EavesDropping

Rudy arrived early to work, as usual, and sat at his desk, going over the day’s expectations. As he quietly nibbled on a light breakfast, while checking emails, he overheard a nearby conversation.

“Oh. You’re early this morning!” an employee exclaimed, speaking to her manager.

The employee was decorating her manager’s cubicle with balloons, hoping to surprise the higher up for her birthday; a tradition throughout the department, to celebrate people’s special day. The employee had just inflated one of the several balloons, and was pinching it so that the air would not escape.

In the meantime, Rudy continued to work while eavesdropping on their banter.

“So, how does it feel to be 50?” the employee asked her manager.
“I’m not 50, I am only 43!” the manager responded firmly, with attitude; yet, embarrassed.

Just then, the balloon the employee was holding left her grasp, deflating, making a slow blub-blub-blub sound, as it spun towards the floor.

“Oh, I thought…,” the employee tried to redeem herself.
“I guess!” the manager responded.

Rudy slapped his hand over his mouth, holding in the laughter that was trying to escape. His body began to shake as he tilted his head back, opened his eyes wide, and continued to press his now-fisted hand onto his pursed lips. He lowered his right elbow onto his desk, then the left one, and slowly lowered his face into both hands, sucking in air, then slowly exhaling.

“Awkward!” he thought as he slowly shook his head to and fro, while the manager stomped off.

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