Friday 17 April 2015

'Dear Colleagues' by Wendy Booth

Dear Colleagues,

“As our work increasingly involves travel between the company’s three UK offices and duties spread us across different departments, some of us are finding it necessary to hot-desk on other people’s machines.  Whilst I am totally fine with this, can we please practice some common courtesy when doing so?  For example, don’t reset desktop icons, change mouse sensitivity, remove favourites, hide pictures of people’s cats (or any pets), disconnect hardware, leave half-eaten egg sandwiches, chew pens, alter chair height or ‘tidy’ papers away.

Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

Verity’s hand shook as she hit the send button.  The worst thing about working a three-day week was that her desk never felt like her own.
Within seconds, sniggers bounced over the partition and the usual suspects could be heard jeering and throwing comments.
“That’ll show ‘em Vezza.”
“Those Southerners won’t mess with your desk again!”
And then, “Hey, you do know other users can’t actually change your desktop icons?”
Really?  Is that true?
“Or the mouse settings?”
The anger she’d quelled in sending the email now hung like a lingering smell – hot and stagnant, approaching something more like humiliation.  Apparently, an overnight system update was the cause of most of her complaints. 
She chewed on a flaking fingernail and slunk down in her seat so she could only see the tops of her colleagues’ heads bobbing with whispers and giggles. 
But, at least nobody would tamper with her printer now and the keyboard wouldn’t be unplugged.  Keith would think twice about dropping eggy crumbs on her desk too.

On Monday morning Verity hit her chin on the desk, as the seat - adjusted to comedy height - dropped to the floor.  Pretending she meant to do this, Verity flicked the monitor on.  The screen orientation was set to upside-down.  She reached for the mouse.  It had been replaced by an egg and cress sandwich.

FlashFlood is brought to you by National Flash-Fiction Day UK, happening this year on 27th June 2015.
In the build up to the day we have now launched our Micro-Fiction Competition (stories up to 100 words) and also our annual Anthology (stories up to 500 words).  So if you have enjoyed FlashFlood, why not send us your stories?
More information about these and the Day itself available at


  1. Enjoyed this. Light read with a tad of humor mixed with emotion. I felt such empathy for Verity! Well done


FlashFlood is OPEN for submissions until 27 April 2024!

FlashFlood is OPEN for submissions from 12:01 a.m. BST on Sunday, 21 April to 23:59 BST on Saturday, 27 April 2024. You can read our submi...