Like A Rash – Friday Fictioneers, August 2017

copyright Roger Bultot

Don’t take this personally, it’s not about you.”

Despite the rumours about downsizing, she’d not believed they’d choose her.  She’d never failed at anything, and she’d worked hard at making herself indispensable.

Ever-present, ever-helpful, all over everyone.


Yet as she cleared her desk, the relief in the office was palpable.

Relief that it wasn’t them?

Or relief it was her?

As she lugged her cardboard-box towards the exit, half-hearted calls of “don’t be a stranger, hey?” rang in her ears and she began to understand.

She’d thought what they needed was more of her.

In reality, they’d wanted less.


Friday Fictioneers calls for stories of 100 words in response to a weekly photo prompt.  Our host, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields presides over our activities each week.  Thanks for being there, Rochelle.

About Sandra

I used to cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and wrote fiction and poetry. Now I live on the beautiful Dorset coast, enjoying the luxury of being able to have a cat, cultivating an extensive garden and getting involved in the community. I still write fiction, but only when the spirit moves me - which isn't as often as before. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
This entry was posted in Friday Fictioneers, Just Sayin' and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

69 Responses to Like A Rash – Friday Fictioneers, August 2017

  1. Sue says:

    All too real….I’ve seen that happen a few times


  2. michael1148humphris says:

    Such is life, another career ruined.


  3. Every faithful workers greatest fear.


  4. gravadee says:

    Oh wow…that last line was unexpected…
    they needed her less…and all that she worked for just went against her
    Click Here to see what Mrs. Dash Says

    Liked by 1 person

  5. James says:

    It’s horrible being made redundant, especially when you’re older.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dear Sandra,

    That last line, as you would say, is a cracker. (This is a good thing, right? It’s meant to be. 😉 ) This story struck a nerve with me, as I worked for a store director who had one purpose. House cleaning. Those who lost their jobs had the audacity to have longevity and/or higher wages. It’s only due to my friends lawsuit and legal aid that was able to retire with over 20 years employment. Well written as always…your story, I mean.



    Liked by 1 person

  7. All too real, Sandra, yet sad each time you hear about it, no matter the reaction of co-workers. Hope you have a wonderful day and week, although I imagine I’ll see you later today. 🙂



  8. Really well done. The relief of the other people in the office is a nice touch, implying that she was physically disfigured (by smallpox scars, maybe?). Elegantly written and engaging.


  9. beautyswot says:

    Love the truth – it doesn’t pay to work too hard, very often it goes unappreciated


  10. pennygadd51 says:

    Fluent and well written, Sandra.


  11. How very sad. The line “don’t be a stranger seems falsely said.” I don’t believe anyone will miss her.


  12. So extremely real… it’s not always the best that are kept… there is a reason that business will decline.


  13. “Don’t be a stranger” inevitably means the opposite. Very sad and nicely written.


  14. Iain Kelly says:

    A few of us have been through this experience, and suffered the crisis of confidence that follows. Funnily enough, earlier this year I volunteered to take redundancy at my job and they wouldn’t let me go – sort of a back-handed compliment I suppose!


  15. Dale says:

    This was all too real for me. I’m one of those who makes herself indispensable and then resents it. I’d rather it be me resenting myself rather than the whole office!


  16. Lynn Love says:

    Well, that’s crushing! You can just imagine them all bitching about her when she’s out of the office. Office politics – hideous, just hideous. Nicely captured Sandra


  17. Sometimes these things are meant to be. Who knows what awaits her beyond the office walls?

    Click to read my FriFic


  18. I think your story strikes a nerve with everyone. Good job!


  19. Joy Pixley says:

    An excellent cautionary tale — it’s so hard to know whether what you’re doing is appreciated or actually working against you. You painted her disappointment so well.


  20. Another stark reminder of our frailties. This disease called greed hits anyone. Even those at the top.


  21. tedstrutz says:

    Very true. Clever with the title… a rash on the stones.


  22. plaridel says:

    i can relate to this story as it happened to me, too. she can learn to move on as i did.


  23. Mike says:

    Make you think that what you think you are might be totally different than what others think you are. This could be part of a college course. Well done.


  24. rgayer55 says:

    Ouch! This is more like an epidemic than a rash at the company where I work. Earlier this week, they ushered the head of R & D to his car. Lately, they’ve been showing several of the old timers the door. I wish they’d just pay me to stay home. I could get a lot of writing done if I didn’t have to worry about making a living.


  25. ceayr says:

    Expertly drawn picture of the ‘Me’ culture, and the cruelty and selfishness of people we think of as friends.


  26. Sarah says:

    The “half-hearted calls” was an excellent touch–adding insult to her injury.


  27. You captured a sad every day reality very beautifully, Sandra.


  28. granonine says:

    Since she goes off carrying the ruins of her castle with her, one can only hope she will not try to bebuild with the same stones.


  29. Jelli says:

    Oh, ouch, that bites hard. An all too real reality for far too many these days, for sure. Great write.


  30. draliman says:

    I feel really sorry for her 😦 She was trying so hard (okay, too hard as it turns out, but still).


  31. Moon says:

    Such a sad reality , especially, in the corporate world.
    Great story and title, Sandra.


  32. I wonder what her motivation was, to want to be indispensable. Craving love, appreciation, acceptance or power? Great character study, Sandra.


  33. Oh wow. Many many years ago I was one of the first to part of a “workforce reduction”. It’s so hard not to take these things personally. I feel for the woman in your story.


  34. brhntci says:

    Ooof! I’ve seen good people leave before, too. (Some for better opportunities, some not.) You made me remember a lot of those. The half-hearted farewells — to want well for someone, but not enough to lend a hand in the meantime, or even keep in touch.

    I can’t help but wonder whether a workplace relationship is genuine, or just based on some geographic/space-time/circumstantial convenience. What do you think?


  35. Rowena says:

    I loved this, Sandra and you really captured the difficult nuances of the office and also what can happen when you try too hard to win friends and influence people. I feel so sorry for her and wish someone could’ve explained the need for breathing space before it was too late.
    xx Rowena


  36. Dahlia says:

    This was really sad and all too real.


  37. subroto says:

    I can relate to this, a little too well 😦
    Nicely done.


  38. Ouch!!!!
    Not nice to be that person.


  39. gahlearner says:

    That poor person, I feel sorry for her. Reading the comments, I feel like I led a charmed life. Great writing, Sandra, as usual, with that painful twist in the end.


  40. Indira says:

    Excellent story as usual dear. It’s true for mothers also,sometimes. painful.


  41. prior.. says:

    this was wonderful – the title was very fun – and then what you gave us in 100 words – the sobering self-awareness depiction – very cool.


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