In any work environment, there are a few co-workers that, for some reason or another, are barely tolerable.  One [at work] I’ve named The Running Man (The name is changed to protect those around him).


Running Man is the head of Human Resources.  I call him Running Man because he has the infuriating habit of running down the hall, in front of my office, when excited.  He reminds me of a small boy that has learned that free ice cream is being handed out down the street.  The boy screaming, “Save some for meeeee,” as he tramples on innocents to get his treat.  But in Running Man’s case, and judging from the way he deals with people, Running Man gets his oomph when someone is about to be fired, or he’s learned the company is being sued.   As he soars by, you can almost hear him thinking: “As head of HR, I am very important!  I have a secret, and must run down the hall to tell the President this news! Out of my way! Wow—listen to how my heels clomp—isn’t that a neat sound? I must hurry or someone may beat me to the President—make way for the Running Man!!!”


I’d like to be responsible for one of his races.  Unfortunately, that means being fired, or suing—um, I choose—.   In case I’m not around, I have a person assigned to enjoy it for me, and describe it in detail.  I have seen his antics enough to enjoy her description without witnessing it personally.  His tiny eyes bulging, his mouth in a smirk (Feeling it inappropriate to display pleasure at being sued, he’s stifling a full smile.), his elbows pumping, propelling him forward.  His tie is flying back and forth with the swing of his arms, and those shoes are pounding the carpet so that it sounds like hammering bare cement.  Once at his destination, a door slams announcing his arrival—then nothing, for a while—until he does the run in reverse.  The significance of his mission calls for his thirty-second return flight to his office.  Make way—I’m on a vital mission for the President!  Move!  This is so yummy.  Maybe later we will fire someone, and I can run back down the hall.  As he passes my office I see the backs of his trousers, and the heels of his shoes, but I have heard him as he made his way to me, and can track him by dwindling thuds until the slamming of his door.  I picture him, cheeks flushed from the excitement of his task, mouth held in a grimace to reflect seriousness, but his eyes sparkle, exposing his glee.


I hope I’ll be here for one last run. I would enjoy being responsible for it, though any run will do.  Anticipating this occasion, I’ve developed a wild love for bananas—and a sloppy indifference—toward their slippery little skins.