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Story Notes:

L own none of this story, and no bit coins!


Pam Changes Her Opinion About 4 Coworkers

MoogieMan


Summary:


Pam is like all of us, forming opinions rather quickly. Events, from simple to life/death changes these opinions!


Notes:


These four are, to me, rather unlikable,(Well, maybe not Toby). It will be a challenge to change that.

(See the end of the work for more notes.)

Work Text:


Four Times That Pam Changed Her Mind About Fellow Workers At The Office

Andy Bernard. Pam could barely stand Andy. His constant singing or his terrible Cockney accent or his temper. It all added up, and Pam reacted to Andy like screeching her nails on a chalkboard. Pam tried to tolerate him, but it was a " Give him an inch and he'll take a mile" deal. Ignore him as much as possible, avoid him as much as possible, give him no encouragement, no constructive criticism, in short pretend he doesn't exist.
Pam actually did this pretty well until Cold Call Friday.
Cold Call Friday was Michael"s idea. It consisted of sending two salespersons, once a month, out to various local businesses and try face-to-face persuasion on them. Michael had no set idea as to who to send. Once it was the top two salesmen- Dwight and Jim. Sometimes just whimsey. This week it was the two bottom salespersons, Pam and Andy.
All afternoon with Andy. What a nightmare. Only Todd Packer ranked lower on Pam's list.
At home the night before, Pam talked to Jim.
"Jim, how can I get out of this?"
"Well babe, I don't think you can. You know Michael. He wants you to do it. Stay on his good side."
"You're no help," she whined."Wait. I know. You can take my place! After all, I am pregnant.""
"Pamela! Light of my life, apple of my eye.I love you more than anything. For you would I swim the deepest ocean, climb the highest mountain. In fact I can think of nothing that I would not do for you."
"Then you'll take my place with Andy?"
"You know, I just thought of something." Jim grinned.
"I hate you."She hesitated. "oh and no sugar tonight!"
But of course, once they got in bed,Pam's threat became just words and when the lights went out, those words became just screams. Afterwards, she repeated that she hated him. He still seemed arrogant and smug. He fell asleep with a smile on his face. She told herself that tomorrow Mr. Cocky Halpert gets nothing and if not tomorrow, then the night after, and if not......Pam fell asleep, also smiling.
Friday morning really dragged. Michael had set up 4 appointments, which meant an early lunch, and off by 11:30.
As they left Michael opened the door and shouted, "A big hand for our two wayward travelers!" Since everyone was still at lunch, it wasn't much of an ovation.
Andy was all smiles. He was oblivious to the fact that Pam didn't like him.
"Well Fair Maiden, whose chariot?"
"Just call me Pam. I'll drive."
"Baby, you can drive my car,
Yes I'm gonna be a star!" Andy was already singing.
This was gonna be a long afternoon. Pam gritted her teeth.
First stop was the Paramount Carpet Cleaners.Not a big user of paper products, but a small account would be a good place to start.
"We're here to sell propane and propane accessories," Andy called out in his best impersonation of Hank Hill. Pam cringed, knowing Andy was probably going to use his voices at every stop.
It turned out that wasn't a real problem. At this first stop, the problem was actually Pam.
They were led into the manager's office. A small, friendly looking woman rose and shook hands
"Hi. My names Edith. And yours?"
"I'm Andy, my partner is Pam, and the bun in Pam's oven is yet to be named."
"I didn't notice. "Congrats to you both."
"Oh no," Pam blurted out. "We are not married. Definitely not!
Definitely!"
Pam was very blunt and Andy was angered. The coolness between the two was quite evident, and they did not make the sale.
The coolness continued on the drive to the next stop and Pam was torn. If this continued, they wouldn't make a sale. But at least she wouldn't have to listen to him sing!
The Single Tax Office was a small family owned business with only three employees, Don Harvey, CPA, his wife, Darla, and their daughter,Becky. Pam went to high school with Becky, and she hoped that might help.
But as it turned out, the Marines could not have saved this one. First, Becky wasn't there, so that angle never played out. But Andy's anger was the crusher.
"Before we start," Andy said to Mrs Harvey. "We are not a couple. I only date models, and you can see that my partner is DEFINITELY not a model." He practically yelled definitely.
So stop number 2 was over before it began. If the last ride was quiet, this was anything but...
"You were way meaner than me," Pam said.
"Oh yeah? Who started it, Pam?"
"Andy, we could have made that sale. You blew it, you idiot!"
"Idiot, huh? What does that make you, Miss Dead Last in sales!"
The anger and insults continued right up to the door of L&L Computers, third stop.Andy walked in first and shut the door behind him, right in Pam's face. Pam walked in with a scow[ on her face and sat as far as possible from Andy. The receptionist witnessed it all. The anger on both faces was easy to detect. She made a quick phone call in a whisper. Two minutes later, the Asst. Manager came out with his coat and briefcase. He apologized, but he had an emergency. The receptionist kept looking in her lap, avoiding all eye contact. From her receptionist experience, Pam knew what the phone call was and what the emergency was. O for three!
