"Williams, get your ass in here right now," a man behind a large desk shouted into his speaker phone.
"Dennis, I'm on a conference call with Al in the Spain office," a female voice replied, "I'll be happy to bring my ass to your office when I'm finished." She hung up.
About fifteen minutes later, a tall female waltzed into the office wearing blue jeans and a white blouse under a dark blue blazer. "You rang?" she questioned and waited for the cursing to begin. Dennis was a bit of a hot head, and Wade had to admit she enjoyed pushing the man's buttons to see exactly how red his face and neck would get.
"I just got off the phone with Brian in the West Coast office. Is there something you want to tell me?"
"Well, I think he's a male chauvinist who doesn't know the difference between the Alamo and his elbow."
Dennis sighed, "Wade, just because the man may have made some disparaging remarks about the University of Texas didn't give you the right to start a war by having his car repainted orange."
"That would be burnt orange, and what makes you think I had anything to do with that?"
The man stood "Let's cut the crap. The powers that be have decided you're a loose cannon, and the consensus is you need anger management."
Wade frowned, "You're kidding, right? It's not like I decked someone."
"What about Carl?"
"Oh please, he was asking for it. I mean how many times is a gal supposed to get groped during a flag football game before she can retaliate?"
"There's going to be some contact, even if it's flag football."
"He was on MY team."
Dennis shook his head, "You broke his nose."
"He's lucky I didn't break more than that."
"Either you attend anger management classes, or you're fired." Dennis announced.
"I'm your best salesperson. I've delivered the highest numbers every year since I started working here."
"And that's the only reason you're getting the choice. Anyone else would have been fired on the spot for some of the things you've done."
Wade glared at the man, "Sure, fine, whatever. So where am I supposed to take this class?"
Dennis handed her a sheet of paper, "It's this weekend at a hotel conference room in Arlington. We've made you a room reservation for Friday through Sunday to make sure you're not late due to any traffic problems."
"Wasn't that thoughtful. Did you happen to arrange for wake-up calls as well?" Wade questioned sarcastically.
Dennis pulled nervously at the collar of his shirt, "Actually, we did. The guys upstairs don't want any excuses. I suggest you attend the classes or don't come to work on Monday."
"Oh I'll attend those classes, and I'll be on my best behavior," the executive promised. "Maybe I'll even win an award or something." She stated as she exited the office.
Wade had tried to bribe the desk clerk to give her a later wake-up call, but apparently the company had decided the classes were important and had forked out the bucks to make sure she didn't screw up. The phone's early morning ring was almost it's last as the rudely awakened guest picked up the receiver and slammed it right back down into its cradle. A late night in the bar did not go well with getting up at what seemed the butt crack of dawn. Wade wondered who the hell had decided on an 8:00a.m.start time for a weekend class.
The executive took a seat in the conference room and set her large cup of coffee down next to a packet of materials for the class. She tried to decide if she had to take her sunglasses off or if she could tell the instructor they were prescription, even though they weren't, and she needed them to read the overheads since she'd forgotten her regular glasses. Her thoughts were interrupted by someone plunking down in the chair next to her.
"Gawd, what kind of #@*! sadist schedules a class on a weekend AND at this ungodly hour?" A short blond complained, "I mean how am I going to learn to deal with my 'anger problem' when I start the class already pissed off?" She glanced over at the brunette next to her, "Hi, I'm Macen, and according to my boss I have a bad attitude. What about you?"
"Wade, and I'm an angry bitch. Nice to meet you." She took a sip of her coffee and found herself thinking this class might not be such a bad thing afterall.
A balding, middle-aged man dressed in a yellow leisure suit cleared his throat at the front of the room in an attempt to get the attention of the twenty or so people in the class. "Excuse me. My name is Mike and I'm your instructor for this weekend's Anger Management class..."
"Boy, what a square," Macen announced as the man droned on about what they would be covering in his lesson plan. He finally told the class to take out their workbooks and take the quiz on the first page.
The girls opened up the paper books sitting before them and reviewed the questions.
Wade pointed to the third one on the sheet, "Have you been experiencing episodes of anger for at least the past 6 months? I think my three year old nephew has had episodes of anger since his second birthday. Maybe I should tell my sister to enroll him in this class."
