I Will Never Forget You
Dedicated to my friends at the factory
By: F.J. Ping
I’ve never worked in a factory before, and I’d like to be good at something new that I try. I knew what the job description was talking about, but I never expected to sign up for some other things when I took this position. I’m scared to meet new people, especially in a setting that I’ve never tried. I hope they’re nice. I hope I at least know one person in there. I actually do. His name is Cam Duran. Why did it have to be that guy? He irritates me, ugh, and now I have to see him 40 hours a week at work. My friends say why don’t I give someone who likes me a chance who I may not like at first since I always seem to like people I can’t have? I did before I started this job, and it went nowhere. If I don’t like them in the beginning, I’m not going to like them later on.
I told him I didn’t want to date anyone, but in reality, I just wasn’t interested in him and was letting him down easy. He was too pushy and for someone like him, I don’t know why he thought he could be pretentious to me. Before I started working there by chance, being placed by a staffing company, Cam knew me from somewhere else, had asked me what I thought about him and he could take on whatever I said. I had absolutely no thoughts about the guy and that he repulsed me but I didn’t tell him that. He couldn’t handle the real truth even though he said he could. Why would I have good thoughts about someone who tried to sleep with me the first night I brought him to my apartment just to hang out because there was nowhere else to go in this boring town? I never go to a guy’s house. If I’m at least at my place, I can tell someone to get the hell out if they’re pissing me off. He kept saying he didn’t know me, but yet would keep pressuring me to do things with him. Thank God I didn’t cave and give him some pity. Cam sure as hell wasn’t the one for me and I wasn’t about to waste my time with that nor add a number for someone I don’t even like.
“I’m confused. First you want me to stay the night but you don’t want to do anything with me,” Cam noted.
I wanted to say, “What’s so confusing? We just met and are getting to know each other. Why would I do that with someone I have no attraction to, don’t like yet, and probably never will?”
I hated how when I joked that one day on break, he needed to get back to work otherwise he was going to be late, he said if I act like that then I better stay away from him. I gladly stayed away and we acted like we didn’t even know each other at all, did not talk one bit! Only Lacy Swanson knows that I know him and she doesn’t like what he did, either. No one else had a problem with my goofiness. Whenever I joked about other people needing to be on time, they always laughed back.
For the first week that I started there, I was just Plain Old Janet. Then to keep me wide awake, I started to dress up a bit since I was around civilization and not stuck at my dinky apartment all day long, but not too much. All I did was put on a nice t-shirt pull my hair back, and barely put on some eye-liner. It was ridiculous how I would see some girls going in there with flowery dresses and everything designer. What did they think this job was? Ha! That’s when the trouble first started. Oh, everyone noticed how I would be looking nice.
“You don’t look like you’re about to spend eight hours in a factory, Janet. Look at you, you look like you’re about to go to the club,” Lacy Swanson said. “The only thing that resembles a factory is the shorts and your sneakers.”
Whenever I would assemble a new outfit for each day, I couldn’t wait to get to work because I knew Lacy would say something about it and that would always make me laugh.
“Hey, at least I’m not wearing high heels like some people be doing in here,” Janet chuckled.
“If I didn’t know any better, I think you have a crush on a certain someone,” Lacy deducted.
“You totally caught me, I do.”
Whatever Janet Jacobs had for this man named Jack Michaels was doomed from the beginning. She wished her feelings for him would go away before he found out she liked him. Or maybe he already knew anyway. Her lust, infatuation, whatever she had for him was not exactly discreet. Each day they saw each other, she hoped her feelings were only for that day and would be no more the next. It was not so.
“You are not in love with this man,” Lacy Swanson says. Lacy is her partner in crime at work. Everyone always gets a kick out of these two practical jokers, but with good intentions, not malicious.
“I know I’m not…or am I? I mean, have you ever met someone who couldn’t make you move at all, like you froze in his presence?”
“Yeah, I sure have. I do know what you’re talking about,” Lacy answers.
