At 9:25 a.m. everyday I get into position. I’m kneeling on the blue mat next to the copy machine, a big Kyocera Office Station that takes a full carton of paper to refill when empty. It almost never is. I start work at eight o’clock and see to the whole tenth floor; all mail delivered, all stationary replenished, and top off the paper and toner of the copier standing next to me. Like myself, the copier gets a pretty good workout everyday. The tenth floor is a trading floor, after the stock market opens at 9:30 restock and resupply becomes almost impossible. In a few moments from now the phones will start ringing with orders to execute, deals to be cut, trades to be made; there will simply be too much running around to do and also fetch pencils. We have to be prepared ahead of time.
The tenth floor is my responsibility and I run a tight ship. That’s one of the reasons I’m proud to wear the number 10 on my left breast, on both hips and the small of my back. I want everyone to know I’m part of this floor, that I’m the one who set them up and will take care of business when things get crazy.
We’re ready for the opening bell. I can feel the anticipation building. It’s only 9:26.
That’s why I get in position five minutes ahead of time. Everything is primed, poised and ready; And that is beautiful. These five minutes are the closest I’m going to get to serenity all day.
Technically I’m on break from 9:15 to 9:30 but after I use the restroom, eat a protein bar and drink a bottle of water I’ve pretty much seen to my body’s needs. There is no reason for me to linger in the breakroom anymore, no one will talk to me unless they have something for me to do, and if they do I have to tell them to request it through the app anyway. Forty-five days ago I was a stock broker just like them, part of the tenth floor chaos. In the break room we’d laugh at dirty jokes, complain about clients, and gossip office politics at the coffee pot. But now it’s easier for them to treat me like the copy machine, just another piece of office equipment that makes the workplace run smoother.
And why not treat me like the big Kyocera copier? We both have serial numbers now. We’re both connected to the office Wi-Fi, activated at the push of a button-
No. I’m not going to fall down that hole today. There is no time for negativity. Despite appearances I’m a confident career woman and I will make the best of this fifteen minute break.
It’s 9:27. I won’t get another break until at least 12:30.
So I kneel as they taught me, thighs spread slightly farther than shoulder width apart, chest out, back arched, ass sitting on my heels with my hands at my sides. From this position I can see right down main street, what I call the narrow expanse of carpet between the blocks of cubicles that run the length of the tenth floor. Anyone walking up main street or leaning back in their office chair can see me as well; All of me.
I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to the nudity, not when everyone else is clothed.
I close my eyes and lower my head a little, trying not to think about the manager who was staring at me as he strides up main street. Or the new guy who keeps dropping his pencil so he has to lean out of his cubicle to retrieve it, taking a quick gander at me in the process. I push the feeling of leering eyes off me as I exhale; once, twice, a third time. If you had my job you would get pretty good at finding inner peace. You have to as your body is constantly on display.
I breathe, pushing the negative thoughts from my mind as I pull the elastic ponytail holder off and shake out my hair. It has strong natural waves and if I don’t tie it back properly stray locks will start to pull free and my head will look a mess by mid-morning. Periodically I have to shake out my tail and pull it back again to keep it tidy.
As I’m combing my hair back with my fingers my MMU, the smartphone strapped to my left bicep, buzzes twice and makes cartoon “bonk” noises in quick succession. The display reads:
“1 Demerit – Uniform Violation, Excused. 1 Demerit – Positional Violation, Excused.”
Someone is trying to give me demerits but they don’t realize I’m on break.
I open my eyes and look up main street as I tie up my hair. Carol Nelson, a middle aged woman pushing three hundred pounds, is glaring at me over her cubicle wall about fifty feet up the floor. She has always been unpleasant since I started working here, even when I was just another trader. Carol seemed not to like women who were younger or more attractive than her on principle, so pretty much everyone. My existence must really piss her off now. The way she is glaring at me over the rim of her glasses makes her look like a very fat, angry librarian. I finish tying my hair back and turn to show the face of the MMU strapped to my left arm. The screen is gray-white, an indication I’m not on duty. The damn screens are color coded so any idiot can tell who was on duty from a distance. The white screen meant I was clearly not. Carol pushed her glasses back up her nose and sat in a huff.
