Documentation of Workplace Incident 224 by Wendy Nikel

As I clock in, my stressometer blinks yellow. I hide it beneath my sleeve. If I go red again, the boss will fire me for anothermark against their Healthy Workplace Rating.

It blinks faster.

I breathe deep.

It slows.

I sit at my desk. Work through my assignments. Keep my head down. Stay out of the boss’s way. Sit on hold. Use my “polite voice.” Sip my chamomile tea.

The boss corners me, his gaze reproachful and snide. Yellowflashes through my sleeve.

I must stay calm.

His insults sting.

I can’t anymore.

Lukewarm chamomile drenches his high-end suit.

Wendy Nikel’s fiction has appeared in Martian Magazine, Analog, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Nature, and elsewhere.

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