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Short Story: Harold is So Demanding

Woman sits at office desk

At the office desk. Short story time! Image via OpenClipArt.org

Hi everyone! Happy new week and wishing you a great day. I haven’t written a short story here for a while so I thought today is a good day for it. Enjoy Harold’s demanding ways… or, well, you’ll see…

So Demanding

Harold hadn’t always been annoying, or at least not since the job interview two weeks ago. Then when I came through the office door today he was already complaining about my skirt being too short.

I mean, it’s not like I was wearing bikini bottoms! It wasn’t that short, and a zebra stripe pattern was quite appealing, if I do say so myself. He was likely just feeling all put out because his wife wasn’t putting out anymore. I mean it’s not my fault that she’s double my age! Heck, he’s even older than that so it’s no wonder he doesn’t reek of mothballs.

I was so tired of Harold, as tired as he was old, and here he was standing over me at my desk and talking to me about how I didn’t get that Press Release written on time. I mean, didn’t he know that I couldn’t concentrate when my nails hadn’t been filed yet? Was it really that difficult to understand? I didn’t even bother trying to explain it for the second time.

He peeked over the top of his glasses at me, and I’m sure he just wanted to peek down my blouse. Luckily for me I actually did up the third button down today.

As he walked away, I heard him mumble something about “youngsters,” and I thought well it wasn’t my fault that the moth balls were eating up his brain cells. Geesh, some people were so demanding anyways. I mean the Queen was going to be in town for two days so really it’s not like this Press Release couldn’t be done by tomorrow – that’s still 24 hours of coverage for the tiara lady!

As I turned back to my keyboard, reluctantly putting down the nail file, I thought about that sweater that was on sale until 5pm at RW&CO. It was cashmere, cream color and pretty much made for me. I should have bought it yesterday when Harold was out of the office. Now he was in his weird mode of hovering around me and making sure I worked. Yuck.

It really made me want to vomit. Actually, wait a minute…

I started to cough over my keyboard and then reached for the Kleenex box at the right side of my desk. Step three was already planned out as I covered my face a bit with the Kleenex while I stuck my finger down my throat to make me dry heave. It wasn’t pretty but then I couldn’t be that 24 hours a day, could I? Well, 23 hours and 50 minutes a day would have to do.

Ah yes, I would get out of here soon to grab that sweater. Sweet cashmere, it was calling me. And here Harold said I didn’t work hard. Well then what would he call this plan?


©2014 Christy Birmingham

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  1. This was great. I loved the irony emanating from the whole thing.

  2. Very cute short story and loved the ending. Totally made me smile on this Monday afternoon!! :)

  3. Can’t let work get in the way of nails and sweaters.

  4. I love your sense of humor, Christy. This was just a fun read, a very nice way to pass time as I eat lunch. Hugs to you this beautiful Monday.

  5. Thanks for the giggles Christy… Very nice!…

    For those women of us who work in a (public) office, Harold is a sort of well known archetype…

    Still I have problems to figure out his age (is he THAT old and still works there?)…

    On another doubt … if he is interested in your neckline…why did he complain about your skirt being too short?…

    Anyways… A white skirt with a “zebra stripe pattern” may be certainly appealing :)
    At the end can we blame the old man without being properly unfair?…
    Oh poor Harold, he is just a man… Hence human, too human!…

    Best wishes and happy week ahead, Aquileana :D

    • Hi Aqui,
      Thanks for the great comment back here! Zebra prints and all… :)
      Poor Harold should be in the corner with poor pen then.. Hehe I just thought of that!
      So nice to see you here and read your clever responses. It means a lot that you took time to stop by to read and write this. Happy week ahead to you too :D

  6. Harold is a whiner. An old whiner. hahaha. Poor Harold. Too funny, Christyb “:)

  7. Very funny story. I loved how it ended with the gagging at the end. Hope she got her sweater.

  8. Great story Christy… I hope I never become another Harold…. a fun read and I thing justice was done. Let the Queen write her own press release I say… you go shopping.

    Hugs from Alberta…

  9. Very funny Christy!!Fun read as well!

  10. This was great! Actually I hadn’t read one of your short stories, awesome, quirky. I like these types of stories, little isolate peeks into moments&minds, putting you straight in and pulling you out again. Very reflective of real life too, fragmented. When I was a waiter, I used to work with a girl who did terrible fake faints when she wanted to get away. Gets busy, down like a sack of potatos! I like the line ‘wasn’t my fault that the moth balls were eating up his brain cells too’..little lines and metaphors that are the author’s own, make a piece unique, for me these are the best. Sweet! Hope to read more of your stories :-)

    • Wow, thanks Stephen! I really admire your short stories so this is an amazing compliment to read for me. Thanks so much and yes I have quirky writing (so cool you liked it!!)

  11. pretty <3

  12. Great read this morning Christy, nice way to start my day!

  13. Oh…I must be getting old and cranky…or…I’ve been a manager too many times…I could totally relate to Harold…trying to manage his department efficiently. I MUST get out and shop for shoes more often! ;)

  14. Very funny :-) The smell of mothballs on an old fellow is enough to make a girl gag, without her having to stick her fingers down her throat!

  15. Great story
    Great writing :)

  16. A delightfully told tale Christy. I am impressed that you avoided mentioning her hair color but left the reader in no doubt about it!

  17. Very funny story, but quite realistic, I’d say. Poor old Harold, with the moth balls eating up his brain cells” was no match to the “youngster’s” resourcefulness. I had a good laugh. Great writing, Christy.

  18. You made me giggle right through the entire thing. Very well done. ;)

  19. “hahaha”! It’s a very funny and pointed story. In the end I was laughing at both of them, and feeling a bit sorry for both. Go figure! :-) :-)

  20. haha :) Love the first sentence of the story – very engaging!

  21. Loved reading this fun story! Hope to read more short fiction form you.

  22. There she blows! Anytime I read something along these lines the pie-eating contest scene from stand by me gets conjure in my mind. And to think, I’m about to go make dinner ;)

  23. Hilarious! Hahaha my ex’s name is Harold, he’s in his 60’s, probably a lech like that, too… cracked me up good from that point of view!!! ♥♥♥ ;^)

  24. A fun read!! Here is a great thing this blog “is going to a shot stories yard?” Isn’t it? Well, will welcome what all you got to share!! Keep rocking.. :D

  25. I’ve had those moments of regrets. Should have bought the shoes, dress, purse, etc., and made it worth my while to sit at a desk for a long day. Good writing, Christy.

  26. Big smiles. and I hope that sweater was still there?.. Loved your short story Christy :-)

  27. Such a prettily captured piece of reality. The reality itself not quite so pretty though.

  28. Fun story! I hope you’re well wonderful friend! Have a great week!

  29. Very interesting account of corporate patronage and the 9 to 5 conundrum in society, plus the
    possible Andropause Harold might have been experiencing…

  30. Lol, loved this Christy. I should think nails and sweaters are a girl’s first priority. :)

  31. Poor Harold, out of sync with the young-uns! ;D

  32. This brought back memories of when I worked at Sears way back; I had these cute black riding gaucho type pants that were dressy. They were not short, but still was told I could not wear them.

  33. Cute story. Love the dynamic between Harold and your protagonist. :)


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