The last stop was the big one: Scranton Printing. Michael had tried and tried to get something, anything from them. It was like the Holy Grail to him. But Scranton Printing wouldn't give Michael the time of day. It seemed like they would take a loss rather than do business with DM. The reason, no surprise, was Michael.
Scranton Printing was owned and operated by a large, intimidating man named Chris Smith. He was a very energetic guy who oversaw everything at his business. He was dead serious about all matters, and had no time for fools. He disliked Michael from their first encounter. Michel, of course, wanted Scranton Printings business badly, and offered Chris Smith unbelievable deals, even a couple where DM would lose money. It showed Michael's desperation. He wanted to have the respect Chris Smith commanded in all of Scranton. That Chris wouldn't go for it, showing his disdain for Michael.
Halfway there, Pam pulled off the road and stopped.
"Andy, we need to talk."
Andy said nothing,just stared ahead.
"Andy, this has been terrible for both of us." She hesitated."I know I started it. I admit it."
Andy turned and looked at her.
"And there's been other times when I've been rude to you."
Andy's eyes opened wide.
"And I'm sorry. I hope you will accept my apology."
Andy looked at Pam, but didn't say a word. Was Pam serious? He didn't know. But as he watched, he saw a glistening in her eyes. She was close to crying.
"I accept," he said in a voice barely above a whisper. "Are you ok?"
"No," Pam replied in a shaky voice. "I'm not ok. I'm tired of failing. I flunked out of art school. I'm last in sales. Do you know how that feels?"
"Actually, I do. I was last until you came."
"So you know how it feels." She looked at Andy. He was nodding with a sympathetic expression.
"Andy, I don't want to go back to the office without a sales. I don't want to see Angela roll her eyes at me, or hear Kevin mutter ‘Loser' under his breath." A single tear rolled down her cheek.
I know what people are saying. That the only reason I haven't been fired is because I'm Jim's wife!"
"Pam, you were a great receptionist."
"Thanks, but I moved on and failed at everything."
"What about having a good marriage? Nothing's more important than that."
"Andy, you're being a good guy. I don't deserve your friendship."
"Oh, hogwash. I am lucky to know you, Pam. But let's focus. How are we going to sell to Chris Freaking Smith?"
Pam sniffed. "I think we can do it. He doesn't like Michael, we're not Michael! We could already had a sale if not for me. Maybe two."
"Quit beating yourself up. I overreacted. I'm to blame too. But let's forget all that."
Pam was getting jazzed. "Forgotten. Let's go in there like pros and blow Mr. Chris Smith's mind!"
Andy grinned."Let's go kick some butt!"
For the first time all day, Pam felt confident. "Andy, I have a favor to ask."
"Ask away. "
"I want you to sing a song, a motivating,fire me up, we can do anything song. Do you know one like that?"
"Do I know one like that? Are you kidding? This song will have you flying! How about "We are the Champions, by Queen!"
By the time they got to Scranton Printing,Pam was ready.No Chris Smith was going to scare her. No sir! She was the champion of the.....
The office door opened.Chris Smith walked in. Pam saw him for the first time. He must have been 6'7", 300 lbs.His huge arms hung by his side. He looked like he was always mad, and usually furious. Pam no longer felt like a champion.
"Dunder Mifflin, huh? OK, you got 10 minutes, then I've got a conference call."His disdain was obvious. He walked into his office and sat. Pam followed, and sat down.
"Mr. Smith, I know you have not wanted to do business with us in the past, but Dunder Mifflin has changed."
"Scott still there?"
"Yes, but....."
"Hey cowboy," Chris interrupted."Have a seat. I was serious about ten, now nine minutes"
Pam turned. Andy was staring at a picture on the wall behind Chris Smith.
"Oh, Andy, don't go psycho. Not now!" Pam whispered to herself.
"I'm sorry," Andy said, "but isn't that picture the 94 Cornell football team?"
"Chris Smith sighed. "That's why it says it. Lemmie guess. You went there."
"I did!"
"Amazing. You're the 3rd person today who saw that picture and realized they went to my alma mater, so I should buy from them. Hit the road, Buddy!"
"But I did." Andy protested.
"Don't play games with me. That's insulting. Out before I throw you out!"
Andy turned to leave.
"Wait a minute!" Pam's voice was loud."He went to Cornell. He drives us nuts about it! We've got 7 minutes and I demand to be heard!"
"Pam?" Andy was shocked."Pam?" He repeated.
If Andy was shocked, so was Chris Smith. He wasn't used to anyone standing up to him, let alone some little girl. After about 5 seconds, he recovered.
"OK, here's my deal. Question time. Were you a football fan, chief?"
"Nope."
"I thought not.Hit the road, both of you. Little lady, you got spunk. Why would you waste your time with losers like this guy or Scott!?"
I'm not a fan, I'm a fanatic!"Andy added.
"You are? Really? Ok, let's see what you got?"
Andy winked at Pam. "Ask me anything."
"Who was Cornell's QB 1994?"
"Oh, please. What is this, kindergarten?"
"Just answer the question."
"Frank Wilson, first 7 games. Tore his rotator cuff and JJ Peterson finished the season."
Chris Smith's mouth was hanging open.