Macen nodded, "Or get him a good therapist. Let's see, number four. Do you experience anger more often than those around you? Well yeah, considering those around me are usually the ones causing the anger. Who the heck came up with these questions?" The blond dutifully filled in her response to the quiz question.
"Okay everyone," The instructor began after giving the students ample time to make their choices, "I'm sure after answering those questions, you'll agree that this class is the right place for you. Now we're going to go through some important material, so please pay attention."
"You know who really should be attending this class?" Macen asked quietly as she doodled on a piece of paper pretending to take notes. "Those damn Christmas shoppers. You know the ones that would kill you for that parking spot one foot closer to the mall entrance." Wade nodded in agreement. "And I actually saw two women almost get into a fistfight over the last "Stick up my ass Princess Foo Foo doll." She saw the disbelieving look from the brunette, "Okay, maybe that's not its official name, but have you seen this thing? Anyway, while the two were arguing over who the doll belonged to, I snagged it and took off. Those things are going for some big bucks on eBay."
"Tell me you didn't really do that," Wade tried not to laugh at the vision.
"Well...I did snag and buy the doll. But no, I didn't really put it up on eBay. I dropped it off at a Toys For Tots donation center. Figured it might make some kid who didn't have a whole lot happy. But I tell people the eBay part to keep them thinking I'm evil" Macen grinned wickedly.
"Don't worry, your secret is safe with me." Wade assured her.
After three hours of listening to monotone lecturing, most of the class members' eyes had a glazed over look to them when Mike decided it was time for lunch. The smokers of the group hurriedly placed unlit cigarettes between their lips and raced off to find a place they could light them.
"You wanna go get some lunch?" Macen asked as she stood and tried to stretch out the kinks in her back.
"Sure, and I need mass amounts of caffeine too. I didn't think I was going to make it through that last section after I ran out of coffee."
"You mean you didn't find the topic of how you should think of anger as a red light on your dashboard fascinating?" The blond teased.
"Yeah, about as fascinating as watching my cat hack up a hairball."
"Now that's a pleasant image right before lunch."
The lunch area was a bit crowded so the women took their trays over to a table where a woman with a ball cap sat alone. She was one of them, a survivor of Anger Management 101. "Can we sit with you?" Macen asked, "The place is kind of busy right now"
"Yeah, no problem." The other woman motioned for them to take a seat.
"Phil, I mean Dee...yeah, I'm Dee." She glanced around nervously to see if anyone else had heard her. "
"What's the deal...Dee?" Macen questioned, sensing this could be interesting.
"Okay, you guys seem cool. I'm taking this class for a...umm friend."
"And what did your 'friend' do to get sent to the class from hell?" Wade asked before taking a bite of her sandwich.
"She likes to smack people upside the head." Phil/Dee replied.
Macen nodded, "And how is it that you came to take the class for her?"
"Let's just say taking this class is actually less painful than being at the top of Dee's smack list."
"Ahh, so this is the lesser of two evils." The blond suggested.
Mike decided to start off the afternoon session of the program with some class participation. And, as luck would have it, Macen was chosen as one of the first people to come show what they'd learned so far in the class.
"Okay Macen, you're in a minivan, stuck in traffic with kids in the back seat who are crying and screaming for attention. What do you do?"
"Make a better choice the next time I steal a car," the blond answered matter of factly.
"Not exactly what I was looking for," the instructor informed her, "let's try another one. Your husband calls at five o'clock. and tells you a group of six people is coming over for a business dinner. The house is a mess, you don't have any food in the place and the cat has hacked hairballs all over the carpet. What do you do?"
Macen though a moment, "Order some pizzas, wings and bottles of Coke and set up a picnic table at the local park."
"I don't think you're taking this class seriously, How would you like to take it again?" he threatened.
Wade knew the situations the instructor was using had no meaning to her new friend so she decided to step in, "Macen, you're at a Xena Convention and the same annoying person gets up during every star's appearance on stage and asks the same stupid question to each one. What do you do?"
