Going Places (Flash Fiction)

Catherine and Susanne were both standing in their cubicles, leaning toward each other where the corners met. Their eyes peered over the thin walls and went from left to right as they watched Bob zoom up and down the narrow aisles. His arms were filled with folders and mail and files from the printer, and loose pages occasionally slipped from his stack and fluttered to the ground.

“What the hell is with that guy?” Susanne asked.

Catherine smiled. “That’s Bob. We call him RoBob.”

“Robob?” asked Susanne.

Catherine squinted as Robob darted down their aisle. “Yeah. Originally it was RoboBob the Crazy Robot, but people kinda kept tripping over all the B’s. So we shortened it to RoBob.”

“I don’t get it,” said Susanne. She took a quick sip of her coffee and set the cup down again. RoBob was fast approaching a corner and she didn’t want to miss the possible collision.

“We’re not as funny as we’d like to think,” Catherine said. “We all thought it was pretty clever at the time, but I guess that’s why we work in cubicles instead of comedy clubs.”

“Seriously, what’s his deal?” Susanne’s face was becoming more and more twisted as the confusion racked her brain.

Catherine let out a small sigh of disappointment as RoBob barely missed a new intern who stepped out of the bathroom. He zoomed on by and the intern give the back of his head a sharp glare. “He thinks by moving around like that he’s showing the world he’s motivated and hard-working. The truth is, he does half as much work as the rest of us. He’s so disorganized and constantly forgetting stuff that he has to go back and forth multiple times for something that should have been one trip.”

RoBob made quite the maneuver and darted between two men in suits talking over full coffee cups. One of them gave him a mighty finger. A post-it note blew off from his pile of papers.

“Why doesn’t Harken do anything about it?” asked Susanne. She ducked as RoBob zoomed by again.

“Harken thinks it’s funny. And he’s right,” Catherine said, “it is funny. But god that guy is annoying.”

“How often does he crash into stuff?”

Catherine ducked down and crouched low within her cubicle. RoBob rounded a corner and came right down her aisle. Catherine peaked, turned and opened the bottom drawer of her desk, and bent over, taking great care to extend her butt out into the walkway as Bob came flying by. He swerved to miss but she leaned out further and just clipped his hip. Bob bounced off her rear-end and right into the entrance of the cubicle opposite to her. A flood of papers spilled across the carpet as he rolled to the ground. Catherine smiled at Susanne and stood up.

“What the hell, Bob!?” shouted Catherine. Around the office, eyes were peering over the edges of cubicle walls.

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