Volume 9, Issue 5
I turned slowly, casting my gaze toward the clerks surrounding me, vicious hunters in the wilderness, sniffing the air for the scent of prey: a Graduate who might need assistance with work; an Associate who had a research task to be outsourced. All was fair game in this concrete jungle, yet I saw that we all found ourselves starving in the slow hunting season of January. Such was the drought of 'meaningful' work for clerks.
Suddenly, I heard the unmistakable sound of footsteps around the corner. Could it be? Had our salvation arrived? Was our hunger to finally be satiated? Our prayers were answered with a lone Senior Associate walking down to our desks, a look of indifference about him, not knowing the eagerness to which we awaited his presence.
'Step into my office if one of you is free for the next 10 minutes. I've got a job for you'.
The call had been made to the masses; the chase was afoot! We waited patiently for our prey to slip out of sight before deftly reaching out for our notepads and stationery. Time was of the essence. Three of us sprang from our dens, moving with an efficiency that could only be described as 'economic'. I fought the urge to break into a sprint — this was as much a test of etiquette as it was of speed.
The others had a lead on me by approximately two paces, but this was no concern: the first of us had already fallen prey to the clichéd graduate-buddy-that-smiles-and-suggests-coffee. Ha! The soon-to-be-replaced leader's face fell as he realised he was no longer in the running. The offer could be rejected of course, but to do so would still require a pause in his step and an obligatory chat.
Two of us remained, now neck-and-neck. Armed with a taller stature and determination to rival my own, my opponent allowed a smirk to grace her face. She was taking the lead and she knew it. Should I retreat? Should I avoid the awkwardness of being the second, unnecessary clerk to show up at the door? These questions raced through my mind mere seconds before we arrived at our destination.
Only a miracle could save me now, and a miracle was granted. When all was lost; when I was in my darkest moment; a light cut through the gloom. How? In the form of a thunderous crack in the left heel of my rival's Jo Mercer stiletto pumps. Music to my ears. Mere seconds were gained, but the prize was mine. I glanced fleetingly at my colleague, still wondering if I should step aside and let her feast on what was rightly hers. Then I remembered: there is no honour in the jungle, only the satisfaction of bloodlust.
I sauntered into the office, my eyes gleaming with pride. Finally, meaningful work was mine for the taking!
'I'm about to jump into a conference call. Please take these documents to the mailroom, staple them, send them out, and give these documents to your buddy. That is all'.
I could have slaughtered him.
Have a funny clerkship story but still want a grad job? Send it to mlsdeminimis@gmail and we’ll publish it anonymously.
The rest of this week’s issue of De Minimis:
More De Minimis - other articles like this: