Translated and Edited by: luccayn.
-san: A polite suffix, but not excessively formal.
-kun: A common suffix among friends and younger people.
-chan: A common suffix among people you’re close with, mostly used for feminine nicknames and girls, since it’s cutesy and childlike.
-senpai: A common suffix and noun used to address or refer to one’s older or more senior colleagues in a school, workplace, dojo, or sports club.
I have a childhood friend.
To be more precise, I have someone I consider a childhood friend, though it’s one-sided. I don’t interact with her a lot, much less talk. The only vestige of contact we have is that we live next to each other… We’re just neighbors, aren’t we?
Still, there’s a reason I call her a childhood friend. It’s not some stalker fantasy of mine, okay? Well, the reason is that she got my job for me. Five years ago, I was struggling to find work after not being able to attend school. Whether it was due to my education or my appearance, the fact is that I just couldn’t land one.
When I found myself at my wit’s end, she reached out and said, “I’ll hire you at our confectionery business.” On the same day, she told her mother—the president of her company—that I was in trouble and that she should hire me.
Without her help, I would’ve probably been on the streets eating scraps by now. She was a goddess to my desolate self. …Though I always wondered about something. Why did she help me in the first place? I had barely even known her back then.
Was she in love with me or something? I thought so for a brief moment, only to realize she didn’t feel a shred of anything toward me, shown by how she’s been giving me the cold shoulder since I got the gig… So was she planning something then?
No. I don’t think so. I mean, there’s not a single benefit in using me. No matter how many different thoughts I have about the situation, it didn’t change the fact that she helped me in my time of need. She’s a special person despite how much I don’t understand her.
Thus, we are childhood friends now. I think.
But, you see, childhood friends in fiction are always a special existence in one’s life. Since she’s special to me, in my own way, there’s nothing wrong with that. I just can’t tell her that and wouldn’t even if my mouth was torn to pieces.
If she finds out I call her that, she might just try to kill me.
—Anyway! I just wish to repay her for her deeds. Calling her such is proof of my determination to do so. I can’t smear mud on the shoes of my benefactor, so, first of all, my goal is to convince management it was a good idea to hire me.
I’ll do it!
“What’s up with him? Gross.”
As I got off the train with clenched fists and a will of steel, a woman walking next to me gave me the stink eye. No, it was more accurate to say she looked at me as if I was a dead insect laying by the side of the road.
…I’ll just keep up the good work today. Yeah.
The confectionery business where I work has a sales position, which I fill.
So, what does your business do, you might ask? Well, the company is responsible to develop a sales network through online shopping and blogs, as well as give sales pitches to department stores, roadside stations, and other commercial facilities.
Recently, the company opened a store for Halloween events and such to revitalize the community. Selling to the planning business is the job of the sales staff, and my job is to support them.
When I first joined the company, I was supposed to be in sales, but management decided that I would never make it there because I was not popular with women to say the least, so I ended up in this department.
Excellent leadership, if I do say so myself. I don’t feel like I would do good working there as well.
Despite everything, I do, in fact, have a lot of work to do, such as compiling materials brought back by the salespeople, preparing proposal materials, issuing order forms, managing collections, and odd jobs in between.
Furthermore, I am the only support person for the workload, so I am always laboring until almost the last train. Even with all that weight on my shoulders, the pay was still low. Well lower than minimum wage, though I couldn’t complain. I’m lucky enough to have a job in the first place.
While thinking about my near past, I arrived at the office. As I opened the door and walked inside, I heard a collective sigh from the female employees who were already there before me. They were heavy, sullen sighs, of course.
I couldn’t stop just because of the way they stared at me, so I hurried to my own seat. There, I pulled back my chair, removed the unholy number of thumbtacks placed on its cushion, and took a seat.
Quickly, I wiped down the waterlogged desk with a rag and booted up the computer. There was no dirt in my drawer today, thank goodness… They’re kinder to me today, it seems. Even though I was relieved, another female employee clicked her tongue as loud as she could.
This is my routine every waking morning, and I’m used to this level of harassment.
So I didn’t sulk and got right to work. First, I checked my e-mail.
“Please send the order form to the manager by 4 PM. When you’re done, die a miserable death.”
