I work in a high-stress environment, and I accept that. Most days of work involve heaps of abuse from people who feel that, due to the amount of money they have, they are entitled. They feel that they can say whatever they want to whoever they want, and any opinion that differs from theirs is simply wrong. This is something I accept and put up with on a daily basis, because that’s what my job entails. Days like today, though, are what push me close to the edge of saying “Fuck this job” and walking out.

The community that I work within is gated, and access is controlled primarily by remote transponders that open the gates. Today, a resident came into my office, claiming that one of his transponders was not working and needed to be replaced, and that he wanted to purchase another one as well. The community Board of Directors has set rules regarding these things; payment can only be made by check, and there is a cost involved for both of them. When I communicated these facts to him, he got extremely aggressive and began to verbally abuse me, insinuating that I didn’t know how to do my job. He demanded to speak to my manager (who just re-iterated what I said) and continued on his tirade. Finally, when he realized that we weren’t going to break the rules to make him happy, he took one of my business cards, and made what I think was an attempt to insult me.

Guy: “Hey, that’s a nice shirt.”
Me: “Thanks, I like it.”
Guy: “Yeah, you sleep in it?” (walks out)

… Was that supposed to be an insult? Thinking about it, all I can come up with is that he was somehow trying to insinuate that I was poor. I… guess? Regardless, for people to have that kind of attitude just baffles the hell out of me. I get that you own an expensive house; I get that you feel like because you have money, everything’s supposed to work out magically for you. But you don’t have the right to belittle people, to treat them like shit, and to act like you’re so much better than they are. That’s called being an asshole, and I really wanted nothing more than to call him out on it.

I need a job, though, so all I can do is smile and wait for the next incident.



As Ein stepped on the net, concealed beneath a thin layer of leaves and branches, time blurred into an indistinguishable flood of images.  The dirt walls of a pit, crudely dug out.  Flashes of green overhead, and air rushing past his face as he ascended.  Vertigo induced by the lazy spin of his cage, twisting around as he flailed.  The guttural snarls emerging from his lips, some bestial part of him raging against entrapment.  Finally, as the initial rush of adrenaline wore off, his anger subsided and he forced rationale back into his mind.

No one was in sight.  No cries of alarm had been sounded to the best of his knowledge, and from above the forest floor looked serene, as if the entire course of actions had just occurred on a different plane of existence.  Only the gaping maw of the now-exposed pit served as an indication that anything had changed.  Breathing heavily, Ein looked around, searching for anything that could help him.  Leaves of all colors rustled gently in the breeze, but save for the quiet whisper of the wind, all was quiet.  Grimacing, Ein clenched at the rope of the net, as searing anger rose within him.  Caught like an animal.  Disgusting.  He began pulling at the knots in the rope, trying to find a weak link that could be exploited, but the net was well-made and yielded nothing to his efforts.  Anger gave way to despair and Ein sighed as he crumpled, dejected with the apparent inescapability of his prison.

From high above him came a short, but audible crack.

Eyes wide, Ein looked up, shifting to peer through the openings between the ropes.  The branch holding his cage was invisible to him, but… That was a crack, wasn’t it?  Pulling himself up, Ein grasped the ropes before thrusting all of his wait down, tensing expectantly as he heard… nothing.  Over and over he dropped his weight, and just as his frustration began to overcome his hopes, he heard it again.  Crack.  Elated now, he redoubled his efforts, and soon the cracks came regularly, until finally, unexpectedly, his support gave way and he found himself plummeting out of the sky.

Right towards the depths of the crude pit.

Panic overtook him for mere moments before the unseen branch caught on something, whipping Ein’s body forcefully in an arc, away from the pit, to tumble on the ground.  Many minutes passed before he began extracting himself from the debris, and on shaky legs, he rose triumphantly.  His entire body ached from his ungraceful landing, but he was free.  Unsteadily, he moved to the edge of the pit, sneering at it as if it was a living being he had conquered.  “Not today.”, he spoke, the first words that had escaped his lips since awakening.  They sounded harsh and unfamiliar as they broke the silence he had grown accustomed to.  As he began to turn away, a glimmer of light reflecting from the hole caught his eye.  Peering over the edge, his heaving breath caught and he recoiled in disgust.  Bones littered the bottom of the hole, and enough were visible that he could only assume they were human.  Swallowing his fear, he leaned over further, and saw what had shone in the dim light – a knife, long rendered unneeded by its owner (whom he assumed was a resident of the pit), the blade still shining faintly.  Ein studied the pit for some time before looking back at the remnants of the net.  The knife would likely prove useful, but venturing down into the collection of remains was a thought he found unnerving.

Shortly thereafter, Ein left the area, proceeding again towards the much-needed water.  His new knife, wrapped in cloth torn from his shirt, sat comfortably in his pocket.  He silently resolved to put it to use on whoever had laid the trap he had stumbled into.