CATHERINE’S CUBICLE CHRONICLES | Pepper and the Presentation

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CCC | Pepper and the Presentation

By: Deya Diaz

“Your name please?” asks the coffee vendor. “It’s Pepper”, states Catherine. Catherine enjoys toying with the local coffee shop around her job. Every time she goes, she says a different name. Might as well enjoy this playful game, even her boss, Mr. Berry, never gets her name right anyway. Catherine drinks her coffee as fast as she can. She is worn out from her meeting with Brenda, her work colleague.  She only slept two hours because Brenda did not do her part in the project and Catherine had to start from scratch. In fact, Brenda fell asleep halfway through and Catherine had to finish it all by herself. Catherine did not complain, nor wanted to waste any time, because if she did not complete it by today, she and Brenda would be out of a job. She will handle Brenda later, for now she needs to focus on the proposal that she and Brenda will be discussing to their boss, Mr. Berry and his boss, Mr. Lawrence. Her ten paged presentation filled with facts and figures displayed in graphics, and well thought out proposal will be a hit, she thinks to herself.

Presentation is always the key to a successful meeting, which is why she wore her powerful black suit and even blew out her hair to look nice for the said meeting. “I hope Brenda has the decency to dress professional as well, I can only imagine what she will dress up in, flirting with Mr. Lawrence the way she did yesterday. Hmph! The nerve of her! Does she think she is going to sleep her way to the top? Everyone knows it’s “brains” that get you places! Oh, who am I kidding? I don’t believe it myself; otherwise, I wouldn’t be sitting in a cubicle next to Brenda! Catherine thinks to herself.  “Top of the morning to ya!” says Brenda to me as soon as I walk in. Catherine was right.

Brenda wore a red slick dress and her cleavage was showing more than usual. “My, oh my, someone looks mighty cheerful this morning. Did you get plenty of sleep?”, says Catherine sarcastically to Brenda. “I’m sorry Catherine I took a sleeping pill last night and it knocked me out cold. I didn’t think it would work as fast, but I trust that you did a wonderful job. And to thank you, I will take you out to dinner!” says Brenda.  “So, um, what are the details of the presentation, do you want me to present anything? “She continues.  Catherine shoots her an evil glance and then states, “Brenda, why don’t you just ‘drive’ the presentation via the laptop and I will do all of the talking, ok?” “Sure, that sounds perfect! You’re the best Cathy! You really are! Thanks again!” says Brenda. Catherine huffs and puffs under her breath.  She dislikes when Brenda calls her Cathy. Only her friend, David, calls her Cathy. Everyone else is formal and calls her Catherine. “Anytime, Brendaline!” Brenda gives her a puzzled look. She didn’t like that I called her by her full name Catherine observes. Good, now she knows how it feels!

Lunch time arrives and Mr. Berry asks them to meet him and Mr. Lawrence in the lobby.  Brenda and Catherine pack up the laptop and head to meet them.  On their way to the elevator the heel of Catherine’s right shoe breaks off. “Great! They just had to fall off today of all days?!” says Catherine. “No worries, Catherine, I have an extra pair of shoes at my desk! What size are you? says Brenda. “Seven”, says Catherine. “Perfect! So am I!” Brenda states. We run back to her cubicle and she hands me a pair of those red bottom shoes. “Brenda, I can’t wear these! These cost more than my rent!”, says Catherine. “Don’t be silly Catherine. These are my back up option shoes! I have more at home! In fact, you can keep them! They look perfect with the outfit you are wearing!” says Brenda. “Brenda, seriously, I can’t take these. I’ll wear them only for today!” says Catherine humbly.  “Catherine! You are keeping them and that’s final! Now let’s go before Mr. Berry has a heart attack because we are not there yet!” stated Brenda.

Once Catherine and Brenda arrive at the lobby, Mr. Berry has a look of relief, while Mr. Lawrence had a huge grin on his face. I wonder why he is smiling with such a big grin, thinks Catherine to herself, and then she remembers, he and Brenda were flirting a bit, which is why this meeting has turned into a lunch meeting in the first place. Mr. Lawrence holds out his arm to escort them, but Catherine then realizes, he was holding it out to her only! Brenda darts an evil look at Catherine. Catherine linked with his arm and gave Brenda an apologetic look.  Brenda grabs Mr. Berry and they all start to walk down a block to the most expensive Spanish restaurant in the area, Bethania’s.

Upon entering, Catherine sees David and his boss at a table. “Oh no!” Catherine thinks to herself, he cannot be here hearing this presentation and let alone his boss. This merge proposal has to do with his company and I haven’t had time to sit down with him to explain the situation Catherine continues to think. She then realized the Hostess sat them right by them. Mr. Berry and Mr. Lawrence exchange puzzled looks at Catherine’s reaction. Catherine tells them “They work for the competition, the one that we are acquiring”, whispers Catherine. Mr. Berry quickly tells the Hostess to sit them by the window which was very smart of him because the only table by the window is all the way to the back far from David and his boss. I must call David tonight to discuss the situation at hand, Catherine thinks to herself. He is a dear friend to Catherine and she wants to prepare him.

About two hours passes by and Catherine finishes with “And that is how we are going to acquire DD&D’s”. As soon as those words exited Catherine’s mouth is when she noticed David staring at them with a puzzled look. He was just coming out of the men’s room and passing by when Catherine was talking. He grills Catherine and darts off leaving the restaurant. Catherine drops her jaw and thinks “Oh no, David!!”

Stay tuned for the next chapter!

CCC Is a fictional comic relief story dedicated to those who work in an office cubicle.