. Darwin, Bayne will be with you momentarily, it will just be Bayne coming to see you. He and he alone will be the only one meeting with you this morning, except the regularly scheduled staff meeting at nine-thirty’.

‘Oh! Well, I guess I will wait here then’.

‘I suppose you will,’ Paul chuckled to himself.

After 30 minutes, Bayne arrived at the waiting area to receive Jin. ‘Jin, it’s nice to see you again, walk with me and I will show you where you can set up shop. We have a very friendly environment here and we pride ourselves on our uniquely synergistic mentality. You will learn very quickly that we are very big on cooperative teamwork here.’ Bayne continued to give Jin the standard “new employee” speech without pausing for a response.

Surely he knows that I have heard all this beforeI am definitely all about teamwork, thought Jin, team me.

‘Here is were your desk, Jin. Feel free to drop off anything you do not want to carry around, during our walk-through, we are going to gather in the conference room to have a short staff meeting’.

‘Sure, I will just leave my valise here and we can see what else you have in store for me’.

Jin and Bayne toured the aisles, observing all the important locations and facilities he would need in the future. They visited the employees that Bayne thought would be most helpful with Jin’s transition onto the team.

‘Last stop, conference room. Go on in and take a seat, Jin. I am going to run to my desk to grab my agenda for the meeting before we begin’.

‘Thanks, Bayne, the tour was very informative, despite it’s being small and informal.  I just need to run to the gentlemen’s room, before the meeting begins’.

‘Sure, just meet me back here so that we can begin on time.  There are some important things that I would like to cover, and I want to begin as promptly as possible’.

Jin gave Bayne a sardonic nod, and a smile that ended so abruptly it was more like punctuation than a polite gesture. He spun around on his heels and walked away briskly in one sweeping motion. By the time he returned from the restroom, the conference room had filled with all its attendees.  Jin entered the room with his head held high as if it were full of adoring fans.

‘Good morning everyone, I’m Jin Darwin, it is very nice to meet you all.  If you have any questions for me after the meeting, I will be happy to take a few moments to answer them’.

Just as the last few syllables left his lips, and the room began to fill with the low murmur of shock and laughter, Jin’s eyes landed on a familiar face. He saw a face that did not fill him with comfort, rather a familiar feeling of dread and nervousness encompassed him from head to toe.

What the fuck kind of shit show is this? Why is Sandra here? Is she following me? I didn’t see her get on the elevators? This is impossible, why haven’t they kicked her out of here? Just my fucking luck the only open chair in here is next to “San the Man”.  That’s right I remember your ass.  Girlfriend, hmph, you were a damn bully, and damned near a rapist is what you are!

Trying to hide his terror, and any indication that he knew Sandra, he took his seat. Childishly he rolled his chair as far away from her as he could without drawing attention to himself. This proved to be in vain. Sandra rolled her chair toward his in a silent effort to antagonize her new toy.

‘Listen, Jin,’ Sandra whispered as Bayne droned on about goals for the week, ‘there are a couple of ways we can do this. Just know that all the ways are mine. As a matter of fact, I want you to hear me well and remember what I have said.  I know who and what you are, and I know how you got here. This will be fun’.