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Trash Without Reading

Page 3

Darryl Emmerson

Michelle was a bit more shaken by this one. Who exactly was the sender, and how did she know what was going on? Then she remembered an especially vivid dream from the previous night, a long, long dream, filed with sharp sounds and rapid pictures, in which - fanciful as it sounds to say so – several phantom voices kept bothering her, interrupting her, and one another, sending messages which ordered her to do conflicting things with impossible deadlines, then criticising her inadequate efforts. She began to wonder if she had a problem.

She looked again at the messages she had received. Both were from Tracy Stevens, a woman whom she remembered meeting at a Friday afternoon drinks function some weeks before. Tracy had not made much impression on Michelle, but that was clearly not true, the other way round. She decided to contact Tracy, maybe speak with her, try to find out what was going on.

Not so easy. Her first message to Tracy went unanswered, the next received an out-of-office reply, even though Michele was certain she saw Tracy in the building the day she sent it.

But the messages went on. Over the next month, about five of them, all with the same insistent, badgering tone. Some of them she answered, others she did her best to ignore. But whatever she did, she was troubled.

Despite all this she continued to work hard, learn as much as quickly as possible, and prove to all, beyond any doubt, her worth, her employability. Then, about three months after she started, as she was nearing the end of the official/ unofficial probation period, her manager, the always cool Paula, asked to see her, just for a little chat.

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