“I just met the damn dude for three and a half weeks, that can’t be,” Janet continues. I pray that whatever it is I have for him, will JUST GO AWAY. I’m finally doing top quality work and actually putting my all into it…I don’t want anything to screw this up. It’s going to get me into trouble I just know it. Believe me! I tried to keep my composure around him. I tried. He just turned me into jelly and makes me so nervous. I’ve never had someone do something like that to me before. Even with Brandon, I was able to keep things professional with him no big deal, why not the same with this one? How could it be when this man is about to start his life with some other woman? Is the universe trying to test me to see how far I will go to get who I want since there always seems to be obstacles standing in the way and I can’t simply just be with someone?
Normally, whenever a man Janet met had a girlfriend, she’d usually just forget about them and move onto the next one. I’m tired of being the good girl and never getting who I want. Do I really have to do something drastic? What’s wrong with me? I don’t think I’m hideous looking, and I have a fluffy personality if a person doesn’t do anything to get me angry on purpose. I’m easy going to be around, easy to talk to. I’m not a bum. I’m trying to make something of myself in this world. So what is the damn problem?
Her friends always say for her to stop looking for him and he would come out of nowhere. Well I wasn’t looking for him per se, and he truly isn’t the classic buff, tanned soccer player pretty boy hunk looking guy that I’m usually interested in. I’m trying something different, too. You’d think his height would bother her. She doesn’t like tall guys and wants someone who can easily give her a little peck on the cheek without hovering over her. She tried to remind herself how tall he is in hopes that would remind her she doesn’t want to be with a tall person. She’s 5’3 and he’s 6’ – something. The more they talked, the more he had her floating on cloud nine. Even when they kept the conversations professional, there was still an attraction: a fatal attraction, too great to ignore.
Janet wanted to ignore her likeness for him. She wished she could, especially when she always loses at the end and never gets the guy she wants. Oh yeah, this man was not just any man. How can you ignore a man at work when he’s your boss? She’s ignored other creepy men co-workers who had a thing for her with ease, but she couldn’t ignore her 23-year-old supervisor who she has to give updates to on work progress…Here’s another question, was he interested in her back? She believes he is, or maybe she’s hallucinating.
“Is it just me or is Jack around our area more than usual?” Janet asked.
“He can supervise his little heart out. I’m doin’ my work! It doesn’t bother me one bit. You get too happy when he stays back there on the computer near us, though,” Lacy answered jokingly.
“Ha, I’m doing my work, too so it doesn’t matter to me, either,” Janet said.
“Why does he help out our line most times? He knows we’re pretty much the fastest no matter where he puts us. He should be helping out the slower lines,” Lacy answered. “Oohh, I get it now he helps us to spend time with his work boo.”
“That’s hilarious. I do think so, too,” Janet agreed.
He knows we always talk about this.
The two have their heads stuck in the large bins sorting whatever treasures they find in the donation boxes when Jack suddenly appears asking them, “How are we all doing today?” He starts helping them out then comments that he will leave this to the professionals. He stayed for a while and the whole time Janet could barely pull anything out of the boxes whenever he was around. She had this day dreamy look on her face. He had to know about her crush on him without her even saying anything about it directly.
Wow, what was it about this guy? He’s a super nerdy four-eyed looking dude, seriously…a cute nerd. Why was Janet behaving like he looked like some movie star or something? Not that looks were the most important thing, but still. He’s truly still cute, more like adorable, but not normally the cute I typically go for.
Once Jack left, Janet asked Lacy, “Was that a flirt right there when he joked about us being professionals? If it was, it’s not helping to make my crush on him go away.”
Lacy answers, “Why do you like him? He’s not usually the type you are all about” attempting to get Janet to stop liking him. . .for her own good.
“I’ve been trying to figure that out myself, Lacy.”
The next day:
“Can you ask your pretend boyfriend to come over here to see what’s wrong with this tablet? I can’t fix it,” Lacy says to Janet.
