hobart logo

June 22, 2016 | Fiction

People Resent You For It

Ardith Bravenec

People Resent You For It photo

Look, you smile too much or too little, both at the wrong times, and people don’t like you.  

That magic 8-ball on your desk gives answers to only two questions: how you will become fabulously wealthy beyond your wildest imaginings, or how you will die in excruciating agony. (We are concerned for the well-being of our assistant copy manager.)

No one can tell what flavor that hardcandy you gave them as a bribe last month was meant to be, but its pale and sickly complexion was both unctuous and aggressively ineffective. (When asked for general opinions, there was a strong consensus that it brought back memories of puss leaking out of fire-ant bites scratched as a child.)

Please, recall that ringing sound in your ears that you get when you can’t sleep and may have eaten something with corn syrup before bed. Other people are starting to hear it too. They resent you for it.

Listen, everyone is mining something dark and unimaginable within themselves, but you have to be more personable at business luncheons and parties.

The Department of Conservation of Energy has issued a complaint regarding your calculations of the amount of time it would take for your coworkers to find your corpse if you died from sudden and unknowable circumstances. This is your final and only warning.

We know that you were the one who did it. 

For a fact, we know that you were the one who did it. 

We have explicit evidence that you were the one who did it.

But out of decency, we have deferred to polite lies. 

Certainly computational biochemists like their mouth’s full—you named your pet goldfish after that 189,819-letter protein, methionylthreonylthreony ....................................................................

..............................................................................................................................................................

..............................................................................................................................................................

..............................................................................................................................................................

..............................................................................................................................................................

.............................................................................................................................................................

.............................................................................................................................................................

.................................................................isoleucine—but we’ve been issued an annual word limit and you’re overdrawn.

The interns have duplicated, and since our last conversation, slipped into a narcotic winter.

Listen, everyone worries about the things they’ve hidden being found, but you have to check your email.

Listen, everyone realizes we are past the point of anonymity, but you have to change your password.

None of this changes the fact that filling your lunch bag with nothing but staples is perceived as a violation of the updated conduct policy. 

We look forward to your continued improvement.

image: Christine Ward


SHARE