“It’s a Monday,” I said to myself, “they are already gunning for me and it’s only Monday.”
I check the time, 9:29 a.m. One minute to bell time.
I rise from the blue mat, standing with my feet shoulder width apart, chest out, arms folded behind my back so I can hold my wrists with the opposite hands. The Kyocera printer next to me leaps to life, the exhaust blows on my bare legs and it feels darkly ominous, like dragon’s breath. Maybe the copier is anxious too? My feet are sweating in anticipation. My nipples are hardening from the air conditioning vent blowing down from above; It’s too cold for me, set at a temperature to make the 200 clothed people in the room comfortable. My clean-shaved vulva is somewhere in the middle, feeling both the heat rising up and the cool air creeping down. It’s starting to tingle. What I’m feeling down there might have noting to do with the room temperature.
I have got to remember to look down, not to look any of my coworkers in the eye. I can’t let them see this part of me, the part of me that is just as excited as it is humiliated.
I am the mailgirl assigned to floor ten.
I am the only one naked in the room.
It is a very big room.
My MMU mimics the “ding-ding-ding” of the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange. No time to waste now. I punch my passcode into the keypad of the Kyocera and digitally sign the authorization by pressing my thumbprint to the security panel. The biometric scanner confirms my identity as Mailgirl #10 and Kyle the Copier begins to print out the trade confirmations that were already in the queue.
I think this might be the day I go mad. I just named the office copier.
I blink the thought away and look at the assignments come in on my MMU. This is the new version of the Mailgirls Monitoring Unit, the MMU 2.0 has a lot more features than the old model. The old version would force you to do one delivery at a time, back-and-forth, all day going from copier to cubicle and back to the copier. I guess that system is okay if you are only moving messages around and the mailgirls are extraneous to the actual functioning of the business. But this is a trading floor. Time is money. The first twelve things Kyle printed up were trade confirmations done after the market closed yesterday, low priority because the stock price was fixed at the time but high security because the amounts exceed ten thousand dollars. Their delivery speed is ‘Standard’, according to the training material I should be able to maintain a brisk walk and make all deliveries on time. But that could take half the morning. Instead the new version MMU lets you batch all 12 deliveries together and arrange their order on the fly. I could go from the front of the room to the back, or do a big loop by starting at one side and working around to the other, and even change the delivery order as needed. The MMU just adds all the estimated delivery times together. So long as your actual time is less than the total estimated time you get a positive efficiency score for the run.
With nothing popping up in the MMU more urgent than Standard I decide to start at the farthest delivery and work my way forward. This would give me a chance to warm up a little by running down to “M. DiMaria – Workstation 194 – Floor 10”, a cubicle on the far side of the floor.
(I can’t help it. I’m a mailgirl now. I want to run.)
Grabbing all 12 confirmations off the printer I begin my run up main street, trying to avoid eye contact and still look out for any obstacles in my path. I feel the eyes of my coworkers on my naked body. Some are judging me, shaming me. Others are appreciating my curves. I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to that feeling, or that I ever want to. I wonder how my former colleagues feel about it? Some must have grown used to the sight of me naked but for other’s this might be their first time. There is a lot of turnover on a trading floor, you either make you sales goals or you find a new job. I didn’t hit the mark a month-and-a-half ago and look at me now.
I keep my pace quick and even, wishing the rules allowed me a bra or at least to hold my chest with one arm as I ran. I’m not a stick with tits like the other mailgirls in the building. I’m a little older, almost 30, my body is more mature. I have hips and a full bust that sways with every stride I take. If my tits were just a little bit smaller I would enjoy jogging more.