“I don’t want to talk to him, you go call him,” Janet answers.
Jack comes over to the line and says, “Uh oh, am I in trouble?”
Janet whispers so only Lacy can hear behind Jack’s back, “See that? Was that a flirt, too?”
Lacy rolls her eyes in response.
This subtle behavior was driving her to insanity. He shouldn’t be behaving like that at all, especially when he is with someone. Or was she just being paranoid and he really was just talking about work and not flirting at all and being nice? Not only was this driving her crazy, Lacy was becoming agitated with Janet every day when she asked, “Does he like me?” “So do you think he likes me?” “Did he just flirt with me?” Lacy mocked her saying those three same lines on repeat. It’s all in good fun so Janet is not hurt by it. Janet jokes back telling her she knows what question she’s about to ask.
We were seriously just doomed from the beginning. What really makes me upset is how his company thinks they can tell me and him that I can’t contact him outside of work as though he was going to lose his job if we kept in contact. If it’s not at work, what is it their business? What if we still wanted to be friends or something, especially when I’m friends with some of his family I knew before I met him recently? I know this crap isn’t coming from him. It’s coming from the higher ups.
Rest assured, I’m not going to make him into something scandalous. If anything, we would put it behind us and move forward. How is this moving forward with the company treating me this way? I don’t like this, especially when I contributed a lot for the month that I was there and this is the way they think they can treat someone? I know this is not coming from my friends there at all. All of them know that I don’t deserve this bull. Upper management thinks letting go of someone who was going to quit anyway is always the answer. I wish they would have let me leave on my own because I seriously was going to, now this is on my record and my work performance has nothing to do with anything because I was one of the best there. What sucks is, I was doing really great there and wanted to have them for a reference, now with this, I can’t…
I’m not going to break his current relationship up. His other family would hate me who don’t know me and I don’t want to deal with being with someone when most of his family would hate me for it when they were all happy about him and her getting engaged not too long ago before I came into the picture a month ago. I think they’d get used to me and I deserve someone like their son who is a respectful person, and smart, too. I just didn’t like I would have to break someone up to get to him. There are no good single guys for me left that I’m compatible with. Again, is the universe testing me to see how far I will go?I’m college-educated and trying to make something of myself in the world being around good influences, so why would his other family I don’t know hate me for that? For his sake and mine, I’m not going to contact him. I don’t want him to lose his job over something stupid that should have never happened in the first place. I guess I’m never going to talk to him again.
Chapter 4What I had with Jack, isn’t at all about the physical part of a relationship, so to classify as what I think his company would consider “sexual harassment” seriously pisses me off to no end because my infatuation, still trying to figure out whatever it is that I had for him had NOTHING to do with that. All we talked about was work and minimal details about life. Just keeping it professional, people could tell we both were always giggly around each other. I was both of the supervisors’ favorite pet, especially when I was giving them their quotas they needed no matter who I was put with….with no additional help at all, dirty birds. I did work just like everyone else did, except I was better than most people. In fact, people were always complimenting me on how well and fast I was with the work. Everybody noticed how quickly I picked up the tasks we had to do and never got scared of the insects and mice.I never had dirty thoughts about Jack. I just kept thinking about wanting him to hug me for the longest time telling me everything will be okay. No physical thoughts whatsoever.
“You know what? I honestly could not imagine you two doing it. It would be so awkward,” Lacy says in a nonchalant tone.“Oh, shut up, hahaha. It’s not even about that with me and him,” Janet answers. “Some guys whenever they’re around, I just want to throw them against the wall and go at it, no joke, but other guys, I see another side to them.”
“I’m going to go to one of those adult stores and buy you a dildo for Christmas,” Lacy can’t contain herself cracking up.
“And I’ll send the package right back to your house without opening it,” Janet is holding her sides dying from laughter. “I don’t do that shit.”
Buford Taylor, one of the newer members said, “Sweet, you do say curse words. I was beginning to think you were a square and a goody two shoes.”
