ILLUMINATI GIRL GANG VOL. 3

home|blog|in print



LK Shaw

SEARCH


People who had worked at the office for a long time had inferred that their boss was a ‘secret lesbian’ and would then suggest that this was the reason why June had been able to hold on to the job as her receptionist/assistant for so long. This was their way of admitting that June was a good looking woman whilst back-handedly suggesting that she wasn’t particularly skilled as a receptionist/administrative assistant. June found this idea to be highly amusing or vaguely depressing, depending on her mood.


June had recently diagnosed herself with manic depression using the internet because she was prone to regular and violent mood swings which affected her ability to enjoy life. As she didn’t have health insurance, she could not afford a proper diagnosis, but June felt that she didn’t really need a proper diagnosis. She had read over 150 articles and watched 3 documentaries on the subject.


On occasions when June found her life to be highly amusing, she would buy cheese pizza slices and single servings of garlic dipping sauce and she would put them in her mouth at the same time and feel at peace with herself. On occasions when she found her life to be vaguely depressing, she would consider different ways in which she could change her co-workers’ lives by encouraging them to think a little more. She was mostly just bored. There was nobody June really wanted to talk to except for Casper, and Casper was always asleep during the times of the day when June was awake.


June didn’t care about the possibility that she had kept her receptionist/assistant position for so long based on how nice she looked rather than on her skills in the realm of administration, but that didn’t mean that she wasn’t an emotional person.


June would sometimes just feel sad for everybody who was alive in the world and this would naturally include herself, her friends, her family and the people in her immediate surrounding area, including the office building where she worked. Over the years, thirteen separate people had told June (to her face) that she was ‘too sensitive’, and as a result, June imagined that perhaps dozens more had considered saying something similar but had ultimately felt too afraid of making her upset and changed the subject. June once thought she had written a poem about this called, ‘Paranoid’ but later found out she had just printed off the lyrics to a song by Kanye West.


She had originally gotten her job because once when she was unemployed, she had registered with an employment temping agency and one day when she was asleep in her bed, the employment temping agency had phoned and asked her if she would be able to cover reception at the American Alliance for Overseas Optometry Regulators because the regular receptionist had contracted a tropical illness. June had said that she could do that and so got dressed and walked to the subway station and took the subway and went to the address which the lady from the employment agency had given her.
June was listening to a lot of rap music during this time in her life because it made her feel temporarily less miserable and generally more invincible. Her favourite rappers were Jay-Z, Mos Def and Lil Wayne. She felt neutral when she thought about Tupac, but she had a hard time admitting that to most people.


The office for the organization was on the seventh floor of an aesthetically soviet, concrete building next to the second to last stop on the subway line, close to the airport. June walked into the building and felt preemptive regret for an imagined version of the rest of her life. She rubbed her stomach and waited for the elevator. She was standing next to a medium sized family, one member of whom was a small, crying child. She could see that the child was crying and kicking its legs violently, but she could not hear any sounds because she was listening to Miami by Will Smith.


A jolly, morbidly obese woman thanked June for coming and showed her to the reception desk. She told June that it was a very stressful and difficult position and that her main priority should be to make sure that ‘no matter what’, the phone was promptly answered every single time it rung. The woman showed June how to operate the phone system and handed her a piece of paper with people’s names and extension numbers printed on it in comic sans font. June stared at the numbers on the paper and felt nothing. June glanced at the names on the paper and felt severe depression. ‘Nice’, she said out loud to the jolly, morbidly obese woman, but the jolly, morbidly obese woman had already left.


June sat down at the reception desk and looked at her cell phone for five seconds. She noticed that she had gained a follower on twitter. ‘Okay,’ she thought and put her cell phone away. The office phone rung and June said, ‘Good morning, American Alliance for Overseas Optometry Regulators, June speaking’ and spoke briefly to a person who was calling from the Philippines. June dialled the extension number of another person in the office. She connected the call and answered another one and felt comfortable, empty and generally okay about herself. She sunk low in her swivel chair and idly browsed the internet.


This went on for six or seven months and nothing else happened in the world except for three low-level natural disasters and seventeen historically minor wars. June cut her bangs at one point but gradually grew them out to resume a centre parting.


Life was passing by and things were not terrible. June memorized the lyrics to every song on three of Jay-Z’s earliest albums and learned one dance routine.

Eventually, the real receptionist died from natural causes (unrelated to the tropical illness), and therefore the job became available on a permanent basis, which marked the start of a ‘potential new chapter’ in June’s life. June’s life didn’t seem too terrible before because she had been working on a temporary contract, but the possibility of a ‘permanent’ position made her life feel exponentially more fucked up.

