“Ellie, I’m afraid your services are no longer required by this company. You are not a good fit for our team, and the synergy you bring to this team is not cohesive. We are looking for team players here, team members who want to bring this company into the next threshold of productivity, not tear it apart.”
Ellie was breathing hard in anger, but somehow managed to keep herself composed. “Allen, are you even listening to yourself? Can you even hear how ridiculous you sound?”
“Please, I think we can remain professional enough not to engage in more name calling,” Allen raised a conciliatory hand, trying to calm her down, but Ellie wasn’t going to have any part of it.
“No, I will not remain professional, not if being professional is being like the two of you. Allen, you’re speaking complete dribble,” Ellie raised her voice, speaking over the beginning of Allen trying to cut her off. “You sit there and speak about synergy and team cohesiveness, but you’re completely ignoring the fact that we’re not speaking about stupid ideas you learned in business school – we’re speaking about the law. What Carrie did was wrong. This isn’t a difficult concept. It’s illegal, and if you put this company’s name on it you’ll be an even bigger idiot than she is.” Allen’s mustache twitched as his mouth tightened in anger, but Ellie was far from finished.
She whirled around, pointing her finger at Carrie. “And Carrie – seriously. Do you have any redeeming qualities other than a big rack?” Carrie spluttered in anger, but Ellie just raised her voice, speaking over her. It worked well enough on Allen, after all. “Well, do you? Because as far as I can tell, your main contribution to this company consists of mincing around in skirts, passing off other people’s work as your own, and trying to see how much attention you can get by forcing us all to stare at your cleavage. If you’ve got something worthwhile to bring to the table, I think we’d all be happy to hear it.” Carrie sat there, the picture of delicate shock, covering her mouth with a well-manicured hand as her eyes began filling with tears. Ellie had to hand it to her – she had never met anyone who could cry on command better than Carrie.
Allen slammed both hands down on the table, standing suddenly. “Enough!” he roared. “Ellie, I will not tolerate you speaking to us like that.”
“Speaking like what, Allen? Honestly? What, are you so used to having people just spit your own ideas back to you that you get confused when someone actually bothers tells you the truth?”
“I said that is enough, Ellie! If there were an issue with the legality of her work, don’t you think I would have heard about it previously? What, do you have some kind of law degree that you didn’t’ divulge on your resume?”
The two of them stared at each other fuming in silence for a few heartbeats. In the chair beside her Carrie smirked, her crocodile tears from moments before completely vanished in her undisguised glee at the scene unfolding before her.
“No, I am not a lawyer, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have the education necessary to be able to tell right from wrong,” Ellie took a step forward, pointing at the proposal in front of her. “The proposal is a fraud. And you know as well as I do that if you decide to go through with submitting that proposal you’re just as guilty as she is.”
“So, refresh my memory. You have, what, a bachelor’s degree? In what – environmental sciences?” Allen shook his head with a derisive laugh. “I have a Masters in Business Administration – I am quite familiar with the legalities surrounding copyright infringement, and I don’t need a temporary employee to come in here and try to give me lessons on what I can and can’t do with my company.”
That was it. “Congratulations on your master’s degree, Allen. We’re all very proud of you. I’m glad to see your education isn’t getting in the way of your stupidity.” Ellie reached up to her name tag, unclipping it and tossing it on the desk. “I quit. No need to call security. I can find my own way out of here.”