As I Sat on the Bus #13: Roxanne Learns about the Park

This is a continuing story. To read subsequent entries go here As I Sat on the Bus.

What an interesting day I had. After only three months of working Ms. Senter has entrusted me with more and more responsibilities. I feel like I might really go somewhere with my life. She called me into her office after lunch today. “Roxanne” she said “have you ever been to the park that is two blocks from our office?””No ma’am” I answered surprised and a little fearful. “Every morning I catch the number 10 bus on the corner by the Z Stop and Go and every afternoon I catch it just outside your window by Parking Garage A. The number 10 takes me all the way home. My little sister is usually waiting for me on our front stoop. She would be worried if I was late and momma might be mad if I didn’t start dinner on time.”

Ms. Senter smiled warmly and said “I understand that Roxanne but a young woman like you should get more sunshine. The days are getting shorter with autumn approaching and soon it will be too cold to take your lunch in the park.”

“My lunch” I asked? “Yes” she said. “I’ve noticed you sit by yourself, eat your sandwich and go back to work before your hour is even up. Now don’t get me wrong, we like that sort of dedication and work ethic here but we give you an hour for lunch in the hopes that you will return refreshed and be even more productive in the afternoon.”

I just sat there not knowing what to say when she continued. “Here is what I propose: for the next few weeks on days when the weather is nice I would like you to take your lunch break in the park. And so you won’t get bored, I am giving you this manual to read. It’s a little instruction guide on office procedures. This will tell you how to file correctly, the best way to answer phones, and it will even give you helpful hints on how to interact with your co-workers. Would you be interested in reading this?”

The whole thing kind of caught me off guard and I was trying to figure out what it all meant before I could say “Yes ma’am” and then she continued. “I am printing you a map of the neighborhood because I also want you to run some errands before and after your lunch breaks. Do you think you can do this Roxanne?” I didn’t hesitate this time “Yes ma’am” I readily agreed. But I didn’t feel easy about this new arrangement. It felt a little shady to me and I wasn’t sure why.

Ms. Senter had been nothing but helpful and friendly to me since the moment I first interviewed with her. I don’t know what it was that is bothering me but it is something.

This post is in response the writing challenge As I Sat on the Bus.

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