Janet answers, “Bahahahaha. I surprise a lot of people.”
“None of the supervisors believe me Janet has a mouth on her. They always thought when they first met her, she was this nice, innocent looking girl. Just looking at her, no way,” Lacy chuckled.
“So what made them finally believe you?” Janet asked.
“They be hearing your music. Girl, I said that ain’t mines music playlist,” Lacy laughed.
“Ah, Snoop Dogg did it for them, right? Or Snoop Lion, whatever he goes by these days,” Janet asked.
Duckie Bell, another one of our practical joking co-worker friends understands why Janet does some of the things she does.
“That’s good only we can see it’s not a one-sided thing. Is he just being nice or is he for real playing back? That’s what I really want to know,” Janet thinks out loud to her friends.“I know I should feel bad for flirting with a taken man, but what do you think, what would his girlfriend do if she was in my situation? Why should I care how she feels? In the past, all I have ever done was be considerate of other people’s girlfriends and never told…has that ever gotten me the man I wanted? Do I have to seriously do something drastic? It’s not like she would care about whatever it is I have for him. She wouldn’t hand him over to me, but really it’s ultimately his decision.”“That’s the damn truth, she’d be doing the same exact thing because most girls do not care if a man is taken or not,” Lacy replied. “Don’t be doing that, though. I know you got a good head on your shoulders.”
Jack honestly made me forget every other person that has ever broken my heart, like he was the first person I’ve ever liked in my life. I thought that because of that, maybe it was true. Maybe if a person found someone who made them forget people from the past that meant something. Maybe it was because of his innocence that made me feel this way.
Kind of like puppy love, we were acting like it was just that and it drove Lacy crazy. My gut instincts seem to be going hay wire these days. Usually they’re right about what I think about someone. It’s just a matter of listening to myself or not. I guess this is what I get for listening to my heart. Two people who have passed in and out of my life who I felt a strong connection with, enough to tell them exactly what I thought about them, aren’t the ones for me. There have been people who I have had major crushes on and I NEVER told them, NEVER made it obvious.
I can give you an example. I volunteered with some suave, good looking Ivy League men. One of them had me drooling secretly to myself. He looked mighty fine and was sweet. I had a feeling he might have been with someone already so I didn’t say anything about liking him. I wish sometimes we could have finished our conversation. We were in the middle of talking about video games walking somewhere and that was the last time I ever saw him. He’s a New Yorker. A very popular guy on campus and on the drum line, I think, well some instrument I forget. He had to have been with someone. I’ve always wanted an Ivy League man to sweep me off my feet and take me away from this horrible place and back to whatever state he is from. Well Jack was with someone and I still said something anyway, so that has to mean something, right?
Whenever Jack was around me I don’t even remember Brandon Pinto stabbing my heart a billion times or that even Brandon ever existed at one point in my life.
Chapter 5It’s a small world after all!The first two weeks I started working there, getting familiar with everything, I never thought about wondering if I knew mutual people he knew. I figured since this was a fresh start there was no way we would know any of the same people or are in the same circle, especially when I have never before in my life even heard of Jack Michaels until I stepped foot in this factory.
Being the small town that this place is, after a while, in conversation on break one day I tell Buford jokingly, “Why do I have this strong gut feeling that I know someone he’s related to? I just have this hunch that I do, but I say this jokingly now.”
“You never know,” Buford answers.
Keep in mind, that at this point, I didn’t know the guy’s last name. I just knew his first name and kept thinking to myself, why does he look so familiar like I know him from somewhere else?
One day, I saw his last name on a sheet outside of the office.
Oh, hell no.
“I think I may know someone in your family,” Janet amusingly says to Jack one day.
“His name starts with a J and is five letters.”
“That’s half my family.”
“Haha, okay, a J-a-c-o-b who they call Jake? Is that a brother or cousin or someone?”
“That’s my cousin! How do you know him?”
“We had like a computer math class together 5 years ago, ages ago. We used to talk but then lost touch over the years. I also know his wife because we went to the same high school.”