Legally, June’s jolly yet controlling, morbidly obese boss was obligated to interview external applicants for the receptionist position, but secretly she only wanted for June to do the job because she had fallen in love with her. (The rumors were true). She asked June if she would want to interview for the receptionist position and June said, ‘You already know that I can do the job but I guess I can do an interview if you want me to. I don’t know. You’re the boss. You’re the boss lady.’
June’s boss told her she would have to think about it (because she was playing hard to get). Over the next few days, three hundred applicants passed through the office. June felt surprised to learn that so many people desperately wanted to do the shitty job that she had been doing for the past half a year without noticing. June thought a lot about trying to change her co-workers lives by forcing them to think a little more. She considered telling them about how much she hated every one of them, but she realized that nobody would really care if she hated them. And she didn’t hate them. She didn’t care. June was just bored, that was all. That was it. That was all of it.


Hehe.


June laughed at herself. ‘My life is less shitty than all of these other people’s, she thought, ‘and yet somehow I am the most unhappy. What is up with that?’ She spent a couple of days googling more types of depression.


One day, June was sitting alone in a shopping mall adjacent to the office building (during her lunch break), when her jolly yet controlling, morbidly obese boss approached her ‘out of nowhere’ with conversation.


‘What are you doing?’ asked her boss.


June felt startled. She didn’t usually engage in conversation this personal, unless it was with strangers on the internet.


‘I am on the phone to the government.’ said June.


‘You’re clearly not on the phone to anyone,’ said her boss.


This was true. June was clearly not on the phone to anyone. She was only holding a vegetarian hot dog.


‘You just told a lie,’ said her boss.


June looked at her boss’s face. Her face was leathery and stern. June looked out of the window and saw a cloud formation which spelled the word ‘lie’. She almost said, ‘Look, we’re in a food court,’ but then managed to suppress that urge comfortably.


‘I have a date with an expensive bottle of vodka later’, said her boss. ‘Do you want to come to my house for a shot?’


June expressed disinterest using her lower facial muscles.


‘I’m just, you know, trying to get through life,’ said her boss.


Her boss started laughing a lot. She threw her head back like a nervous hyena and laughed in an over exaggerated manner.


‘I’m sorry, I can’t. I’m busy,’’ said June. ‘I have plans. I have plans. I have.. I must listen to rap music. My psychiatrist recommended I listen to rap music…’’


‘Okay. I understand,’ said her boss. ‘I understand you deeply and I appreciate your honesty.’

‘Okay,’ said June. ‘Okay, thanks. I am glad.’

June returned to the office and sat down at the reception desk. She looked at her cell phone and saw that somebody in Cambodia had text her a photo of a yeti. ‘Nice,’ said June. She looked around suspiciously at an empty corridor. ‘Okay’ she said. ‘Okay’.

The office phone rung. It was June’s boss phoning from a different part of the building.
‘June, it’s me…your boss,’ said her boss. ‘Switch the phone off. It’s time for your interview now. Come and meet me in the boardroom.’

June switched the phone off and walked to the boardroom. She thought about being eaten by a venus fly trap and about the kind of people who quote Ernest Hemingway a little too often.


June knocked on the door and nobody said anything. June walked into the boardroom. She saw her jolly yet controlling, morbidly obese boss sitting on a chair next to the large ‘boardroom table’. Her boss was wearing a knee length, leopard print skirt with no tights. June thought something about how her calves actually looked like cows. She thought something about etymology. She imagined her boss as a giant hamburger.


‘Hi’ said June. She thought about throwing a harpoon at a giant hamburger. She thought about a leopard print, giant hamburger with a harpoon stuck in the top like a cocktail stick.


‘Hi’ said her boss. She put her hand on her left thigh and it wobbled violently. ‘It has come to my attention that you’re not happy here. It has come to my attention that you’re not really interested in the work that you’re doing for the American Alliance for Overseas Optometry Regulators. I have been monitoring your google searches. I want you to know that. I have been monitoring the things you search for on the internet.’


June grinned and felt startled and excited and suddenly very focused on her jolly yet morbidly obese boss’s wobbling thigh.


‘I don’t know what your problem is, exactly,’ June’s boss said carefully. ‘We all care about you. We all want to help you. We want you to work here because you’re an asset to the team and the Alliance needs you… but after looking at your google searches, the things you’re looking for on the internet… I feel worried and like I don’t know if we can work together.„ You are often distant and seem detached from all of us here and I don’t know, I don’t know if it’s in our best interest to keep you on. If you don’t understand what I mean, please take a look at this paper.’


She handed June a print out of an email with the subject heading, ‘Things June has searched for on the internet.’


The body of which read:


bipolar depression
how to tell if your coworker is homicidal
kanye west
internet poetry
love
love
love
love
love
love
love
love
love
love
love
love
love
love
love
love
love
love
love
love
love
love
love
love
love
love
love



LK Shaw is the editor of Shabby Doll House