The Dark-Side

Elizabeth tried her best to forget the nasty encounter as soon as it ended.  She took a deep breath and relaxed herself.  She tried to think about the time, yet that only made matters worse.  The time ticked to the tune of 8:30, which meant she had only been sitting at the front desk for a half hour.  She would have to be at work until 4.  Sitting at this desk for 7 and a half hours meant that she was guaranteed to get into another argument with someone who would just assume that she was just another uneducated girl at the desk.  Last year she finally broke into the business, she was an up and coming junior associate at a public relations firm and now she's just another uneducated teen working at a dilapidated hospital.

Well, at least the holiday is coming up, with the double shift that I'm working, and the time and a half, that boost will help me out with my student loans, she thought trying to tie her attitude around the hope of actually pulling herself through this financial crisis.

Even though Elizabeth was 23, she had the appearance of a teenager.  Especially to the aged eyes of the elderly people who walked in the doors all day long.  She hated it there.  Everyone was so angry with their lives while Elizabeth tried her best to find the positive in her life. 

One woman yelled at her because the phone is so old it disconnects people from time to time.  The person on the other end believed that she hung up on her on purpose.  Men way older than her, hit on her and when she turns them down, they get upset call her stuck up and storm away like a baby having a tantrum. 

The employees are no better.  One of them is just insane.  She laughs when other people are fired, she comes in late all of the time, and starts arguments with people for no reason.  It's usually because she's just flat out rude.  As she resisted the urge to cry over her depressing situation she hoped the impossible on a Monday of a well-known, unorganized hospital.

Maybe they'll be no problems today, she wished.  Or maybe the phones will die, maybe I won't have to talk to anyone today, she thought hopefully.  Maybe the street here will be blocked and no one will be able to get here, this was her favorite wish.  Or maybe everyone will just be nice to me, ya know.  Her last thought she knew had the least amount of chance of actually happening.

She sighed and fought back the sting of burning tears.  I should be grateful for what I have now, most people don't even have jobs, they'd be grateful to even have a crappy one like this.  The administrator who as far as Elizabeth was concerned was the main reason why everyone hated working here walked up and posted a sign. 

She was cheerful and perky as she said, "Good morning, Elizabeth!"

"Good morning!"  Elizabeth said sarcastically and enthusiastically.  

Elizabeth couldn't forget the time when she was written up for not saying good morning cheerfully enough over the phone at the request of another employee, who didn't like Elizabeth.  With personal vendettas and crazy people running the place most of the other employees weren't surprised that someone had set another employee's car on fire for getting them fired. 

I don't know how someone could set another person's property on fire, Elizabeth thought as she continued to think about how she wanted to day to go.  After the administrator posted the note and left Elizabeth got up to see what it said. 

In that moment two things occurred, she experienced hate for the very first time.

Not only did the note say that health care for part-time employees will be taken away.  It also read that holiday pay for the receptionists would no longer exist.

She turned to the administrator and caught her eye as she was watching her read the note, her smile of satisfaction made Elizabeth want to dart across the room and strangle her with her bare hands.

The second thing that occurred, Elizabeth now understood how someone could set someone's car on fire.


  1. Nice. You should have ended it with Elizabeth purchasing gasoline and matches.


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