A new coworker and an empty office on Christmas Eve

Using the empty office seemed like a good idea at the time. I mean, I know that open work environments are all the rage and that they are supposed to be great for collaboration and stuff, but the lack of privacy is going to take some getting used to. Besides, all they have me doing for my first week is online training anyway. I don’t need to collaborate with anyone yet and using the empty office meant I could use my speakers rather than my headphones, which always make my ears hurt if I wear them too long.

Sure, using the empty office seemed like a good idea, but now I come out to get some water and everyone is gone. It’s only 2 o’clock, but no one is around.

Where is everyone?

empty officeOh, shit.

It’s Christmas Eve. They probably have early dismissal or something. Everybody went home early.

Oh, shit.

Did they lock the doors? Can I get out if they lock the doors? Am I trapped in here?

Oh, shit.

I remember a Ray Bradbury story about a world where the sun only shines for an hour every decade or something. A little girl got locked in a closet by some mean kids and missed the whole thing.

Is that me?

Am I going to miss Christmas because I am trapped inside a building I’ve only worked at for a couple days?

Oh, yeah.

I’ve got a cell phone. Duh. I can call the police.

Although that would be pretty embarrassing. For the rest of my time here I would be known as the girl who got locked in the building on Christmas Eve.

Maybe I should just camp out here. There’s probably enough food in people’s desks that I can survive. Then when people come back I can hide, sneak out, go home, get changed, and come back. I’ll only be faulted for coming in a little late after a holiday.

Or maybe I should call the police and then quit.

But I thought I was going to like it here.


“There you are!”

“Jesus! You scared me!”

“Sorry. We were looking all over for you.”

“I found an empty office. I was doing my training in there. I wondered where everyone went.”

“It’s Christmas Eve! We’re having a party in the 3rd floor conference room. Come on. We were afraid you’d miss it.”

“A party? Of course. That makes sense.”

“Then we’ll probably be let go around 3:30. And don’t try to be an overachiever by sticking around. If they lock the doors you’ll be stuck here until after the holiday.”

“I couldn’t even imagine that.”

*     *     *     *     *

This is part of my Fiction Friday series. Related posts:

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