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Rated: E · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2276367
A female employee is summoned to her employer's office.
Mr. Peridot’s Glass Ceiling
WC 271


I had been summoned to Mr. Peridot’s office. There I sat, watching him eat his lunch.

“Why am I here?” I said, finally. “I’d like to get my project finished by five.”

He wiped mayonnaise from his mouth with a paper napkin. I decided not to tell him he had dribbled some onto his silk tie.

“Arlene, what’s your definition of a glass ceiling?”

I certainly knew what it was, having been denied promotions because I was a woman…an overweight woman.

“It’s an artificial social barrier, sir. Why do you ask?”

He slurped the last of his chocolate milkshake before answering. I forgot to mention that Mr. Peridot is a bit hefty himself, but that had apparently never stopped him from advancement.

“Because, Arlene, you’ve just broken through it. Congratulations!” he said. “I’ve turned over a new leaf Instead of promoting male apple polishers, I’ve decided to give worthy women a chance! And I have chosen you as the first. You have been a faithful employee for five years and have never complained once about not advancing.”

His chest puffed out, his double chin reaching for the sky, he seemed so very proud of himself…not having a clue as to what he had revealed.

I pushed my chair back, stood up, and walked toward the door.

“Well, what do you have to say, Arlene?”

“Too little, too late, sir! I quit!”

Before exiting Mr. Peridot’s office forever, I said. “The project I needed to finish by five o’clock was my resignation letter, sir!”

I hurried to my cubicle, suddenly feeling light as a feather, soaring high above Mr. Peridot’s glass ceiling.
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