“They should teach you to use a Sharpie in law school,” the well-dressed Tool jokes. Then he shakes his head, looks at the fortress of file boxes I and the other temps have made in the corner, and asks if we understand what we’re doing.
His supercilious glare lands on me, just when I’m wondering if those secretaries ate all the donuts.
“Well, it’s a little complicated,” I say, curious to see if Harvard Law teaches sarcasm. “Sometimes I push the pen down on the paper, but the paper doesn’t go black.”
I demonstrate, jabbing the Sharpie at a seemingly critical document.
The Tool looks horrified as I blot out random bits of information.
“Wait! Don’t do that . . . .”
I hold up a perfectly clean, white document.
“Sharpie no work. Sharpie broken. Temp need new Sharpie.”
Arms akimbo, I waddle to a table heavy with supplies of binder clips, Post-it note pads and Sharpies.
I take one Sharpie in hand. I study it like the caveman who first learns about fire in one of those Discovery Channel documentaries.
A light bulb.
I uncork the pen, breathing in the chemical fumes. I eyeball the black tip for a long moment before positioning my hand above the Sharpie.
I tap my finger on the Sharpie’s tip and examine the evidence.
“Sharpie work,” I say. “Sharpie make black. Temp resume redacting.”
The Tool disappears, shouting something about supper clubs to some passerby.
“You’re going to get us all fired,” whines one of the other temps.
He’s the one I’ve nicknamed 4L Gunner because he’s still trying to impress anyone he can.
“Relax,” I say. “You can’t get fired from hell.”