Wednesday morning. Cara noticed that once again, she was graced by the presence of out of place Easter candy. This time, the pink ribbon was tied in a bow around bunny #1’s ears and she was sitting on top of the refrigerator. Where’s bunny #2? Cara thought, as she poured her morning coffee. As if reading her mind, Pace’s voice boomed behind her, “Where’s her boyfriend?”
Cara shrugged. “Maybe someone got hungry … and has no standards on what’s considered edible food.”
“RIP Brian.” He kissed his index and middle fingers and then raised them to the sky. “You were a good chocolate rabbit.”
All Cara could do was shake her head and laugh. “Brian? You named him?”
Pace grinned. “Oh yeah, me and Bri Bri were homies.” He pulled a brown paper bag out of the refrigerator and unloaded the contents on the counter: 2 tupperware containers, a banana, a hard boiled egg and a Vitamin Water.
Cara was used to Pace eating his lunch at breakfast time by now but she had to draw the line somewhere. “Please don’t tell me you’re going to eat that egg in here. You’ll stink up the office.” She scrunched her nose and tried not to gag, just thinking about the noxious smell.
With that, he exaggeratedly cracked the egg on the corner of the counter and slowly began peeling the shell. “Well, I wasn’t going to eat it until later but now… Now, you’ve made it irresistible.” He finished peeling off the shell as Cara pinched her nose with her fingers, trying to block the odor. He gulped down the egg in 2 big bites and swallowed.
“Lucky for you, I kept the ‘stink’, as you say, contained here to the kitchen but if you want, I can come breathe on you at your desk so you enjoy the scent all day.” He was so pleased with himself, he just about waggled his eyebrows at her.
She shook her head, nose still plugged. She couldn’t help thinking that normally, she would have absolutely no problem with Pace getting up in her personal space so she could enjoy him all day but throwing up on him in the process would be the last thing she’d want to do – so that smell would need to stay away. “No, no, I’m good. You can take your egg breath back to your own desk, thank you.”
He examined the other contents of his lunch bag and selected one of the larger Tupperware containers. He took the lid off and put it in the microwave, punching the buttons to start reheating. “Sorry Cara, just egging you on.” He lifted his hand for a high-five to celebrate his bad pun.
She rolled her eyes and reluctantly raised her hand to not leave him hanging. “You’re an egghead.” As she left the kitchen to head back to her desk, Pace yelled out, “Oh, oh! Name calling! I might have to report that to HR, you know. I don’t think that’s egg-ceptable behavior for the work place, young lady.”
He is such a dork. A tall, scruffy, incredibly handsome dork. Cara couldn’t deny her crush on her co-worker but she sure as hell hadn’t told anyone else in the office about it. Not even Malia, who sat next to her everyday and definitely qualified as her work BFF. Without Malia, Cara didn’t know how she’d get through all of the horribly boring days at SeaLutions.
When she started this job almost a year ago, she thought it’d be her first real career. Reading the job description online, SeaLutions sounded like a perfect fit.
Looking for a high-impact career in a growing industry? Do you love the environment and want to support green initiatives? Do you have a college degree, a positive attitude and computer skills? Join our team!
Little did she realize that the impressive title “SeaLutions Communication Specialist and Data Engineer” would mean that she would be tasked with running the SeaLutions Twitter account and doing a lot of data entry for executives. Malia was brought in to pick up some of the slack on the data entry, as the figurative piles of Excel spreadsheets that needed to be created and edited continued to grow.
Today would be another fun day of staring at spreadsheet cells and posting tweets for all 88 SeaLutions Twitter followers. It was clear that most people who worked at SeaLutions didn’t even bother following them on Twitter and their customer base weren’t the most internet savvy. She wasn’t sure why their CEO Samson insisted on even pursuing social media and why it had to be just Twitter. Her requests to create a Facebook page and a Pinterest board were both denied; their HR team did run an active LinkedIn account to recruit people in but beyond that, her boss was dedicated to the idea that Twitter was the answer.
