Workplace communication – Short Horror Story

I started working at my current company a little over five months ago. After reading through countless job postings and enduring interview after interview, I was overjoyed to receive an offer. The first week was a bit chaotic, as is the case with any new job. My predecessor had left before my arrival, so there was a lot I had to figure out on my own. Eager to prove myself, I faced the challenge head-on, supported by my manager and friendly colleagues from other departments.

One thing you need to know about me is that I'm horrible at remembering both names and faces. In my ideal world, people would walk around wearing name tags at all times. Sadly, there is no such rule in reality and as a result, I've spent many conversations with colleagues wondering who exactly I was talking to. Therefore, it didn't come as a surprise when I received a chat from someone whose name didn't ring a bell.

This colleague, with the username Mike.Ric1 and a default profile picture, was polite although very interested in my life and job. In the interest of maintaining an amicable yet professional relationship, I kept my answers short and to the point. I didn't mind Mike's inquisitive nature all that much, however, because he proved to be a very helpful source of information. Every time I ran into a problem I couldn't solve, Mike would be there with a solution.

This morning, I finally got around to talking about these chats with Imane, our receptionist. Imane knows everything about everyone, which makes her the go-to person for office gossip.

"Imane," I asked her over a cup of coffee, "do you know anyone called Mike? I looked at the org chart but came up blank."

She thought it over and shook her head. "As far as I know, we don't have a Mike working here right now. Do you know anything else about him?"

I told her his username and watched the colour drain from her face. "Gus," she called out, drawing the attention of our security guard. "Can you stay with her for a minute?" Imane left without another word, the sound of her hurried footsteps exceptionally loud in the otherwise silent hall.

There wasn't much time to get information out of Gus. Before I knew it, I was whisked away to a windowless meeting room, where my manager and a few people from HR had gathered. Turns out that Michael "Mike" Richardson, my predecessor, had been fired on the spot while being escorted out of the office by the police. Arrested on suspicion of multiple kidnappings and murders, they said. Vanished from his cell one night and dropped off the face of the earth.

I suspect the police will be arriving soon but there's only one thing I can focus on: the chat I received from Mike 5 minutes ago.

Let's talk soon. Don't worry about contacting me, I'll find you.

submitted by /u/chgwh

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