"Problem was, Wilson was a drop back, pro type QB, JJ was a wishbone QB. Hard to adjust. Team went 6 and 1 with Wilson, only 1 and 3 afterwords."
Chris Smith looked like you could knock him over with a feather. Pam had an enormous smile on her face,
"I remember. Kept us from getting a bowl game." Chris added.
"Wrong sir! You are wrong. We went to the MAACO Bowl, where we lost to the worst call in history," Andy was yelling. Chris Smith was visibly impressed.
"Pass Interference," Chris Smith said loudly. "Bogus call!"
Andy clapped his hands. "Bogus!Bogus! Bogus!"
"Gave those Rutgers wimps the ball on our one!" Chris Smith was standing!
"Know what I did the next day, C.S.?"
Pam flinched. "C.S." Maybe too far. This was Chris Freaking Smith. But he seemed too caught up in Andy's story.
"I took the morning paper to the backyard and pee'd all over it!"
Chris Smith was laughing out of control. He and Andy started high fiving. It was Pam's turn to be amazed.
"Then I got my a capella bros to come out and do the same."
"A capella?Not Here Comes Treble?"
"One and the same. I don't believe you remember us!"
Chris Smith was giddy. "Are you kidding? I loved you guys. You were hilarious! And your knicknames. Who were you? Don't tell me. Not Brocolli Rob?"
Chris' secretary walked in. "Your conference call."
Chris started laughing. He turned back to Pam and Andy."There's no call. I just made that up to get rid of you two. But a Cornell man? We'll talk all day. I got it. You are the Boner King!" He pointed to Pam. "I see you're still at it!"
"Oh no. That's not mine.Pam is married to my buddy, Tuna."
"Your loss, young lady. Boner is a legend at Cornell!"
Pam smiled demurely. "Uh Boner, I mean Andy. Look at the time."
"Hey, look.I know you gotta go. I don't know how much I can get for you- contracts and all. But I will get you something. No Cornell man walks outta here empty handed."
Pam and Andy looked at each other, huge smiles on their faces.
"One last favor," Andy asked."It's 4:38. Any chance you can call the order in before 5:00? I want to see their faces back at DM!"
"You got it, my friend. Hey, let's get together, Boner, and talk over Cornell tales!"
"I'm there."Andy exclaimed."When? Where?"
"Tonight, 7 :00, Poor Richard's"
In the parking lot, Pam and Andy were going nuts.
"We did it!" Andy was jazzed.
"We've got to hurry. It's almost 5:00. I can't wait to see Angela's face! Andy, we sold Scranton Printing!"
"I know. We are a team!"
But as luck would have it,they got stuck at a train crossing for almost 10 minutes."Damn it," Andy moaned. "Only Michael and Jim will be there."
"I know, but they will all find out on Monday."Pam was trying to make the best of it, but she was disappointed too.
It was 5:07 when they turned into the parking lot. Although they still were jazzed, they felt a tiny bit let down.
"Oh well,"Andy said."We can celebrate on Monday."
"Andy. Andy, look!"Pam pointed ahead.
The parking lot was full. Pam and Andy flew out of the car, up the stairs, and into the office. The whole staff was there! They had their coats and purses, ready to go home. But they were still here and, they were smiling. (All except Dwight.)
"They're here!" Michael yelled."Hip hip hurray!"
Everyone(Except Dwight)was clapping, high fiving. Andy and Pam looked at each other.
"What's up boss?" Andy asked Michael.
"Right! Like you two don't know. Does Scranton Printing mean anything to you? How about the biggest sale of the quarter? How about a phone call at 4:42, from Chris Smith, with an order that will make David Wallace and the rest of corporate give us a little respect!"
Everyone was going nuts (Except you know!)
"What's wrong with Dwight? (who had turned his back on the celebration) Pam asked.
" Oh the big baby had the biggest sale until yours came in."
"Not fair," Dwight whined. "Two of them, one of me. They should have to split their numbers."
"He's just mad because the biggest sale gets a steak dinner at Chili's. Tonight only! Sorry Dwight, but Pandy gets the steaks tonight!"
"Can I say something before you all go?" Andy asked. "I wanna tell you why we made that sale.Pam's heart sank. Andy was gonna tell about the Cornell connection, and all credit would go to him. "Oh well, it's the truth," she thought to herself.
"The reason we made that sale is......." he paused. Pam looked at the floor. "That little lady over there, holding that tall goofy looking guy's hand!"
Everyone turned and looked at Pam. The look on her face was a cross between a smile and downright shock.
Andy continued, "Our first 3 stops were pretty bad, both our faults. But before Scranton Printing, she laid it on the line. She admitted her mistakes. She got me pumped. There was no way we weren't going to make that sale. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Mrs. Pamela Halpert!"
Everyone broke into applause.
"Wait," Pam called out,"Andy's being too modest."
"Go home," Andy out shouted Pam. "Start your weekend." He walked over to Jim and Pam.
"You aren't gonna let me talk are you?" Pam was glowing with happiness.
"Doesn't look like it. Besides, no one would believe that Chris Smith story. Oh, by the way, I have a date tonight. Why don't you and Tuna take those steaks." Pam gave Andy a huge hug.
On Monday Andy brought his guitar to the breakroom at lunch, and sang We Are The Champions. Everyone ignored him, some even left. That is everyone, except Jim and Pam. After kicking Jim hard in the shin, Pam led him in a standing O.
On a Friday in late September, 2009, Pam changed her mind about Andy!

