Break Room

“It happened again!”
Someone opened the door.”
The half dozen ladies sat around a long folding table topped with a faded yellow plaid veneer. The fluorescent lights glared down on them, exaggerating the already unnatural hues of their hair that ranged from yellow to a bluish pink.
“They’re going to break that machine, just wait and see.”
“What’s this?” Mavis was new and hadn’t heard about the spare door.
“We’ll, you know how we never have enough room?”
“We’ll, we’ve never used the second door, and we needed somewhere for the new Xerox, so we had Dave put in in front of that door.”
“Yes, and that was perfect until people started trying to get into the office through that old door.”
“Couldn’t you put up a sign?”
The women’s voices joined in unison: “we did!
“But they didn’t read it!”
“Walked right past it!”
“Nobody reads anything nowadays. Everyone’s on their cell phones.”
“I saw that black guy who delivers copy paper just slam into it! He was pulling his dolly along and just smashed his back into that door. I was surprised the back wasn’t cracked!”
“Yeah, I’m surprised it hasn’t fallen over!”
“Could we lock the door?”
“We could, but according to fire code, all doors on the first floor need to be unlocked at least to get out…”
“So you can open it from the inside.”
“Exactly. And the machine’s on rollers, so we can easily move it if there’s a fire.”
“Well, the main thing is the doorknob. It’s a regular one. I asked Dave if they had any locking doorknobs and he said he’d put in a request. We just don’t have the budget.”
“We need to have security stand outside there.”
“I talked to Dave and he said he’d look into it, so… We’ll see.”
“Dave the janitor?”
“No, no, Dave Furrows up in security. The one with the glasses.”
“I’ve been standing out there myself whenever I have free time.”
“So haven’t I!”
“You know, we should put together a schedule and have people stand out there in shifts.”
“You ain’t gonna see me standin’ out theyah all day!”
“I’d just roll my chair out there.”

The man from Taylor Office Supplies pushed open the main entrance and approached the nurse’s station.
“We got…uh, 6 cases of copy paper. Where’d you like ’em?”
“You can leave them in the records room. It’s the second on the right. Thank you!”
The man approached a golden blond pine door covered with fliers and posters advertising home care services, new medical and assistive technology products, and giving the common signs of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and listing websites where you can find more. As he turned the aluminum handle and pushed the heavy door, he heard the cracking of brittle plastic and glass. Then the shaking ground, deep reverberation and tremendous crash brought three nurses running. They managed to force the door open enough to verify that none of the ladies was injured.
“It’s the attack of the office ladies again!”
“Someone left the records room unlocked again!”
“Oh man, that would be me… I just left to grab my other med clipboard, like, two minutes ago…”
The nurses looked at the baffled delivery man.
“Sorry about that, they’ve been locking themselves in the records room and barricading the door with the Xerox machine. You can just leave that stuff out here. We’ll take care of it later.”
“I think Gladys and Dorothy are the ringleaders. I guess they used to work at this big insurance company.”
“Hey, how did they manage to move that machine?”
“They’ve got Dave Furrows doing all their dirty work. Have you seen his muscles?”
“Yeah, he worked in the packing plant right up to when he started losing his memory.”
“Come on, Mavis, it’s time for your meds.”
“Ladies, you know where you’re supposed to be?”
As the ladies shuffled by, pushing walkers, they passed through the wreck that used to be a Xerox copier, now propping open the heavy blond wood door. In the middle of the posters was a hand written sign spelling out in barely legible block letters that resembled a Monet pond, “DO NOT ENTER! USE OTHER DOOR!”

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