“They’re not together anymore.”
“Oh, I didn’t know that. The last time we talked they were. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or bad thing for him?”
Perhaps if I had found out this information sooner that I knew someone in his family, maybe I wouldn’t have been so mesmerized by him in the first place. See what I mean when I say I always follow my gut instincts? They aren’t always off. They’re usually pretty spot on.
Catching up with Jake:
“So, I keep meeting random family members of yours everywhere, lol, at least that’s what it feels like,” Janet contacts him out of the blue.
“I didn’t know you knew Jack!” Jake said after Janet and Jake haven’t talked in years.
“Oh, I just met your cousin this past month!”
Chapter 6I feel a little more than childish and embarrassed writing him notes, (even more embarrassed when Adam Smith, the other supervisor sat down and talked to me about it with the HR lady which I’ll get to later) but when I told some of my friends what I wrote before I sent it they said it wasn’t creepy at all. I probably made his day they said. The only reason I wrote a note is because there was never a good time at work to talk about it, and I didn’t want people overhearing our conversation. At the time, I didn’t think ahead that this would be bad.
Also, he made me so tongue-tied that I would have stuttered and not have been able to get anything out. I didn’t like talking about it knowing he was with someone, but, for real, it was too great to ignore. His subtle flirting just keeping it about work was making me go crazy. Was he talking badly about me behind my back saying I’m stupid and laughing at me secretly? I know that happened to a friend of mine when she had a similar situation with a guy who had a girlfriend. The whole time behind her back, her person that she was dealing with was making fun of her. I hope it wasn’t like that with me and Jack. I hope he was talking to his friends saying he really likes me but he’s about to get married and can’t do anything about it…rather “won’t.” I showed up a little more than a month ago out of the blue when he had everything planned out and was ready to settle down soon with his girlfriend.“A girl that writes affectionate notes? Who knew women like you still existed. There needs to be more like you,” my pen pal Derek e-mailed me. “I would love it if a woman wrote me a personal hand written note, especially one I knew I was interested in back, but it was a tough situation.”
“Aw, I hope he feels the way you do about my notes!” Janet e-mailed back. I only wrote him two.
All week long I was teasing Jack, pretending to pull him aside for a one-on-one conversation as though I was about to bring up the note I wrote him. I could see it in his eyes that he thought we were going to talk about the note. Every time! I never brought it up and laughed silently with Lacy about it. It was always about work. I didn’t want to hear his response because I knew he wasn’t going to leave his girlfriend or whatever she is to him.
Two and a half weeks ago, on a Friday evening it happened. My weeks kept getting worse and worse. Friday was the last straw. Nearly everyone was irritating me that day, including Jack. Duckie’s cousin also works here and he was being extremely annoying to me that day constantly putting me down when I double checked with the supervisors they had no problem with my work performances at all. If the supervisors did not have problems with my work performance, who was Duckie’s cousin to get on me like that? In reality, they always put him in the back working with no one because he’s the one people don’t like working with, at least that’s what I think. That’s why they always have me up front working with everybody. They’ve never put me in the back in the boondocks as some people like to joke.
Maybe it’s because my period just started that day, yes, it did. That was literally the cherry on top of my sundae. I could not stand Duckie’s cousin anymore so I pulled Jack into the small office where Duckie’s cousin could not hear me and I told Jack, “Alright, I’ve seriously had it working with that dude anymore. All evening long he has been complaining about every little damn thing and I can’t work with someone buzzing in my ear like that. Please don’t put me with him on Monday. I don’t care what he says, it’s just annoying and I really can’t work like that. All I’ve ever complained about was not making quotas once or twice. This dude bitches about everything.”
“Okay, I’ll make a note of that and not put you with him Monday. Some time ago, you wrote me a note. Don’t you want to hear my response?”
There it was: The Talk.
“Um, not really! Is it a good thing or a bad thing that you have to say?”
