Story Sent in by Adam:
Susan and I had just met, and had started a walk to a restaurant together for our first date when I asked her how her workday had been.
"Crummy," she replied, "I almost got fired today."
She worked in a big accounting firm, and had been there for just under a year. She had previously sung its praises to me about the benefits and how well the company took care of its employees, so this was a matter of some concern.
"What happened?" I asked.
"It's actually your fault. They found out that I was writing to you from my work email account."
"Now they're saying that I have to make up the time that I spent writing to you on company time, and I got into a fight with one of my bosses today about it. I'm in huge trouble now, so thanks."
She gave me a big eye roll, a sigh, and forged ahead a bit faster. I hurried up and said, "But it was your choice to message me from your work account. You could've written to me from your personal account or—"
"They don't let us use our personal accounts on work time. They log usage and my boss regularly checks the logs."
I didn't know what else to say, so convinced she seemed to be that it was my fault. Then, she added, "So if I get fired, guess who's coming to your door with a shotgun?"
I laughed. She didn't, and she went on, "Who's the one who feeds the fish in the office tank? Me, that's who. If I'm fired, then who's going to feed them? If I'm fired, then living creatures might die. Because of you."
I said, "If they were going to fire you, wouldn't they have done it by now?"
She said, "It has to go through multiple levels. Sometimes it could take over a week to be officially fired, because my boss has to submit paperwork, her boss has to submit paperwork, his boss then has to, and so on. Those poor, poor fish, though."
"I'm sure you'll be okay, especially as this was probably your first transgression, right?"
"Those poor, poor fish."
I took her to a sushi place, where many other poor, poor fish had gone. Strangely, she wasn't as concerned with the plight of her meal as she was with the goldfish tank at her job.
She said, "I know one guy, he works on another floor from me, and we see each other in the elevator once or twice a week. I guess I could ask him to feed the fish, but what if he says that he can't? I'm really worried about this, here." She downed a tuna roll.
She offered to split dinner with me, but I insisted on paying for both of us. After dinner, we left the restaurant and she said, "I'm going to have to deprive you access to my chest, tonight. Sorry, but I have to prepare a statement for when I'm called on the carpet tomorrow. About you."
I joked, "Do you need a witness? You can call me if you need to."
She replied, "That's all I need, to call you in to corroborate the charges. If I'm using anyone in my defense, it'll be the fish."
"The fish. In the office tank. I spend time feeding them and sometimes cleaning out their tank a little, so that has to count for something. No joke, no one else does anything for them, and it's not even part of my job description. I can probably tell my bosses that I spend just as much time helping the office fish as I did writing to you on company time."
"Good luck with that. Let me know how it goes."
She got fired the next day. I know because she wrote me the following email from her work email address:
I am writing to inform you that as of 10:11AM (effective 10:00AM officially) I am no longer an employee of Weston and Wilkes. Seems like I'm the only one who cares about the plight of sea life. Anyway, it will be best if we are not in touch anymore for two reasons: one: I don't need you jeopardizing my future employment situations (again). Two: I am likely being watched. Thank you!
Of everyone's well-being in the entire scenario, is it wrong that I'm still most concerned about the fish?