Prompts: the wrong printer.
Here’s another one from the Writing Prompt Bootcamp. I wrote it from a… well, you’ll see.
Prompt: You print something personal (and sensitive) at work, but it goes to the wrong printer. Despite your rush to get there in time, someone has scooped it up before you can.
Shit, shit, shit! The legs of my cheap suit rustled while I all but ran to the boss’s office.
“Hey, Jack!” Zandria, the hot new girl, intercepted me steps away from the door. I watched in horror as old man Bob went through the door.
I was dead. That was my death warrant. I’d written and signed it myself. I turned toward Zandria and pretended to listen to her while listening for Bob’s reaction.
“Jack? Eyes are up here.” Zandria ducked to meet my eyes. Bob coughed.
Shit. “Sorry! I wasn’t… I didn’t… I just zoned out. I should probably get some coffee.” I sidestepped Zandria, cursing myself for being such a dick. The time I’d wasted looking like I was checking her out could have been spent actually checking her out. Not that there was a snowball’s chance in hell of getting with her once she saw-.
“Oh, shit!” the old man in my boss’s office finally shouted. It had taken him too long to react. Either he knew everything, or he wasn’t too old for that sort of thing.
Me and half the staff turned to the office.
“Guess who’s getting frisky faxes?” Bob sang out, emerging from the office with a single sheet of paper in his hands. Maybe he’d spent all that time coming up with “frisky faxes”.
Now that he had everyone’s attention, he held the blank side up. “Sorry to those faint of heart, but you should turn away if you’re going to try to report me for sexual harassment for this. This does contain adult content! No takers? Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you!”
He flipped the page over, and he was obviously satisfied with the chorus of gasps that met it. I didn’t have to look at the picture to know what it was. I looked anyway. Even though I’d seen it a hundred times before, I got hard.
“Who sent it?” Cheryl gasped.
“I’ll check!” I breezed past Bob straight to the all-in-one machine in the boss’s office. With three button presses I had erased all evidence that I had printed the offensive image.
I heard John say, “Damn the boss has a huge hog!”
I smirked, opened the list of past faxes, and yelled out, “Nothing here guys! Last fax was from the bank! I doubt they sent that.”
“Good for her,” Zandria said, responding to John. “His wife has some killer abs, too.”
I managed to fail every intelligence possible all at once. Cassandra, my beautiful freaky girlfriend with the killer abs, was also the boss’s wife. Being an idiot I thought that I would get away with printing just one picture of the two of us at my desk. I would slip it into a folder and slip the folder into my backpack and no one would be the wiser. I’m an asshole, though, and I can’t even get that right.
John joked. “He has access from his house anyway. Maybe he sent it to the wrong printer on accident.”
Our coworker Felix came back in from his early lunch break. “Hey Jack, can I clock in at your station? Mine shut down again.”
“Yeah sure,” I said. My attention was on that picture. “Shit! Wait!”
I raced to my computer, where the picture was still open. I had the sense not to leave it up on the screen, but one click was all it would take to betray me as the perverted source of the “frisky fax”. I hooked my foot into the power cord and tried not to look obvious when I pulled it out of the wall. I yanked my flash drive out and slipped it into my pocket.
“Sorry, Felix, I had it locked. I was just trying to get over here to put my password in for you.”
He shrugged and used the computer in the next cubicle instead. The shredder loudly chewed something up in the boss’s office.
Everyone came flooding back to their desks.
“Did he shred that fax?” I asked Zandria.
“Yeah,” she said, patting me on the shoulder. “No last look for you, sorry.”
I snorted. “Good. Anyone planning on telling the boss about it?”
“Ha! No, that would be incredibly stupid.”
Incredibly stupid, just like me. However, I was also incredibly lucky. I would escape completely unscathed.
Bob approached me quietly. “Hey, Jack, the boss just emailed me. He said that you’re fired and if he ever sees you again, one of you is going to jail. He misspelled a lot of things, too, so it seemed like he did it from his phone. What did you do to piss him off?”
He has access from his house, anyway. How much access? Did he actually see the picture? Was that really possible?
I didn’t wait around to find out. I grabbed my backpack, threw my few personal belongings into it and swam through the sea of curious coworkers toward the door.
As soon as I emerged into the bright sunshine which I so seldom say, my phone rang.
“Hey, Jack.” Long pause. “I told him.”
As though there was a possibility that she meant something else.
“I left him,” she continued.
My heartbeat quickened. This was the call that everyone thinks is impossible when you get involved with a married person. She left him and she was calling to tell me that I was the one. Shit. Not that she wasn’t amazing, but that kind of change was a little more than I was looking for. Okay, a lot more.
“Jack?” she’d been crying.
“Are you okay? Where are you?”
“I’m fine.” She didn’t sound fine. “I’m moving to my brother’s ranch for a while. I just wanted to let you know. Thanks for everything, Jack. I’ll really miss you.”
Then she hung up. Just like that, my job of six years and my girlfriend of two were gone. Gone.
At least I still had pictures.
And a huge hog.
Okay, so obviously this one was from a guy’s point of view. 999 words. While I was mulling over the prompt, a guy gave me the idea that the document sent to the wrong printer was a pornographic image of the main character’s own male parts. Or, as he put it “make it a picture of his dick!” At first the suggestion sounded stupid, but the more I thought about it, the better it sounded. After all, exercise is meant to push outside of your comfort zone.
The only editing I did was cutting it down and spelling mistakes. If I were to really edit this one, though, I would probably play up the general immaturity of the staff. I would also really make his feelings about being dumped seem much more hypocritical. From “I’m SO not ready for commitment” to completely crushed. He seems to take it in stride really well, and that’s almost no fun.