Macen smiled, finally a situation she knew something about, "Well, before this class I'm sure I would have stood up and yelled at the person to sit their stupid ass down and maybe had a private talk with them later. But now that I've learned to recognize my anger triggers, I would know that this person was going to piss me off, so every time she came up to the mic, I'd put my fingers in my ears and hum so I couldn't hear her asking the stupid question, and hence I would not become angry."
the easy way out, "Uh, okay. Let's give someone else a try. Gayle."
Macen was happy not to be the center of attention anymore, and enjoyed watching someone else squirm under Mike's scrutiny. She and Wade almost stood up and applauded when one student tore into the man with a verbal tirade that would have made a sailor blush.
"My grandmother would have washed my mouth out with Comet if I'd used that kind of language in front of her." Wade confessed.
"Not mine," Macen replied. " My granny was from France and pretty much taught us to be bilingual swearers. My teachers would hustle me off to the principal's office a couple times a year due to my mouth. I mean you'd have thought I'd threatened to murder someone for gods sake."
"Yeah, educational professionals seem to get a bit grumpy when kids curse. My sister almost had to go to war to keep my nephew in his pre-school when he suddenly started quoting lines from the South Park movie. Apparently his older cousins thought it would be funny to let Connor watch it."
Macen shook her head, "That would be kind of funny to see."
"My sister says it's funny to hear toddlers curse unless it's yours."
"I can see her point."
Their attention was drawn back to their instructor by the words they'd been waiting to hear since the class had begun, " I think you've learned a lot today, so I'm going to let you go now. I'll see you tomorrow bright and early."
Macen and Wade looked each other, evil grins spreading across their faces. It was party time.
The women had made a plan to go up to their respective rooms to freshen up and then meet at the hotel's lounge around six o'clock. Then they'd decide what to do next.
Wade sat at the bar with a Corona in hand taking in the sights and sounds around her.
"You come here often?" a man asked as he moved next to Wade.
"Not interested," the brunette replied not even bothering to look at the man.
He placed his hand on her shoulder, "Come on, don't be like that. Let me buy you a drink."
Wade turned her head and looked first at the man's hand on her arm and then at his face, "Buddy, do yourself a favor and just walk away. I'm sure there are plenty of gals out there who would find you charming. I'm not one of them." She placed her hand over his and began squeezing it.
"Okay, okay. Geesh, you don't have to be a bitch." The unwanted hand was removed and the man left flexing the crushed appendage.
Wade was taking another drink of her beer when she heard a welcomed voice, "I miss anything interesting?"
"Nah, just drinking a beer, watching the mating rituals of the heterosexuals." The taller woman answered and then realized she didn't know which team the other woman was on, " Oh, sorry..."
Macen waved off the apology as she climbed up on her bar stool. "No worries. I think they need to do a TV program on the breeders like they do with the wild animals on that animal channel. Maybe get Ellen as the narrator."
"Now that would be must see TV." Wade agreed, "I can see it now ... The male surveys his surroundings in hope of spotting an eligible female. He spots his target and begins to move in ..."
The blond laughed as she motioned the bartender over, "A raspberry Smirnoff Ice Twisted and..." she paused for Wade to put in her order and the woman lifted her bottle of Corona to say she'd have another of those, "a Corona."
The women sipped their drinks as they people watched. Wade decided she'd like to know a little more about the woman sitting next to her. "So what did you do to get put in an anger management seminar?"
Macen took another draw from her bottle and set it on the bar, "Long story short. A co-worker hit on me, I politely told him to piss off. He continued to harass me and when he put his hand on my ass, I grabbed it and judo flipped his ass to the ground."
Wade frowned, "And they blamed you for that?"
"It was the boss' nephew. And in his eyes, the kid could do no wrong. Fortunately, there were some credible witnesses, otherwise, I'm sure I'd be out of a job. I think they're hoping I fail this class so they can have a reason to can me."
"That really sucks. Have you looked for another job?"
"I'm looking, but the market is kind of tight right now, and companies can be a little sexist when it comes to video game coders. They don't think a woman can do a good job."
Wade loved video games, she had just about every system made since the Atari 2600, "No way. Have you done any games I might know?"
