CHARLESTON, SC–Everyone at the Selby Digital Advertising Company has been at their wit’s end ever since returning to the office after the new year. Most employees were reluctant to give up the comforts they had grown accustomed to while working remotely. The office manager, Ike Elmo, called everyone back to the office anyway. It really was not necessary at all. The performance had not dipped during the pandemic, and morale was way up. Still, Ike had invested in a brand new aquarium for the office and was eager to show it off to everyone, so he requested everyone come in five days a week.
Among the disgruntled commuters was Jake Aybar, an accounting intern. Jake had been dropping passive-aggressive comments to Mr. Elmo for the better part of two months. Fortunately for Jake, his boss is not particularly perceptive, so these comments usually went over his head. Others around the office took notice, but nobody knew him before the pandemic and assumed he was simply a rude guy. All the same, with a fifty-minute commute each way, Jake was reaching his breaking point.
On Tuesday, Jake made a fatal miscalculation. While firing a series of patronizing comments to his boss’ face, he shifted his focus to the fish tank. “I outta defile every single fish in this aquarium for what you make me go through each day,” Jake asserted through gritted teeth. This time, Ike’s reaction was different. Normally, Ike would laugh off whatever Jake said as a joke, or because he didn’t understand, but now he seemed angry. Jake was fired on the spot for sexual harassment of Mr. Elmo’s Angelfish.
Realizing his error, Jake attempted to rectify the situation, “it’s a figure of speech, sir! It’s what the kids say these days. I’m going to defile that angelfish. Or, I’m going to defile that axolotl. It’s a compliment, more than anything, Mr. Elmo.” But Mr. Elmo was having none of it, launching into an impassioned defense of his marine pets, “Jake, your behavior is deplorable. I’ve stood by and let bad things happen in this office time and time again. Like, really bad, really illegal things. But this is where I put my foot down. Pack your things and I better not find you anywhere near that aquarium.”
Jake will not be receiving course credit for his time as an intern.