 

Toby: Pam liked Toby.She talked with him a lot. He was a great listener. When Jim wasn't available, she would even take her problems to Toby. She trusted him. He had a crush on her, but was respectful of her relationship with Jim. In short, he was a valued friend, with one big fault, according to Pam. The problem: he was a wimp, even a coward!
The reason that Pam felt that way was simple: Michael Scott! Michael bullied Toby constantly. Making fun of Toby, ridiculing him, even kicking him out of meetings, Michael's treatment of Toby bordered on abuse.
And Toby just let him do it. Despite Pam's advice or Oscar's indignation, Toby would say or do nothing!
"I can handle it," he would say to them. "If he wasn't picking on me, it would be one of you. Besides, he'll get tired of it and we'll become friends."
"What!" Oscar was outraged. "That will never happen."
"Oscar's right." Pam added. "Stand up to him!"
"OK, I'll talk to him."
But he didn't. Everyone knew he had a crush on Pam, and if she couldn't get him to stand up to Michael, it was a lost cause.
In February of 2006, DM Scranton added a temporary worker to the staff. Things were really going great. Sales were up moods were high. It was a good time.
Only problem was the workload was getting overwhelming. More business, more paperwork. Michael contacted corporate for help. Corporate hired a temp for 4 months.
Michael came that fateful morning., 40 minutes late. He had to run Dwight and Jim to the airport, then pick up the new guy. He walked into the office with a grin on his face. His left arm was around a young looking guy, wearing a brown suit. He was short, slender, sort of cute with blue eyes
"Hey, everybody, come meet our temp, Ryan Howard."
"Holy Shit!' Kelly whispered. She was instantly smitten. She glared at Angela, then at Pam. Her message was clear: He's mine.
Since Pam was engaged to Roy(though secretly in love with Jim) and Angela was with Dwight (also a secret), Kelly had no problem with those two, but there was someone who appeared smitten.
Michael!
Michael was grinning from ear to ear as he escorted Ryan to each department. Ryan looked very uncomfortable.
Finally intros were over, and Michael fairly carried Ryan back to his office.
"You are gonna love it here. " Michael gushed. "We are all about fun- jokes, tricks, pranks! Oh! Oh! I've got a great prank. You'll love this!"
Ryan had no idea what to say, This guy was over the top.
Michael pulled up his phone. "Pam, I need to see you right now. Hurry!" He grinned at Ryan."Just wait."
Pam came running in, wondering what was so urgent.
"Have a seat, Pam." She did, a perplexed look on her face.
Michael winked at Ryan,put on a serious face, and turned to Pam. "Pam,as you know, we are in a financial crisis."
"We are? I thought we were doing well. Just yesterday......."
"Shut up." Michael blurted out, trying not to laugh."Sadly, we have to let someone go."
"Then how can we hire Ryan? No offense, Ryan."
"None taken."
"Pam, you've made this an easy decision. Pam, you're fired."
"What?!?" Pam was stunned."Why?"
"Petty theft!"
"What? I've never stolen anything!" Pam's voice begins to crack.
Michael sneaks a quick look at Ryan. "Don't make it worse, by lying."
"What did I steal?"
"You stole 3 paper clips last week."
"Boxes or individual paper clip?"
"Individual, but one was large!" Michael is doing everything to keep from laughing Ryan is mortified
"Is ..is th..this one of ..your s..s..sick jokes?" Pam is breaking down.
"Theft is no joke, young lady You also stole 4 post it note sheets, in baby blue, my favorite color. Now you've got 15 minutes to clean out your desk. No severance pay, no letters of recommendation, and we are considering prosecution!"
Pam falls back in her chair, sobbing. "I..I never st..st ole any thing. Please, Michael, I need this job."
"You should thought of this before!"
He is shaking,trying not to laugh.
