“Are you kidding me?! ‘Needs Improvement’? What the hell is this?” Tom’s voice rose with every syllable.
“Now Tom, this isn’t an indictment, you know.” Susan said. “There are just some areas…”
“What areas? Who said that?” He continued to sputter, his face an alarming shade of maroon.
“We’ve had feedback from several of our clients, who’ve told us that it can be difficult working with you,” Susan explained. “Specifically, that you don’t take criticism well and that you tend to fly off the handle.”
“I. Can’t. Believe. It.” Tom pounded his fist into his thigh in time with the words. “I bet it was that new design group, wasn’t it? I KNEW they were going to screw me over. And now I have to live with this crap for the next year, just because they didn’t ‘like’ me? Unreal!” Tom got up and began to pace around Susan’s office.
“Tom, I need you to sit down and calm down,” Susan said firmly. “I need you to hear me out.”
“But I don’t need squat from you, Susan.” Tom turned to face her. “Like the song says, ‘take this job and shove it.’ I’ve fucking had it.” He stormed out of her office, slamming the door on the way.
Tom didn’t wait for the security guards to come get him; he started cleaning out his cube the minute he got back to it. He picked up his wastebasket, dumped all the crap out of it, and started hurling his things into it–his coffee cup, his thumb drives, penknife. He was so angry he could hardly see. But throwing this stuff just wasn’t doing it for him.
Then he spied the company calendar hanging on his cube wall, with that douchebag CEO smiling down at him. Tom grabbed it with both hands and went to rip it away from the barrier. In his rage, he forgot about its industrial-strength fasteners. Next thing he knew, he was buried under the cubicle wall. This did not improve his mood, as the security guards shortly found out.
“The charges are disturbing the peace, simple assault, and destroying company property,” the judge said. “How do you plead?”
“Guilty,” Tom gritted out. He couldn’t wait to get out of here and go have a beer. Or five.
“I hereby sentence you to 100 hours of community service, a $200 fine, and attendance at an anger-management class.”
“Thank you, Your Honor,” said Tom’s lawyer. He began packing up his papers.
“I can’t believe this shit,” Tom said. “I lose my job, and now I have to go do this other crap?”
“Yes, unless you’d like to go to jail.” The lawyer was putting on his coat now.
“And now I have a record that will follow me everywhere,” Tom whined. “How am I supposed to find a job now?”
“Maybe you should have thought of that before you hit the security guard,” his lawyer said, starting to walk away.
“You asshole–you’re just like them!” Tom cocked back his fist.