I glance away from my bouncing chest to see a man lean out of his cubicle and smile broadly. I don’t recognize him. He’s handsome. Reactively I smile back, forgetting my place for a brief moment. I look down quickly and push forward, one foot in front of the other. I feel the blood warm my cheeks a little. As I get about fifty feet away I give a coy glance over my shoulder. He’s still smiling, staring and quickly ducks behind the partition when he realized I caught him looking at my ass.
I can’t blame him. 45 days of this has given me a nice round bottom.
I slow to a trot as I approach the first workstation. Standing just outside the boundary of the modular office I see a man typing away at his computer. He hasn’t noticed me yet. I stand as I’m supposed to, feet more than shoulder width apart, chest out, head down, 11 other confirmations behind my back as I offer his out with my right hand.
“Excuse me, sir. I have a delivery for you.”
He swiveled in his chair. It was Manuel DiMaria, Manny to his friends. He had been in this office a few years before me, was nice enough to show me around the place when I first arrived. I hadn’t seen much of him since I switched departments. Maybe he was avoiding me?
Manny looked surprised to see me. “Good morning Maddie, how have you been?”
I blush. I wanted to answer him. He was being pleasant. I like pleasant. But mailgirls have to keep decorum.
“Sir, as I am on duty please refer to me as “Mailgirl 10”, “Number 10”, or simply “Ten”; whichever you prefer.” I recite it to him directly from the manual. As much as I appreciate him treating me like a human, I have a job to do. It’s better if he uses my number, neither one of us gets confused that way.
“Uh, okay. Sorry.”
“That’s alright sir, and I am doing fine. Thank you for asking.”
Manny took the offered paper and glanced it over as best he could. His eyes kept getting drawn to my tits. I couldn’t blame him. With him sitting and me standing my 36D’s were pretty much in his face.
“You got this here quick,” Manny was actively trying not to stare. “It’s barely a minute after opening bell. I feel like I should give you a tip or something.”
I felt a little pride swell inside me. “Thank you again, sir. If my efficiency pleases you can open up the Mailgirls App on your desktop and leave a positive review.”
He nodded mechanically, first looking up to my face, then back down to my chest, and then even lower, blinking in disbelief. This is my first delivery to him since I got back from training. He must have seen me running around the office but not up close, there are over 200 workstations on this floor, and that is not counting the proper offices that dotted the corners and entire south wall. Had Manny actually managed to miss most of my debut month?
I get the feeling he could stare at my body all day if given the chance. Considering the picture of a young wife and smiling baby on his desk, I could safely say I was making him very uncomfortable.
“If there is nothing else sir, I have other deliveries.” I pointed with one finger to the clock that was counting every second on my MMU.
“No. That’s it. Thanks.” He stammered.
“Sir?” I pointed to his computer terminal, “You have to click ‘received’ in the app to dismiss me.”
“Oh, right.” He popped open the app and clicked ‘delivery received’. Perfect.
I nodded and smiled before making a b-line for my next delivery. Hopefully Manny would leave me a good review. Through the app they can rate our deliveries with star ratings and comments. I could use as many positive comments I could get on my weekly performance review.
The next eight drop-offs went well enough that I barely remember them. I remember the names in the task window of my MMU more, “R. Alcuna – Workstation 181”, “E. Leslie – Workstation 163”, “K. Ng – Workstation 130”, etc. For efficiency I try to remember the location of each work station. It had taken me over a month to learn my way around, but I can still get lost in this cubicle maze if I get turned around. I only have a default 30 seconds between deliveries but mapping them out the way I did accomplished most in less than 20 seconds.
That is the real key to being an efficient mailgirl, always deliver at a speed one level higher than the requirement. If the manual says Standard delivery is a “brisk walking pace”, jog instead. If Express is supposed to be a jog, you run. If Premium says run, you sprint. And when you get that late day Premium Rush, run like your ass was on fire. I guess the other thing to keep in mind is to always maintain your uniform (Ha!). The mantra of a successful mailgirl, maintain your uniform and deliver faster than expected.