Pam gets up to leave. She's very wobbly, close to fainting.
Michael looks at Ryan, expecting to see a big grin. But Ryan's look is one best described as horrified. Michael sees he has gone too far.
"Punked! Pam, I punked you. We both did!"
Pam looks at Ryan. He gives a quick shake ‘no.'
"This is your idea of a joke? You are a jerk!" Pam storms out, still crying.
"She must be PMS ing. What a poor sport."
Ryan says nothing, but wonders if he wants to work here.
Michael can see the upset look on Ryan's face. Anyone else, and they'd be gone, but he doesn't want to lose Ryan.
"Ryan, I need to make a phone call. Wait outside, please." He needed to regroup. How can he convince Ryan that the joke wasn't malicious? Maybe he could get Pam to say she was in on the joke.
Meanwhile, Ryan walked out. Pam was still crying, her head on her desk. Phyllis was rubbing her back. Everyone was standing, and most looked angry.
"Ok, Temp, what happened?" Oscar took charge.
"Michael fake fired her to make me laugh."
"Go on." Meredith spoke."Did you laugh?"
"No! Hell no! I thought it was terrible."
Pam lifted her head. "Ryan had nothing to do with it. It was all Michael."
"Why did he say he was firing you?" Angela joined in.
Ryan answered," He said she stole 3 paper clips, and 4 post it sheets."
"You gotta be kidding!" Phyllis was joining the angry group.
"Kidding about what?" Toby was walking in from the annex.
So the story was told again. Toby's face got redder and redder. No one had ever seen him mad, but he looked scary.
Michael saw the group through his office window and figured they were talking about the prank. He figured he better put a stop to it.
"OK, OK break it up. Back to work."
Everyone started back to their desks, reluctantly. All except one.
"Did you fake fire Pam to get a laugh!" Toby sounded mad.
Michael took a step at Toby. Toby didn't move.
"Toby, what I do is none of your business, so crawl back...."
"Did you make Pam cry for your own amusement?" This time Toby was the one advancing. He looked mad! His voice was loud!
Michael stayed where he was, but still looked confident."Toby, I'll fire you this second!" His face was bright red.
"You can't fire me. I work for corporate, not you!" he continued to walk toward Michael. The body language had made a complete turn!
"I'll just call David W-Wallace." Michael's voice stuttered a bit, and he backed up.
"Whose got a cell?" Toby yelled. "Michael needs a phone. I would love to talk to David myself."
He continued walking toward Michael. Everyone was spellbound. Michael backed up again, and bumped into the wall. His face was looking pale.
"OK, OK I punked her . Ryan helped.How come no one's on him?"
Toby ignored his attempt to spread the blame. "You fake fired her ! You coward!"
Michael tried to get to his office but Toby slammed his arm to the wall, blocking any retreat.
"If you touch me, you will be fired," Michael's voice sounded weak and afraid.
"I was thinking of quitting and going to Costa Rica anyway. Might as well take a little of you with me!" Toby started to take off his jacket. At close range, it was obvious how much bigger and stronger Toby looked.
"What do you want?" Michael whined.
"An apology and your word to leave her alone."
Michael hesitated. He knew this might change a lot of things in the office.
"Well?"
Michael knew Toby was serious.
"Pam, I'm sorry. It was stupid of me. I got carried away. It won't happen again.'
Toby smiled and moved his arm. Michael scurried like a mouse to his office. He pulled the curtain and locked the door.
Toby walked back to his office
At the end of the day, Toby checked his mailbox. There was one blank sealed envelope. Inside the envelope were 3 paper clips, one large. Here were also 4 baby blue post it notes. Three were blank. The other had two words:
My Hero!
In February of 2006, Pam changed her opinion of Toby.

