domingo, 11 de dezembro de 2011

The Secretary

 The sunshine reflected in the window, giving the white walls a yellowish color. It was a warm spring morning. The colors were abounding in red, yellow and pink; everything was in perfect harmony, if it weren’t for the middle-aged-woman’s anxiety. Her coordinates matched the carpet and the furniture, which consisted of a desk made of iron and glass, a black leather chair and a 3-drawer filing cabinet. As soon as she sat, she took a square picture frame out of a paper bag and placed it on her desk by the computer. In the picture, there were two little blond girls, wearing flowered dresses and smiling to the invisible photographer. Pamela and Melissa were twins and their presence, although not physically, comforted the secretary on her first day at work.
It was pouring rain when the clock marked 11 a.m. Surrounded by reports, pens and staplers, the worried secretary was finishing the presentation. Many figures were placed in the charts that calculated how profitable the business had been in the previous month. Her boss must have been busy the whole morning, because he hadn’t called her even once. The bespectacled middle-aged man used to be very strict with deadlines, although he fully trusted his secretary’s punctuality. The 35-year-old woman looked at the picture frame which reminded her she was supposed to help her daughter do the Math homework. The tired woman closed her eyes and wondered that doing Math was the last thing she would be willing to do when she got home. The phone rang, waking her from her daydream. The enthusiastic voice requested gravely: Could you come in for a minute? She stood up very quickly and headed for a small office in front of her desk. On its walls, there were paintings brought from her boss’s trips to Europe. Although they were expensive, she didn’t consider them beautiful; her blue eyes weren’t used to abstract art. The sturdy man was glad to tell her she would have a new co-worker: the intern would be promoted to sales assistant and would work directly with the secretary. The woman, who had been working for that company for almost 5 years now, couldn’t disguise her disappointment – after all, she was not expecting a junior student in college to be promoted before her. She took into consideration her poor educational background; however, she knew she was completely capable to fill that position. Instead of complaining or making any comment, the secretary just smiled and nodded showing agreement. Little did she know that her co-worker’s promotion wouldn’t be the worst piece of news she would receive that morning.
 Red and white balloons decorated the small office. Against the wall, a small wooden table covered with a plastic cloth. In the middle of the table, a round frosted cake where was written “Good Luck” in chocolate. Bottles of juice and diet soda made up the table. The woman, in her late 60’s, stared at her desk; it was full of presents, carefully wrapped in gift paper, which one given by her co-workers whose attention and consideration were responsible for the party to happen. Never had she imagined, she would work for the same company for such a long time. Twenty-years had passed since she first stepped into that company; she remembered every single detail of that warm spring morning when she thought she wouldn’t be able to move on with her life after her husband’s death, now she’s getting retired. Looking back on time makes her smile, she finally made it.

Salvador Dalí. A Persistência da Memória. 1931.

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