Advancement

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

There's a promotion coming up in the office and Jeff is set on getting it.

Advancement

 

Jeff would do absolutely anything to get that promotion. When Jennifer, the office manager had announced that she was looking for a new Assistant Manager, he had known that the job just had to be his. She was interviewing in two weeks, she said – plenty of time to make a good impression.

 

Jeff had worked in the same office at the same old job for the past twenty years. He had seen so many people come and go in that time. Some had left for different firms offering better pay, better prospects. But not him! He had remained loyal to the firm. Some had been promoted to other departments. Jeff would not disagree that that had sometimes hurt his pride but he was happy in the department he was in so why would he want to move.

 

Most of his work-mates were significantly younger than him now. Jeff would have to be blind and stupid not to notice that. And he also noticed the looks of pity that were sometimes aimed in his direction. Well, he wouldn’t be enduring any more of those looks once this promotion was his.

 

Jeff knew that he had always done his best. He had worked extra hours when there was extra work to get through. He had even taken work home and finished it there without asking to be paid. And yet all his achievements seemed to go unnoticed, his efforts remained unappreciated. If there was one part of his job that he hated it was when he had to congratulate some young up-start for succeeding at something or other.

 

This time the congratulations would go to him. Jeff knew he would be prepared to do absolutely anything to achieve this goal.

 

And so started his campaign of self-advancement. The instant Jennifer made a request Jeff would be there to get it done. He took credit for work that really was not his; so what, Neil was at least fifteen years his junior and had plenty of time left to make his mark. And it had been his idea originally, hadn’t it?

 

There were always the odd rumours floating around inside any office. What harm did it do for Jeff to start a few more. Nothing slanderous, of course. Just the hint that certain people were taking extra time over their lunch, that certain office supplies were going missing. And Jeff was always careful not to let himself name anyone directly.

 

Finally the day of the announcement arrived. Jeff walked into the office full of confidence. The others would be looking up to him for once. When Jennifer walked in, he was ready to step forward to take his place beside her but what she said came as a complete and utter shock.

 

Interviews for the position of Assistant Manager will no longer be taking place. Head Office have assigned someone from one of the other departments. I’m sure you will make him welcome and show him the respect his position merits.”

 

Jeff kept the smile fixed firmly on his face by pure will-power. It actually took on the appearance of an evil grin and several of his co-workers noticed, nudged each other and smirked. Jeff might have thought that he had kept his aspirations secret but really he had been the butt of the office jokes for the last week.

 

Oh, and there is one more piece of important news before we get on with our work. Head office have decided we need to lose someone here; too many people for too little work. Sorry, and all that, but orders are orders. Now, everyone back to work, apart from you, Jeff. I’d like to talk to you privately in my office.”

 

Jeff’s swagger was gone, his confidence deflated. He, and all of his co-workers, knew exactly what that meant.


Submitted: April 11, 2017

© Copyright 2021 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Mike S.

Yeah, that's the way advancement can work, so unfair--maybe you should do a sequel, in which Jeff goes home, stews for hours in his darkened living room, wonders why he didn't get his promotion, and goes back to ask the boss?

Tue, April 11th, 2017 5:48pm

Author
Reply

But he no longer has a boss to ask, Mike! I might do a sequel of his revenge though! Thanks for reading, Mike!

Tue, April 11th, 2017 10:54am

Lionel Walfish

Excellent story, Hully!

What with the horrid headlines of our dailies, I imagined a different ending, other than the one that Mike S. suggested. When he goes back the next day to ask his boss why he was let go (I assume that's what happened) there's an assault weapon in his jacket pocket.

I guess that's kind of awful. Sorry !

Tue, April 11th, 2017 6:01pm

Author
Reply

To be quite honest, Lionel, it was intended to show how Jeff, in being let go, really got what he deserved after trying to make himself look so good at others expense. I wrote it a few days ago. Maybe if I was writing it today it might have gone very differently.

Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Lionel!

Tue, April 11th, 2017 11:21am

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