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Scott leaned against the door. The printer room was always one of Thom’s most disliked places at the office but seeing Scott effectively blocking the one exit while reading the print off shot his dislike to unfiltered hatred. I should have known the day would end here, he thought, adjusting his collar for the tenth time since Scott trapped him.

“This is some good stuff,” Scott  said snickering, “mind if I show a few friends?”

“Actually, no. I-“

“No?” Scott cut him off, “You don’t mind? What a good sport.”

Thom paled. It wasn’t supposed to be seen. It was all a mistake. Why did I have to check my email? There were rules against it for a reason. Whoever thought of that one in particular had to have known the shame of a private matter becoming public.

Scott advanced on him, causing Thom to swallow back his building fear. He wouldn’t be intimidated. Much. “Therapy isn’t anything to be ashamed of.” He tried to sound as believable as his therapist when she said to him but failed. His version sounded like he was convincing himself too.

“Then you have nothing be ashamed of so long as you do what I say.” Scott smiled and Thom could see the high school boy who got his way by bullying, blackmailing, and forceful coercion. Sadly, Thom was the high school boy who was knew what it was like to be an ant surrounded by big combat boots.

“I can’t. It’s against policy.” He exclaimed.

“Not if it’s one friend looking out for another.” Scott gave him a pat on the shoulder that felt more like a threat than friendly reassurance. “You’re going to be my personal grunt otherwise everyone will know you go to therapy and why. You won’t work anywhere after that.”

Scott saw the light die in Thom’s eyes. It was over. “But don’t worry. This stays between us.” He gave another thud of a pat to Thom’s shoulder as he tucked the evidence into his pocket.

“How do I know you won’t do it anyway?” Thom asked, finally finding his voice.

Scott opened the door and stood there for a while before looking over at his new grunt. “Because friends look out for each other.”



Sent to the Wrong Printer

You’re at work and you print something personal (and sensitive). Unfortunately, you’ve sent

it to the wrong printer and, by the time you realize it, somebody else has already scooped it up.