[A sensitive issue, 673 words, Genre: Realistic Fiction/Dark Humour]
* Image courtesy of Dirk de Bruyn
He had been working within the call centre for about a year now. Most people didn’t like him. That was because he was one of the few people within the call centre who was of Australian heritage. The others were all from an Indian background. Those that were not, were in management positions. The managers were mainly of a female variety and would all mock Bill behind his back.
Every time he raised issue or had a complaint they would talk behind his back and say things like, “Bill must be on his period again.” And then they would laugh. They would laugh and jeer and make all sorts of comments about how he was more of a girl than they were.
But Bill kept on continuing on with his work within his call centre job. Kept on showing up. Kept on making the calls. Two hundred or more calls a day. Chasing up money; begging for money; trying to make a living.
He got paid for it. Not exactly a high paying job, but it was a job. And so day after day he had to keep on going into work. It was a stressful job and he was feeling the full effects of his work vocation. Stress compounded upon stress and that stress emerged itself as a physical manifestation.
He sat in his seat. One of those chairs with cushions on it that had wheels. From this physical manifestation emerged an uncomfortable feeling. It was like blood pooling in his seat. He felt it, the slow trickle of liquid passing though his buttocks. But he had to maintain his composure. He had to continue on with the calls. He was quite agitated at this point and slipped up with his call. There was a problem with it. And it did not go unnoticed with management.
They called him over from his seated position to address the issue. “Excuse me, Bill, can I talk to you for a moment?”
“Sure,” he smiled awkwardly, “Can I just go to the bathroom first?”
“Sure…” She looked at him sideways. Then when he had disappeared off to the bathroom, his manager got one of the other managers and made a joke about Bill being on his period again. The two women laughed and called him a loser.
As Bill sat on the toilet, he swore to himself. “Fark! Fark! Fark!” He passed through the bowel movement, but it was in pain. After he passed the last stool, he felt a great relief. Then he had to wipe his arse, there was blood on the tissue paper. Even wiping his arse was a painful movement. “Damn it! I’ll have to get more cream.” He finished up on the toilet. Flushed it and watched the blood stained toilet paper go down the sewerage system. There was another employee standing there watching him. They must have overheard his digressions. They stared at him in confusion. He ignored them and then he went to wash his hands. He was unaware that there was another employee in the room. So instead of addressing the issue, he just began whistling to himself. Washing his hands and whistling to himself. The other employee just stood there, looking at him. He nodded to them and wished them a good afternoon.
He returned to see his manager. She looked at him. “Look, I’ve listened to your call and there are a few issues that I want to address. First of all, is there any reason for this sort of behaviour?”
“Well, it’s a sensitive issue.”
“What do you mean, a sensitive issue?”
Bill stood there and began repeating to himself quietly, “Please don’t make me say it. Please don’t make me say it. Please don’t make me say it.”
“Say what exactly Bill?”
That’s when Bill snapped, “I’ve got haemmoroids, big bulbous ones. They’re itchy and they’re bleeding. And I need to buy more cream.”
His manager looked at him stunned. She just looked at him in shock. “Nevermind, just get back to work.”