“Depending on the way you look at it, it can be a good thing,” he said as he was looking at me straight in the eye.
I knew what he was going to say even before he said it. That sealed the deal that I could not work here anymore knowing that he would be interested in me if he wasn’t with anyone. I could not take it. I finally find a guy who likes me as much as I like him, but he’s taken. Sigh…
“I told you he liked you back,” Lacy said. “It was so obvious.”
“Now you don’t have to hear me say every day does he like me, was that a flirt? Hahaha. I may just keep saying that to purposely annoy you. Don’t be making fun of those questions in front of him unless it’s standing up giving a speech at our future pretend wedding you could tell everyone how I bugged you every day at work about it. I know that would have everyone rolling.”
“Haha. Oh, thank God. I don’t have to hear that anymore. You’re crazy,” Lacy laughs.
“Which is why I have to quit if I don’t get fired first for this,” Janet answered sadly. “Would you forget me if I was gone? Am I just another factory worker that comes and goes and is hardly remembered like the rest? I barely remember the other people that got fired.”
“I will never forget you, Janet. Don’t quit best friend. We all need you here,” Lacy said with melancholy.
“I can’t work like this. I can’t work forty hours a week with someone who’s about to get married knowing he likes me back. I can’t. I need to leave or I might do something I will regret. Sometimes I wish he would be blunt instead of sugar coating this to make me stop liking him. I hate this because I was finally proving myself to people with my work performance. I was so sure I would get hired in after the three month trial run, and something like this has to be the reason I’m not going to work here anymore.”
I was waiting for the day I would get canned, which I knew it would come. Factories are especially strict about supervisors dating their worker bees, single or not. I stayed for as long as I could to keep Lacy company so she could have a few last laughs with me. The whole reason why I took a factory job in the first place, was because I didn’t think this would be a distraction for me here, that I would be kept busy all the time where I don’t think about anything.
It was five minutes before the shift ended at 11 P.M. About time the day was going to end. I walked over the yellow steps to the other conveyer belts to clean up that area. I saw Diana underneath the conveyer belt sweeping up things that fell off the conveyer belts and said hey to her as I finished a conversation with another girl, Luna who liked to talk too much. One minute I was talking to Luna, the next minute, I was kneeling underneath the conveyer belts with blood covering both of my hands looking like I was in a Zombie Attack movie.
I felt the top of my head and an insane amount of blood was dripping down my forehead like my head would never stop bleeding.
“What the fuck?” I said. “Wha—whaattt…” I was too stunned to move. I could move and was aware of my surroundings. I was simply in shock. No injury has ever happened like this to me. Ever! I was two minutes to getting ready to go to Steak ‘n Shake with Buford and Lacy ready to start the weekend. And this had to happen. “Is my head bleeding?”
“Yeah it is, and a lot! Oh my God! I need to get Jack,” Diana said.
“Damn, I thought I just bumped my head for a split sec and could be on my way. I didn’t know it was this serious,” Janet recalled.
“Are you alright? Are you dizzy? Let’s get you somewhere where you can sit down,” Jack said as he helped Janet to the small office.
I sat in a chair across from Jack covering my head with my hands. I don’t know why. That didn’t stop it from bleeding. That just made both of my hands covered in blood even more. Jack was sitting across from me in another chair looking at me with a worried face, pacing in his chair, not knowing what to do.
“Do you need anything?” Jack asks. “I have to go get Adam.”
I just want you to hug me right now, telling me everything will be okay, Janet thinks to herself. I know you want to I can sense it, but you know what hugging leads to and that’s not going to happen, especially when it concerns me and you.
“I don’t need anything. I’m fine. I just want to go home and clean this all off,” Janet replies calmly while everyone else around her is stunned, bewildered and freaking out.
Jack still sits in his chair for a few minutes.
What are you thinking when you’re looking at me right now? What if this was my last day on earth? I know it’s not that serious, but what if it was? Here’s your chance to say more. Is the site of all this blood making you sick?
