|Harassment in the Workplace
Author: Acyrotin PM
A Toon has a curiosity for the cogs, and would be willing to do anything to learn about them. Will she give up all she knows to learn about them? Will she even end up joining their ranks, and forsaking all which toons hold dear? ON HIATUSRated: Fiction T - English - Chapters: 7 - Words: 12,467 - Reviews: 7 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 4 - Updated: 03-13-12 - Published: 02-21-12 - id: 7858693
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
It had taken her awhile to recover from her illness, but she was still as stubborn as ever. As soon as she could sit up and see clearly, she was back to work, now with answering calls on her plate as well as doing paperwork. Even while she battled a fever and a nasty, chest-aching cough, she worked. But did she complain? No. She didn't seem to be as affected by her job, now that she was no longer stepping foot in Toontown. She was just tired, by the time her shift was over...tired and hungry.
The edible gags that she had were gone relatively quickly, and it was really only thanks to dear Oleander that she wasn't going hungry. She was really starting to stack up a large debt to him, but he would always shut down any attempts of trying to paying it off, saying it was unnecessary. What a strange, strange cog...
"Miss Fancy, we need to get going soon if we're going to make it to the meeting." She lifted her head, pausing in her writing. Arthur was standing behind her, smoothing out his suit and overall making sure he looked presentable. Ever since she had essentially been evicted from Toontown, she hadn't had a place to stay, with only a temporary bed down in the repair bay while she was sick. Arthur had, graciously, allowed her to move into his apartment, one of the many in the skyscrapers that the toons never saw. They had been placed away for a reason, to give the cogs some place to not have to deal with those annoying little creatures on a daily basis.
The apartment was modern, decorated in silver and brass and dark colors...and given the previous roommate had met an untimely demise at the hands of toons some time before, she could happily call half of the place her own. Although, she did have to add a few things to make it habitable for herself. Particularly a small fridge of her own in her room. Cogs drank oil, ate synthetic food, neither of which she could touch. She also had to do some mild adjustments in terms of the shower...mainly being able to set the temperature to something that wouldn't melt her fur off if she dared step into the spray of water.
But, there was a bed. That was a plus side. She had learned that cogs went into a 'recharge' cycle at the end of their shifts, which was essentially sleeping by toon standards, so lucky her, there was one less thing she had to worry about finding and dragging in. She was also thankful she resided with a higher level and ranked cog. The lower the level and rank, the smaller and more basic the apartment. Cold callers essentially had a single room just a little bigger than a cubicle...she felt bad for them.
She smiled, closing her notebook and setting the pen aside. She hopped up from the desk and stretched, sighing as she buttoned up her jacket and ran a quick hand over her head, making sure the little curl of fur on her forehead was perfectly in place. The Mover and Shaker stepped aside, allowing her to make any adjustments to her appearance that she needed before she moved, stepping into her black flats. "Well, let's get a move on. We're dealing with all four bosses today, and I'd hate to get them in a bad mood by being late...they're already going to be nasty when the V.P tells them about me."
"Oh, I'm sure it'll be alright. Out of all of the boss brothers, the V.P is the one you'd trust not to feed you to the wolves." Arthur moved to the door, opening it and allowing the feline out first before he followed behind, the door closing and locking behind them.
"It's still a frightening concept, having them all gathering in one area. I mean, they're hard enough to deal with on their own. To think of all four of them being in the same room is just...daunting." She said as they walked down the hallway, past the various same-colored doors with the only individuality being the numbers hanging in the center of them. "How often do they do that?"
"Once a month, usually, and they take turns of where the monthly meeting is hosted. This month happens to be the V.P's turn...which gives him the opportune time to introduce you to the rest of them. They come with a few representatives of their own cache, meaning Lawbots, Cashbots, so on, and the four of them primarily talk about new events, how their business or court is doing. Even as a cog, I can safely say most of what ends up being said goes in one audio processor, and out the other. We key in on the important words and details, but black out the rest of it."
Miss Fancy giggled. "Wow, now that's boring. Glad to know that isn't a toon-only thing, tuning things out." She pressed the button of the elevator, glancing up and patiently watching as the lights flashed and dimmed as the elevator made its way up.
"I believe what you just said was an unintentional pun." Arthur spoke, his never-wavering smile wide as he looked down at her.
"What?" She blinked, and then made a small noise. "Oh yeah...toon, 'tooning' things out. Heh." She shook her head. The familiar 'ding' of the elevator was heard, its metal doors creaking open. They stepped in, spending most of the time in silence while it traveled down the many levels. Occasionally they were joined by another cog on the way down, and those that she knew she had brief conversations with. Simple 'How are you?' 'I'm fine, what about you?' sort of exchanges. She had found it wasn't that difficult to tell an individual cog apart, provided you looked for a 'marker' of sorts.
