Indefinite suspension.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Already reeling from the pain and humiliation from my first suspension, I screwed my life and computer career big time in a series of mishaps that tore apart my relationship with Candace and my co-workers.

After my return after being suspended for a week, I got written up for my unauthorized use of the Internet. That makes it the second time I got written up. Candace was very stern the whole time she talked to me. In a tone of voice that devastated me, she said, “Mike, that makes it twice I’ve written you up. If I write you up for anything at all again, you will be fired. So, you know, don’t screw with me.”

How about that. There’s nothing like coming back from a suspension to find out that my career’s on thin ice. Candace even said so herself. “Mike, you had better be very, very careful from now on. You are now on extremely thin ice.” That made me devastated.

Never mind that I still had a job – I was scared that I was edging ever closer to being fired. I didn’t feel committed to trying harder. What’s the use? No matter what I do, Candace will write me up. I think she’s trying to get rid of me.

I walked somberly back to my desk. I turned on my computer to log in and read my e-mail. Then Candace came up to me and took a look at what I was doing. It was clear she didn’t trust me anymore. “Reading your e-mail,” she said. “Okay, well, I’m going out to lunch. I’ll be back in an hour. Remember what I told you – you’re now on thin ice…”

Candace left. I waited a few minutes to make sure she really was gone. After checking the office that Candace left, I returned to my desk and fired up Netscape to look at some gruesome pics. Just when I started to browse through the disgusting images of messy suicides, I heard Candace say, “Whatcha doing now?” I gasped and immediately kicked the reset button on my computer to activate the reboot. I slowly turned around and faced Candace, not sure if she was going to fire me.

“I saw what you were doing,” she said. “It was really, really disgusting.” I was sweating nervous and breathing hard. Candace said, “If I were you, I would really stay out of the office today and concentrate on cleaning up the closet and the chapel office. Now turn that computer off and get to work.”

With that, she left. On the way out, she stopped and turned to watch me grab the keys to the closet and chapel office. “Come on,” she said. I headed out of the office, with Candace on my heels. It was so embarrassing. She followed me to the closet and when she became confident that I was finally going to do something besides surf the Net, she left me.

Okay, it was time to get something done. I opened the closet door and stepped inside. I started to work, picking up trash off the floor and re-arranged some boxes. I remembered that there were some stuff back at the office that I thought would be better off in the closet. I walked back to the office to fetch some old power cords and some monitor cables. While I was there, I decided to log in my computer.

Ah, what the hell. Candace is gone. Time for a quick surf. I fired up Netscape and went back to the gruesome pics site and continued browsing. Sick pictures, but I loved them. I checked for Candace returning every 30 seconds, and soon, I decided I was pushing my luck too far. Before I closed my session, I heard Candace say, “How does the closet look?” She sneaked in and was watching me the whole time. “Mike, that’s twice I caught you. Come on, let’s see what you did in the closet. You had an hour.”

Candace and I walked to the closet and when I told her that I picked up some trash and re-arranged some boxes, Candace shook her head. “And that took you and hour?” I nodded, feeling extremely scared. “Never mind the closet. I’ll clean up in here. Go clean out the chapel office. And please do NOT get on the Internet again!”

I headed for the lobby to get in the chapel office. Once inside, I threw empty boxes out of the room and cleared some room to walk. Just when I thought I was making good progress towards a job well done, Candace came storming into the chapel, screaming, “Mike! You do NOT throw empty boxes in the chapel!” She yelled, “What if someone wants to come in?”

I just stood there.

“Are you just going to stand there looking stupid or are you going to explain yourself?”

Candace’s yelling had everyone in the lobby staring at me.

“Mike!!” Candace screamed. “Never mind! I’ll clean up the chapel office! You go back to the office and key charges, and remember, if I catch you on the Internet ONE MORE TIME, you will be OUT OF HERE!”

To be continued…

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