Adam walks in and says, “Are you alright, Janet? Do you feel dizzy or feel like you’re about to faint?”
“Can you take her to the emergency room, Adam?” Jack asks as he walks out the door and hasn’t come back since. We stayed at the factory for another half an hour cleaning off most of the blood before we got to the emergency room.
“My wife and I will take her. No worries,” Adam says. “We need to get you to the emergency room to get stitches.”
“I don’t want stitches. I just want to go home. I’ve never had stitches,” Janet said scared.
Where did Jack disappear to when everyone else was in the room with me? Was he sitting by himself somewhere wondering if he was to blame for this because not too long before this occurred he was talking to me about what me and him would be. Maybe I lost focus and he feels terrible.
“You’ll be alright,” Adam answered.
I knew Jack wouldn’t be the one to take me even though it happened on his watch. I’m usually more careful than this. They were all shocked. I was the last person they thought something like this would happen to. Then would have been the time to be alone with Jack in a car with no one else around in sight! On the other hand, I’m glad Jack didn’t take me, because he probably would have actually cheated on his girlfriend right then and I would have probably let him even though one woman I vowed I will never ever be under any circumstance, especially purposely is the other woman. I honestly didn’t like flirting with him right now knowing what I know, but sometimes, it just happens.
When it was just me and Lacy in the office, she said, “Oh my poor, Janet.”
“What should I fill out in the injury report? My head was in the clouds about Jack and I didn’t watch where I was going? Hahahaha,” Janet said. “Where the hell did he go? I just want to know.”
“Now isn’t the time to be joking about that. We need to get you to the emergency room. You’re a strong girl, you’ll be fine,” Lacy stated.
The following Monday after the injury, all Janet had on her mind still was one thing: Jack this, Jack that. You’d think after that head injury that would finally knock some sense into me, or maybe it knocked some sense OUT instead. She wanted to think about something else she was sick of thinking about Jack. Oh, the irony when I first signed up for this job. Every day she would be half-serious to Lacy and say, “Okay, today we are going to simply do our work and no talks about Jack at all!”
“Sure! I’d love to see the day when that happens,” Lacy answered.
One afternoon, Adam sat down with Janet and the HR Lady to talk about this whole Jack thing. I wanted to die of embarrassment when Adam talked to me about it. I know he’s only looking out for me and Jack and just doing his job, but I don’t think I’ll be able to let this thing go and I need to quit.
On a Wednesday, was Jack’s last day before his two week vacation, and what Janet felt like was her last day as well so she decided to finally have a for real one-on-one conversation with him before he left since she knew this was going to be her last day, too whether or not it was her choice.
We went to have a little chat in a small office somewhere with no one else around.
Janet embarrassingly says, “Can you please pretend that I’ve never said anything to you at all? This is so stupid and totally not the way I usually act, especially at work.”
“Sure, yeah, I can pretend like nothing happened. You certainly do have a lot of emotions don’t feel stupid for them,” Jack understandingly says.
“This should have never happened at all, this really shouldn’t have! My emotions always get me into trouble, but it’s never been an issue at work.”
I look up Lacy’s number in my contacts ready to tell her the news before what would have been the time that I would have been on my way to work.
Me: Yeah, they let me go over this whole Jack thing. I know they didn’t want to, but I couldn’t work like that, either. The upper management didn’t have to ban me though which I thought was crap after I was giving that company their quotas. Even being goofy didn’t affect my work performance.
Lacy: Get the heck out of here. You know I was just about to call you.
Me: Are you going to say something to them about it?
Lacy: Hell yeah I’m going to say something to them about it. That’s a damn shame.
Me: I bet it was a tough decision given that I’m one of the best workers they’ve ever had, but honestly I agree it’s for the best. Just the other day I was at Steak ‘n Shake with Buford I was telling him I’m surprised they haven’t fired me over this Jack deal yet, and you know what, when I say they won’t is usually when they will…I totally called it. You knew I wanted to quit though anyway.