A scuff on the metal, a scratch. A patch in the suit, or a twitch or a difference in eye color. She hadn't ever mistaken Arthur or Oleander as another cog, or vice versa...she was rather glad for that.
Once they exited the building, it was straight into flying. The feline had long since grown accustomed to the experience of flight. She didn't care to do it while it was raining, given her last experience with it, but flying was fun when you weren't freezing to death. They cut through the dark skies, to a different part of Sellbot HQ. It was located in the back of the building, and it was the huge meeting room, with a door made for the large bosses of the different types. She tried to restrain herself from gasping as they made their way inside, looking up. "This room is huge!" She whispered quietly to Arthur, who just nodded. They made their way to their seats at the table designed for the normal cogs, taking their seats, a low level Cold Caller sitting on the other side of Arthur. "When are they all supposed to be here?"
Arthur paused, looking at the watch on his wrist. "Two minutes. You'll know when you hear the squabbling."
"Squabbling?" She asked. She received her answer soon enough, when she heard the loud voices outside. They were arguing over various business terms and the best way to deal with toons...it wasn't that hard to tell they were siblings. She just sat back in her chair, listening to the metal tracks as they rolled in. The first in was the V.P of course, followed by the C.F.O, the C.J and finally the C.E.O. Along with them came their representatives. Oleander, one of the bird-faced Legal Eagles and a Bottom Feeder were from the Lawbots. A Loan Shark, Number Cruncher and Short Change for the Cashbots, and a Big Cheese, Head Hunter and Flunky for the Bossbots.
They didn't seem to notice her...at first. However, the moment one of them saw that she was indeed a toon, oh the ruckus that was raised. Her ears fell against her head, her hands clamping over them to try to block out the worst of the screechy metal voices as they tried to argue over each other, growing louder and louder as they tried to trump one another and come out the victor of the argument.
"Will you all knock it off, please?" They hesitated, falling into a stunned silence. All eyes -uncovered and blindfolded- turned to look down at the feline, who huffed in annoyance and cleared her throat as she straightened up in her standing, adjusting her cuffs. "Thank you. Now please, this is a business meeting, meant to discuss such matters. You are all representatives of your caches, please stop squabbling like immature children and behave appropriately. All you are doing is wasting valuable time and degrading yourselves." Her arms folded behind her back as she looked up towards the V.P. "If you would like, I could introduce myself."
"I...um...go ahead." It was obvious they were still in disbelief. Arthur played it cool, although the look he had shot her had quietly stated 'Quite a bold move there, Miss Fancy.' She just smiled pleasantly.
"Chief Financial Officer, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Justice, sirs. I am Miss Fancy Petalbubble, the Senior Vice President's assistant. I give him information regarding the toons, and though I do not live amongst the toons anymore, I can still find sources who will give me information. I do my work as well as any cog, and I would rather not listen to any discrimination regarding what I am."
"Who does she think she is-!" The Chief Justice was about to begin, before the V.P shushed him.
"Now, now, C.J. If I didn't think she'd do well, then she wouldn't be sitting here. She lets you know up front what she expects...but, she's useful, and much better than my old assistant." The lawbot boss shut up, though with a sneer and the faintest of growls rumbling in his throat as he straightened up. "Now that we've gotten that out of the way, who wants to go over their monthly reports first?...I'm going to assume you, C.E.O?"
Of course, the Bossbot would go first. As he started talking, the Flunky had stood up to hand out reports for the cogs -and toon- set around the table. As he moved, however, Miss Fancy did notice he had difficulty trying to manage the large amount of papers in hand. She moved when she heard the faint thunk of his foot hitting one of the chairs, and saw him lurching forward.
She grabbed the reports that threatened to spill over and flutter into a raining mess of paper first, and twisted sharply on her heel, using her shoulder to stop the Flunky from landing on the floor. She gave a small, strained sound at the sudden weight leaning against her, and was greatly relieved when he scrambled up to his feet. The huge, round glasses were pushed up his nose as he sputtered apology after apology, which she quickly quieted, and took half of the stack to limit any more accidents. Everything was handed out, and she returned to her seat, listening to the droning on as the Bossbot talked about what they did...which, from what she could tell, was little more than converting toon buildings into cog buildings, golfing and something else...
Turns out, Arthur was right. These meetings were boring. And that was scary, given the nature of cogs. Some of the cogs around the table were nodding off, of slumped over with their arms holding up their heads. They would perk up a little once their bosses would start talking, but it was evident that nobody really wanted to sit around and talk, except the bosses themselves. Miss Fancy just leaned back, staring at the ceiling, her ears twitching to catch those 'key words' that were mentioned.
It was going to be a long, long, looooong meeting.