@SeaLutionsHQ: Did you know that sea #otters hold paws while they sleep to stay together in the water?
While Samson was obsessed with the idea of having a Twitter account, he never actually read Cara’s tweets. She knew this was the case because he could barely operate his email, still used a flip phone and regularly referred to it as “Tweeter” so he must have seen a story about Twitter on CBS Sunday Morning or read about it in the Wall Street Journal and decided that was what SeaLutions needed.
Early on, she would post only links to SeaLutions products and press. But as time went on and she realized that no one was reading her posts, she loosened up her guidelines. Instead of just focusing on company initiatives, she began posting sea-related trivia, links to Buzzfeed articles about sea animals and an a cappella rendition of “Under the Sea”. It was more entertaining and occasionally, made her job more enjoyable than just blurring her vision staring at spreadsheets all day.
Throughout the day, she couldn’t stop thinking about Pace and wished she could get him out of her head. He’s just a flirt. He’s like that with everyone. She repeated that to herself every time she’d start to get her hopes up, thinking that maybe he was interested in her as more than just a friendly co-worker. He would never think of her like that. They were in such different leagues. He was the kind of guy who would definitely be a lifeguard at the pool as a teenager and she was the chubby girl who wore shorts over her bathing suit.
And really, what did she even know about him other than the obvious handsomeness and his dorky sense of humor? She wouldn’t even consider them friends. She knew that sounded harsh but honestly, they didn’t associate outside of the office like she did with Malia. They talked as they ran into each other around the building but he didn’t come out of his way to come visit her at her desk or anything. In fact, when he joked that he would come breathe on her with his egg-breath, she was surprised that he knew where she sat. She couldn’t find him on Facebook (and she definitely spent a lot of time looking). His life outside of SeaLutions was kind of a mystery.
Malia ran out to Chipotle to grab lunch and brought Cara back her favorite, carnitas salad. As they ate, Cara listened to Malia rehash her latest fight with her boyfriend and tried not to zone out. “And can you believe that he had the nerve to say he wasn’t looking at her? He tried to blame it on his lazy eye! I know that he was staring at her ass.”
Cara considered. “Well, he does have a legit lazy eye. I mean, it’s hard to tell what he’s looking at sometimes.” Malia shook her head, “Oh no, you don’t take his side on this. He’s checking out other girls right in front of me!” Cara knew she wasn’t really mad at her or at Joe. She’d get over it by the time she saw him tomorrow night. She just liked to vent and Cara was used to listening to it. She was distracted from Malia’s story by a notification on her computer screen from Twitter. Someone had replied to her tweet about sea otters. Probably spam, she thought to herself as she lazily clicked on the icon to read the tweet.
@treeclimber84 did you know that’s called rafting? the largest raft ever seen contained over 2000 sea otters.
She smiled. “Look, someone actually responded to us on Twitter! And it’s not spam!” Malia rolled her chair over to read the reply.
“Who’s tree climber 84?”
Cara was also curious about this. “Let’s see.” She clicked into their profile, only to discover the little padlock at the top that indicated it was locked. The brief description under the username read, “I was born in a small town… Used to daydream in that small town, another boring romantic, that’s me.”
“Well, his profile is locked but he apparently likes John Cougar Mellencamp. The Coug.” Cara tilted her head and realized, “I don’t know why I just assumed it’s a guy. It could be a girl. And I’d also say they were probably born in 1984. And like trees.”
Malia took another bite of her burrito and then tried to talk, mouth full. “Great job, detective.” She swallowed and more clearly asked, “Are you going to reply?”
“Of course, no one ever interacts with us on Twitter. Can’t miss this opportunity, can I?” Cara quickly hit reply.
@SeaLutionsHQ: thanks @treeclimber84! #funfact
She also decided to follow @treeclimber84 in hopes that they would follow back and boost their count up to 89 followers.