Is it any surprise that one of my favorite role play scenes casts me as your powerful, sexy boss and you as my employee — specifically, my employee whose devotion and commitment to our company needs to be demonstrated clearly . . . no matter what lengths he has to go to?
ME: The executive director of a large advertising or sales firm. A power-hungry bitch with a penchant for extra tight pencil skirts, low-cut blouses, and patent leather stilettos — the newer and shinier, the better.
YOU: A talented but often lazy employee. A relatively new hire who’s been slacking on the job once again despite already being given several warnings.
I sit at my office, my legs crossed on top of my giant cherry desk. I’m filing my nails with a smug grin on my face — I’ve just sent you a nasty email about your failure to turn in a recent report on time. It was due Friday afternoon — and today is Monday. I know it’s only a matter of minutes until you anxiously rush down the hall to me, a little winded winded . . . and very flustered.
Exactly four minutes after I’ve clicked “send,” you sheepishly pop my door open, poking in only your (already slightly sweaty) head.
“I see you read my email.” I say coolly, without looking at you at all. I’m still filing my long, glossy red nails.
“Um, well, yes, Aileen, I just read it. And, uh, well . . . ” you stammer, beads of sweat clearly visible on your forehead now as you hang in my door, not quite inside my office and not quite outside, either. The in-between space where you’re still unsure what do to — or what I’m going to do to you.
“Come inside and have a seat here. And close the door. Now,” I command — my voice still cool and even aloof, and still without having looked in your direction, still filing away at those perfectly groomed nails.
You saunter all the way inside, reaching a clammy hand behind you to shut the door. You hear a sharp “click” as it shuts completely. That’s weird, you think. Why would her office door lock automatically? You don’t remember it doing that last time you were in here . . . but you can’t be sure. And how could you possibly remember or think clearly now, anyway?! Your mind is too occupied inventing excuses for your lateness, too clouded with fear of losing your job in this moment — a moment where you really could cut the tension “with a knife.”
What’s really weird — and making you even more sweaty and nervous — is that this tension filling the room feels more than a little bit sexually charged. Is it? No, no . . . that’s just your horny, sex-crazed brain projecting . . . right? Yeah, it has to be that! No way your ridiculously hot boss is going to . . . yeah . . . no, no way — only in your (wet) dreams . . .
“Do you know what this place is? This building you spend all these hours in every week?” I ask, my voice now tinged with condescension. After a few seconds (which, to you, feels like an hour), I finally look at you. I stare directly in your eyes with an intensity that makes you squirm.
You fidget, visibly uncomfortable now. I won’t stutter, you tell yourself. Besides, if she wanted to fire me, she would have done it by now . . .
“Uh, it’s the company I work for . . . that we all work for . . . that you run, Ma’am.” you reply with as much confidence as you can muster (i.e., not very much).
“This building is where you WORK. Some people, MOST people refer to what they do when they go here as their JOB. And, whether you realize this or not yet, a JOB revolves around doing WORK. Does that sound familiar to you at all? Maybe a little bit?
Oh no, you think. She’s more mad than I thought. You start spluttering out a response, but I cut you off before you can finish your first (garbled) word.
“Apparently YOU think that what work entails, what your JOB consists of is jacking off in your office all day. At least, based on your work ethic — and what I found on your computer and in your internet history last night — that’s what it seems like. And that seems to be taking up most of your time in this building. In MY building. Tell me, is that what you’ve been doing in there? I want to know. Right now.”
To be continued . . .
NO LIMITS / NO RESTRICTIONS / NO TABOOS