I want to develop Sadie, see where she goes, maybe see her grow into something I can use in greater detail. That is why I’ve chosen her as my stand-in, and instead of a coworker writing about me, I chose Sadie’s boss, Erin (who you can meet in the first post about Sadie) to ponder a bit about her.
Erin was busy today. Managing a non-profit was tough enough without losing a top analyst for the week. For Erin, Sadie’s absence from work highlighted how much responsibility she’d given her over the past year. Not only was Sadie responsible for breaking down the numbers, she also organized the fundraising and motivated her team. Without her, the other analysts and volunteers simply sat around, or so it appeared to Erin.
There was a knock at the door to her office, but Erin could barely see the door over her daunting stack of paperwork. She mindlessly gestured for the guest to enter without realizing that she, too, was hidden from sight. “Come in!” she yelled after a moment had passed.
Clare, a volunteer from the morning crew, stepped inside and slowly closed Erin’s door behind her. With an insecure smile, she said, “Hi Erin. I was just wondering…” She let her voice trail as she noted the leaning tower of paperwork on Erin’s desk and Erin’s frazzled, distracted expression. “When is Sadie coming back?” she finished abruptly.
“On Monday, or so she claimed,” Erin answered without looking up.
“You’re not sure?” Clare asked, biting her lip.
“Oh what does it matter, Clare? Is there a problem?” Erin asked, obviously agitated. With a sigh, Erin leaned back in her worn-out leather desk chair, and removed her glasses. She glared up at Clare, glasses in hand, and waited with impatience for her answer.
“No, ” Clare admitted. “Just that… we’re not really sure what we should be doing, you know. She made our schedules every week. And, it’s like, we did the routine stuff, but I’m not even sure where to send the data. And usually-”
“Okay, I get it,” interrupted Erin. “I’ll give her a call and see if she can email me your directives.” With that, Erin turned away from her paperwork to face her computer and replaced her glasses.
Clare, understanding that the conversation was over, quietly left the room.
Erin did not call Sadie, however. She wanted the staff to know she had everything under control, but she knew that was a lie. She wasn’t even sure that Sadie was returning to work at all, and she thought she was at least partially to blame for that. Erin had a tendency to speak without thinking, and she wondered if she had insulted Sadie by mistake. She also recognized, now that Sadie was absent, how much Sadie had juggled in a single day at the office. There was no doubt that she was underpaid and underappreciated, but then again, so was Erin. So where did Sadie get off just taking an impromptu vacation? Where was Erin’s vacation?
Erin’s brow wrinkled. On one hand, Sadie was an asset. On the other, Erin thought she was being unreasonable. Maybe even a bit whiny. They all had their weight to pull. If her priorities did not lie with the organization, where did they lie? If her heart no longer belonged to their cause, she would not be a good role model for her team.
Things were changing; Erin knew that much. So far, she didn’t like it, but she had to admit it was out of her control. Monday could bring good things and a return to normalcy, or it could bring some unnecessary drama. Of course, it could bring nothing. Sadie might be gone for good.
Erin was not sure what she wanted to happen.
Read more about Sadie under the category, Fragments of Fiction.
© Alexis Jenny, 2011.
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Sadie left work that day in high spirits, full of energy. She felt ambitious and liberated, and she occupied her thoughts with what she could accomplish over the next seven days. However, later that night, she felt an overwhelming sense of loneliness coupled with doubt over her decision to leave her job. Sure, she might still have her job next week, but she doubted she’d return to work without feeling the brunt of a single consequence. Alone in her dimly lit duplex, she felt insecure and foolish. Had she acted irrationally?
The dishwasher started its cleaning cycle and snapped her out of her pitiful trance. It was surprising loud, a sound she was unfamiliar with because she always set the timer to start after she’d gone to bed for the night. Instinctively, she jumped up from her threadbare couch, thinking that it was past her bedtime. But what reason did she have for an early turn-in tonight? The realization slowly overtook her and altered her nervous mood. She was free to stay up late, sleep in late, and do as she pleased. She settled back into the couch and picked up a book on the nearby end table. An hour later, as the dishwasher continued to tumble water through the rinse cycle, Sadie realized it was the best sound she had ever heard.
Disclaimer: These characters are completely fictitious, and any resemblances to persons living or dead are entirely coincidental.
© Alexis Jenny, 2011.