“Send the proposal to the manager by 2 PM. Also, f*ck you, Kasu. Kill yourself if you’re late or otherwise.”
“What was up with that report you submitted the other day? The contents were so childish. Just hurry up and hang yourself.”
“Make an effort to stay out of my sight. Your very existence is unpleasant. Don’t you think the atmosphere of the whole workplace is getting worse because of you? Get the hell out of here.”
Oof, today you girls are punching hard, huh? Rather than long-winded complaints, these short-form insults are the most bearable! Ha, ha, ha, ha… hah…
I just wish to curl into a ball and cry.
A little bummed out, I started working on that 2 PM proposal. If I don’t summarize the main points clearly, the person in charge will get mad at me, so I have to concentrate. As expected, during business hours, the harassment subsided enough to let me work smoothly.
Clicking away, I started up PowerPoint.
And so, as I frantically tapped away at the keyboard, the time quickly flew to twelve o’clock.
…Hm? Twelve o’clock?! Sh*t, I only have two hours left!
It was about 70% done, so after having lunch I’d only have one hour to complete it. That way, I’ll never make it in time… I wonder if I can make it without lunch.
Sighing my worries, I stretched my stiff muscles and rolled back my shoulders. I’ve been looking at a computer screen and sitting still for a long, long time, so I felt rigid as a rock. If I left that tiredness untreated, it would affect my afternoon work.
Thus, I stretched for five minutes: shoulder, hips, etc. Ah… That feels good.
Though, as I stretched myself, the people around me started to get nervous. It must’ve looked like I was just playing around, so I was met with strong gazes of contempt.
W, wait a second! I swear I wasn’t slacking off! I was just taking a break. You know, it’s lunchtime now! I’ve been working diligently for hours on end, so forgive me for my own complacency…
As I was muttering such things, forcing a smile, an angry shout reverberated through the office.
“You! Why are you goofing around?!”
It was a thick male voice I didn’t usually hear.
“Is your work finished, huh? If you’re playing when it isn’t, just quit this job!”
The first male executive director since the founding of this company approached me in an intimidating manner. That man was in his late twenties when he married my childhood friend’s older sister and joined the company. He really wanted to work here, so he only hitched on the condition he’d hold a high position.
By the way, he has five wives. My childhood friend’s older sister is the fifth… A harem, huh?
In any case, he has brightly dyed hair, well-groomed eyebrows, and a neatly groomed body. However, he was short and rather, um, large horizontally, perhaps due to his inadequate and unhealthy lifestyle.
The opposite of me.
Though, considering how popular he was with the ladies, I wonder if he was part of a trend. I mean, he has a pretty big belly… Um, is he okay?
“What the hell are you doing? Are you even listening?!”
Maybe it was because of our height difference, but he wasn’t very intimidating, to say the least. To be completely honest, the women walking around on the streets are far more terrifying than the director.
But then again, I was in the middle of receiving an earful, so I apologized meekly and tried to explain it was actually time for my break.
I’m really sorry.
“What? is that an excuse, huh?!”
I couldn’t get through to this guy. I’ve always asked myself why he was so belligerent, but never got the answer to it. Women have always hated me, but not men, so what did I even do to him?
“What’s wrong? You’re talking so loud,” a soft-spoken elderly woman appeared, perhaps being called by the sudden shouts done by the executive.
…It was the president. She appeared at the worst time possible.
From the outside, this whole situation paints a picture of me doing a terrible mistake, though all I did was stretch during my break…
“I’ve been watching this guy’s work, and he’s been goofing around all day!”
“I even analyzed the finished materials, and they look like sh*t! I can’t believe they were even made by a normal member of society!”
“We don’t need employees who can’t or won’t do simple. A*s. Jobs!”
“Fire this guy!”
The executive director—an idiot—started spewing nonsense all of a sudden. No one would believe such a wild and absurd story! I took the proposal very seriously, and if the president were to look at it for a brief moment, she would know I wasn’t just playing around.
I have ground over here! And you know I’ve worked my a*s off, Mrs. President! Please! No one as bright as you would be fooled by such cheap theatrics!
“Well… The executive director is right. You are fired.”
I could only scream “President!” inside my own head at that moment.
T/N: He can’t catch a break, damn.
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