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Revenge Is Sweet
St. Patrick’s Comprehensive
“You really are a stupid woman,” Lally said in a voice loud enough for the entire office to hear. “Do you hear me Miss O’Brien. The more I see of your work the more I am convinced you are getting past your sell by date.”
Liz O’Brien’s face flushed, her eyes became watery and her hands shook. For once she did not even try to make an excuse. She knew from experience that it was pointless to try and explain that it was the computer program that was at fault. Lally was not interested in either excuses or explanations or even the truth. Liz just stood there and took the abuse, it was the easiest thing to do.
Peter Lally had once been described as a dog which in retrospect was not in the least bit complimentary to the canine species. He fitted the exact psychological profile of a bully and by the time he had reached the age of mid forties and the position of managing director he had a reputation that was not confined to Global Enterprises. Everyone in the business wondered how he had survived for so long without somebody taking a punch at him. He was cute enough and in reality avoided anyone whom was likely to respond to his brutish tactics usually picking on the meeker individuals either in the office or the factory floor. Women in particular he considered to be easy targets and were less likely to respond. People like Liz O’Brien who had worked in the company diligently for fifteen years, was unmarried and whose whole life revolved around her work..
The rest of the day seemed endless and it was quite obvious that Liz was deeply upset. Some office colleagues tried to console her, to no avail. It had not helped when she caught a couple of the office juniors looking in her direction and sniggering. She had even caught the words ‘Sell by Date’ as they giggled together.
Liz put on her coat and scarf and was just about to leave the office when Lally burst in again. “Miss O’Brien, I’m glad I caught you.” He thrust a bundle of papers in to her hand and turned. “There is a board meeting the day after tomorrow .I want them copied, eight copies, checked and I want cheques made out to all outstanding creditors on my desk for first thing in the morning.” As he was about to go out the door Liz stuttered. “Mister Lally I was on my way home. It’s my birthday and I was meeting some friends. Perhaps!.”. Lally did not wait for her to finish. “First thing in the morning, I said’. He looked at her and sneered. “I’m sure you have had plenty of other birthdays, one more won’t make a difference,” he said slamming the door behind him. Liz sighed, took off her coat and sat back at her desk. She had told half a lie. It was her birthday but she was not seeing any friends.
It was ten o’clock by the time she finished the paperwork. She left the office, bid goodnight to the security man and made her way up the street towards the taxi rank. She really needed to get home and get a hot bath and try and wash away all traces of Lally from her memory, at least until tomorrow. Her stomach turned at the thought of having to go back to work the following day. “Perhaps I’ll call in sick,” she thought. There was something else which niggled at her brain but she dismissed it. She was very tired. She really did not feel much better the following morning. Her sleep had been broken several times with dreams of Lally’s face staring in to hers, his mouth open as he screamed “Past your sell by date.” There was sweat on her face when she woke and she found herself trembling in the bed. Her glance at the clock told her she was half an hour late for work already which helped her make up her mind to take the day off. She rang the personnel department and informed them she was unwell and
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