(Her boyfriend in the background): What’s going on?
(To her boyfriend): She got fired because she fell in love with the supervisor.
I’m laughing inside then bursting out with laughter at the way Lacy put it to her boyfriend. Oh my God, I know it was so shitty at first when it happened because it cost me my job when I was doing top quality work, but this is just going to be another one of my crazy ass stories to all my friends.
I didn’t get a kiss out of it, either! That’s the damn shame even though lots of times I totally wanted to kiss him but I didn’t.
My life is like a short story all on its own, hahahahaha.
This all actually happened, no joke.
My poor work family. I need them as much as they need me. The week after I left, Lacy and Buford kept me updated on what was going on. Adam looks like someone has died in there. I may as well have died to them when I had that head injury a few weeks ago. Whenever he sees Lacy it reminds him of me and she says she could tell he’s thinking about it but they never talk about it at all. They have nothing to really laugh about anymore. No more jokes from me. No more nothing. It’s like he’s used to seeing me with Lacy but now I’m not there anymore. Even if they didn’t let me go first, I would have quit also. I know Adam’s just the messenger and he didn’t want to do what he did. I can tell. I can read people like a book.
I’m speechless about the new people, and not in a good way. Lacy is the only person out on the floor from before while everyone else is back in the boondocks. They know I would love to work with them still, but even if I could, my little heart could not take it working 40 hours a week with a man knowing what he thinks, knowing what he knows about me, knowing that he won’t ever leave what he’s familiar with and is scared since he has everything planned out and doesn’t want to take risks with me. Maybe he thinks it would only be a short thing with me and he doesn’t want to put me through that so he stays with her. I don’t know what’s going on in his mind, Jack. I think he’s all over the place. One would think that while I was there, he would see all these other co-worker men wanting me and I want none of them, except him. Seriously, most of the men had a thing for me there I was creeped out by a lot of them, especially when I’ve never had one conversation with most of the ones who liked me out of the blue like that.
The upper management acts like I’m a terrorist banning me from setting foot on the company property saying I can’t contact Jack at all, blowing this way out of proportion. Seriously, though, if it’s outside of work, what is it their business? I have no reason to contact the company personally, other than to file a complaint of how I’ve been treated by upper management, but this fight isn’t worth it. It’s truly the company’s loss and I hope upper management sees how much the quotas have dropped since I’ve left they’ll be begging for me to come back. I know it’s none of my supervisor friends doing. The upper management are making my friends act like assholes but I know if they could handle it their way, this wouldn’t be the answer.
There are two ways I could come back if my friends could handle it their way:
A) Jack finally starts to date me. What would the company have to say about that if it’s ever official and we’re not scandalous about it and it happens naturally? I know they let couples work together so…yeah, and it’s not like I would be goofing off with him. I can goof around and do work at the same time as I have proven in the past.
B) To forget about the whole Jack thing, they hire me in permanently with benefits and a $3/hr raise from what I was last paid since I was meeting quotas under any circumstance, then I could forget about Jack and work would definitely be more important.
“Before you came along, everything was always too serious in there,” Lacy says one day catching up with Janet.
“That’s perfect. He needs someone like me to be goofy and I need someone like him to keep me in line at the same time. Sigh, whatever, it’s over for good,” Janet answered.
“I miss my friends. I always gave them silly nick names and people ended up calling them by the nick names I gave them and not their real names, it caught on…Remember Vote for Pedro?”
“You got people calling me a name that isn’t my name, ha. I remember your first day here, I said, oooo girl, you better not sneeze on me like that. Another day, I started sneezing like you then you said the same thing back to me. I didn’t think you’d even last at first here, then both of us started kicking ass.”
“I didn’t think I would last here, either, because of the work, but then I got the hang of it and thought it was great exercise and I didn’t have to go to the gym anymore.”
Good times, good times!
Honestly, I can never pretend like this all never happened. I will never forget my friends at the factory.
Hopefully some day, someone will listen to what I’m trying to say.