Banking time early in a run was a good feeling, like I was starting the day off right.
Unfortunately it was not going to last.
My ninth delivery, “M. Pederson – Workstation 76 – Floor 10” was a kid I did not recognize. Caucasian, brown hair, glasses, couldn’t be a day over nineteen. He sort of looked like a post-puberty Harry Potter. I offered him the delivery like I was supposed to; feet apart, chest out, one hand with other deliveries behind my back and his offered out in the other. He spun around sharply, like a man of action, but all the little bugger could do was stare. I suspected I might be the first naked woman he saw that was not on the Internet.
“Sir, I have a delivery for you.”
He didn’t answer.
He stared blankly at my navel. Or maybe he was trying to stare at both my tits and my pussy at the same time and his brain broke from the strain.
He blinked slowly, like he was waking from a dream, “Hello? Yes?”
“I have a delivery for you sir.”
He looked me up and down with a disbelieving smirk, “You are very naked.”
“Yes sir,” I smiled still trying to be pleasant, “completely nude for your enjoyment, sir. All day, every day.”
“Wow,” he beamed, “A real live mailgirl! What’s your name?”
“I am “Mailgirl #10” when on duty sir. But you may call me “Number Ten” or just “Ten” if you so wish.”
“Okay Mailgirl,” his smirk spread into a smile. “I have so many questions I want to ask.”
I knew he did. I could see an inquisitive glee brimming around behind his eyes. It was clear my existence enticed him, excited him. If I was a boy his age I would probably react the same way, but there was more than a decade between us, I find that a little creepy. I might be old enough to be his mother, (granted it would be one of those fucked up trailer park pregnancies, but technically I was old enough), I didn’t have time for his Oedipal Complex. I’m in the middle of a run here. I’m required not to give M. Pederson of Workstation 76 any more than his allotted time.
“Sir,” I’m trying not to sound annoyed, but he has already cost almost a minute. “I will be happy to answer your questions soon but right now there other deliveries that need to be made.”
He pushed his glasses up his nose and took the trade confirmation, giving me a sideways glance as he did. “It’s just a couple questions.”
I nodded, making sure not to make anymore eye-contact than had already happened. “The Mailgirls Program Introduction and Service Guide is on the company server, sir. I suggest you read through that at your leisure, then perhaps summon me through the Mailgirls App this afternoon when things are less busy and I can answer any additional questions you may have.”
I was trying to be friendly, helpful, the exact opposite of rude but it was obvious from the look on his face that I had offended him somehow.
“I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to talk down to me Mailgirl.” He looked me in the face. I kept my eyes down, looking between my breasts at my toes, trying to be as deferential with my body language as I possibly could. I was pretty sure he would see any other response as backtalk.
The MMU buzzed and broke the uncomfortable silence. He could see the one minute countdown on the now blinking display.
“I’m sorry If I offended you sir. I do not mean to. You will be seeing at lot of me sir, and I do not wish to start off on the wrong foot. You have my deepest apologies and I will be back anytime you have need of me using the app.”
“Oh, I will be seeing a lot more of you Mailgirl. You can be sure of that.” There was a strange quality of menace to his voice, somehow simultaneously over-the-top and earnest, like a child playing villain in a superhero fantasy. I think he meant to creep me out. He clicked the ‘received’ button on the open desktop app and waived me off dismissively. I ran.
I ran as fast as I could. I didn’t run because he scared me, I ran because I had three more deliveries and 50 seconds to get them done. At least that is what I told myself; the way he stared at me with his little bug-eyes, the way he curled his lips when he smiled, for the first time as a naked mailgirl an employee skeeved me out.
As a mailgirl I’d felt exposed, humiliated and ashamed almost daily. This was the first time I had ever felt disgusted. My skin crawled and had to resist the urge to cover myself even more than normal. I knew it wouldn’t be long before I saw that kid again.