"Hmm, you heard of Battling Bimbos in Bikinis? That was a fun one to work on."
Wade had spent hours playing the game in question. It was a fighting game, Mortal Kombat style, but the competitors were all women in bikinis. "That's a great one, I especially liked the bouncing breast option."
Macen took the napkin her drink sat on and wrote some characters on it. "Here, put this code in and they'll fight without their bikinis. I snuck it in the coding and so far no one's figured it out."
"Sweet, thanks." She took out her wallet and placed the piece of paper in it and then took out a business card, "I know you don't really know me, but if you want to send your resume to this address, I have a few friends I can forward it on to."
"Cool," Macen tucked the card in her back pocket and then looked up to see two men headed their way. "What do you say we get out of here before we have to try and remember some of that anger management stuff we didn't learn today."
"Works for me. Lead on,"
The new friends made it out of the lounge without being accosted and decided they'd go somewhere for dinner and then maybe hit the local girl bar. They walked through the parking lot towards Wade's truck when they heard someone yelling, then a voice they recognized began lecturing the yeller on how they needed to learn to better manage their anger.
"Oh oh, I have a feeling Mike is out of his league with this one," Wade commented as she spotted the instructor being towered over by a man at least twice his size.
"What do you say we make a bee line over there and show Mikey that sometimes it's good to be angry, before the man ends up lying in a pool of his own blood."
"Hey Mike, is there a problem here?" Wade asked as she and Macen walked up to the men.
"Why don't you just mind your own business and get lost," the big guy growled.
"How about you pick on someone your own size?" Macen taunted.
The man laughed as he took in the woman who was a good foot shorter than he was, "You want a piece of me, little girl?"
Before Macen could answer, Mike started up again, "Ladies, I'm sure we can handle this without violence..."
"You callin' me a lady?" Gigantor yelled.
Macen saw the fist headed for Mike's face and managed to use a block to deflect the blow before it hit its mark.
Wade then swung into action and landed a well placed punch to the man's midsection that knocked the wind out of him and he dropped to his knees.
"Let's get the hell out of here," Macen suggested as she grabbed one of Mike's arms.
Wade grabbed the other and the women began pulling the man who was still in a bit of a daze at having seen the huge fist up close and personal.
Once they'd made it to the safety of the lobby, Macen went and told security about the man in the parking lot. It turned out the man had assaulted a couple other hotel patrons the night before, but had run away before the police had arrived.
Wade got Mike settled into a chair and went to get him a drink. When she returned, Macen was by his side.
"I'd always believed it was possible to get out of any situation by remaining calm and peaceful," Mike began as he took the glass from Wade, "but tonight I learned that sometimes it's good to have a little angry streak and be able to take care of things by physical means when there's no other choice. I don't think you ladies are going to learn anything else useful in my class, so why don't you take tomorrow off. I'll send stellar reports to both of your employers and tell them you were my star students."
Wade would love to skip the Sunday session, but she didn't want Mike to get into trouble either, "Are you sure? We don't want you to get into hot water for us not being there."
"Don't worry about it," he assured his rescuers, "I think your time would be better spent elsewhere. Now go enjoy the rest of your evening, I'll be fine"
Macen tried not to do a happy dance as she walked away with Wade, "So what are we going to do with our day off?"
"Well, I think right now we should go up to my room, order some room service and hook up my Playstation 2. I want to see if your gaming moves are as good as your real life ones. That was a great block."
"You weren't so bad yourself, Rocky."
"And since we don't have to go to class tomorrow, we can sleep in and maybe check out Six Flags' Holiday stuff. I bet I can win more prizes than you."
"You wish. Good thing you have a truck, cause I'm gonna fill it with those giant stuffed animals."
Wade smiled, enjoying the banter with the smaller woman, "Whatever. You'd better make sure you wear your tall shoes so you can go on the big kid rides."
"You're going to pay for that remark," Macen warned with a mischievous gleam in her eye. "Maybe I'll use your likeness in my next videogame...and publicize the nekkid code."
Macen just grinned as she walked away from the other woman.
Wade chased after the programmer, "Come on Macen, you know I was just kidding."
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