Morgan Denham was on the warpath. Her nostrils flared, her eyes squinted into slits, her face red, a thick vein throbbing across her forehead.
It was 12:35 pm on Monday and one of her meetings had run late. It was common knowledge that meetings with Morgan should never be scheduled anywhere close to lunch time, but this must have been the new client the Heads had been talking about last week.
As the Director of Operations for Stanley, Kubric & Koch, Morgan was expected to handle all new business and client onboarding. But the clients must be operating in a different time zone – or calling from the twilight zone because you must be from an alternate dimension if you don’t know that Morgan Denham must be fed on a regular schedule, lest havoc ensue.
When she was sated, Morgan was a lovely woman – charming, whip smart, a real creative problem solver with a big smile and clear wide eyes. When Morgan got hungry, she got angry. She’d go from sweet and good-natured to short-tempered, pissed off, dangerous.
She’d once walked up to Frank from the mailroom and punched him right in the face because it was after 12p, her “blood sugar was low” and his face “had annoyed her with its abject punchability.”
She’d boxed a stack of sorted invoices straight from Monika Draper’s hands and then smacked her upside the head because it was 1pm and she’d had a call from Germany to deal with and no snacks on hand.
There was the time her lunch deliveryman got knocked over by a bus on his way with her specialty salad. He’d lived, but poor Mark Granger almost didn’t make it after Morgan held him by the crotch of his pants out the 10th story window, bellowing with rage. It was after 2pm and she’d been stuck in client meetings all morning.
The rumor was that the firm had a special fund set up to pay for all the associated lawsuits. Sure it would probably have been cheaper to simply fire her, but however much the company lost in taking care of her food rages, Morgan must have brought in ten times that in new business. She was like a client whisperer, bringing in at least three multi-million clients a year and keeping them happy and wiling to pay large retainers. So management wasn’t interested in firing her; instead they strived to keep her fed.
After Mark’s near-death experience, a new policy was put in place that stated all 170 employees must always have snack options in or around their person at all times. Costs would be reimbursed, which was good because Morgan wasn’t just a wild beast when her stomach grumbled, she was also a picky eater. Chocolates and pretzels and cupcakes wouldn’t do; she needed organic nuts picked by virgins, chia pudding made by silent Buddhist monks, carrot sticks cut naturally by holding the fluttering wings of gossamer butterflies against them. So, only things you could find at Whole Foods, basically.
Once, Mary from accounting offered her a snickers bar when she was on a ‘hangry’ rampage through the office at 3pm, the traditional mid-afternoon slump. Morgan grabbed her by the hair, pulled her over her knee and shoved that snickers right up her ass. It was disgusting.
So now she was just out of her meeting and she was starving. And she was looking for someone to hurt. She’d set her sights on Eddie Miller, the in-house graphic designer, simply because he’d made the mistake of making eye contact with her. Eddie had taken one look at her and dived right under his desk, quivering in fear. He’d stupidly forgotten to refill his stock of Morgan-approved snacks and was now contemplating how long it would take to run to the door from his desk if he hurled a stick of gum at her face as a distraction.
He heard his colleagues running out of the line of fire, like a stampede of antelope who’d just spotted a lioness on the hunt. From his position he could see Frank Drescher pole vaulting over his desk to get to the emergency exit, Martha McCall crawling military-style on her belly hoping to slither silently through the elevator doors. Meanwhile, Morgan was stalking through the corridor, intent on causing Eddie some devastating personal bodily harm.
Eddie, in the meantime, was frantically feeling around in his desk drawers for anything he could use to save himself from the pain and embarrassment that was coming his way. Some loose nuts that might have slipped out into the corners of his desk, some errant raisins willing to sacrifice themselves…but so far he’d only found a few rubber bands, some paper clips and a rash of pencil shavings. In his desperation he was wondering if he could MacGyver this handful of rubbish into a gluten-free cupcake when he realised that time was up. Morgan was standing over him and she. Looked. Hungry.
Eddie let out a whimper and covered his head with his hands. But just as he felt Morgan’s hot breath on his neck, he heard the perky, high-pitched voice of Elsa, the new intern, on the other side of his cubicle.
“Morgan!” she chirped. “I baked some gluten-free, maple sugar-sweetened carrot muffins for the office, would you like one?”
“Oh I’d love one, I’m so hungry I could gnaw an arm off,” Morgan replied with a tinkly little laugh.
Eddie had no doubt that arm would have been his, if not for the foresight (and baking skills) of 22 year old Elsa McGee.
He breathed a sigh of relief as he heard the two women click clack away on their stilettos, slumping under his desk, shaken by his close call.