 

Meredith: Pam always thought Meredith was a hoot! Funny, irreverent, sassy, Pam always had fun with Meredith.
But one thing bothered Pam. Meredith seemed very self centered. Meredith did what she wanted- boozing, whoring, if Meredith wanted it, she got it, and bragged about it.
So, Pam liked Meredith, but considered her a selfish loudmouth.
IN 2012, Jim and Pam were happily (or not) married with an adorable (if fussy) 1 1/2 year old, CeCe.It was lunchtime on a Friday. Jim was on a call, so Pam was eating alone.
"Can I join you, Pam?" Meredith had her usual Lunchable in hand.
"Sure, Meredith," Pam sighed. She didn't sound very convincing.
"Hey, kid, if you'd rather be alone........"
"No Meredith, I'm sorry to be such a sourpuss and on a Friday, too." Pam blinked back a sudden tear.
"OK, spill. What's the prob?"
"It's just me, Meredith. I have it so good, and yet.......just forget it. I'm a selfish bitch, that's all."
"No, I'm a selfish bitch." Meredith interjected. "You're anything but."
"Well, basically, I have just about everything. I love Jim, he loves me. We have a healthy little girl. We aren't rich,but we get by.There are thousands of girls who would trade places with me in a heartbeat".
"Just to sleep next to your hunkie husband."
"Which happens to be part of the problem"
"You're kidding. I thought you two went at each other like rabbits. I mean the way you would look at each other....."
"Past tense, Meredith, past tense!"
"Sorry, Pam."
"Let's just eat."
It got quiet Both ladies focused on their food. Meredith kept sneaking quick looks at Pam. The curiosity was killing her, but she said nothing.
Pam looked up. She spoke.
"Let me tell you how my Friday evening is gonna go."
"You don't have to, Pam."
"No, I need to tell someone. It'll do me good." She sighed, "I leave here, like everyone, 5:00-5:10. I go straight to daycare and pick up Cece. She usually sleeps the whole way home, which is bad for me because when we get home, I am exhausted, and she wants to play. So, like the good mom I am, I play with her until, say, 8:00. Then she falls asleep, like I desperately want to do. But there's the morning dishes, sometimes the night before's. So I do them. It's now 9:00 and I am starving. So, guess what?"
Been there, done that, Meredith chimed in, "tv dinner!"
"Oh hell yes," Pam muttered sarcastically."And not just any old tv dinner but a Lean Cuisine! Got to keep my figure or Jim will lose interest. Oh wait! He's already lost interest! But back to my story: I usually fall asleep in front of the tv. Then around 2:00, CeCe wakes up. She needs a bottle, or a diaper change, or just to be rocked , or all three. Then Saturday is more of the same, ditto Sunday. Oh, I may get a baby sitter-go shopping, see a movie. But then the thrill: the guy who makes it all worth while, Jim gets off the plane, walks across the termac to the terminal, where CeCe and I are waiting. He's smiling so big, abd I love him so much, so why do I feel such resentment?"
"Go on," Meredith said.
"So let me tell how Jim's week went. Friday- I take him to the airport. He sleeps on the plane ride! Uninterrupted, headphones. He says the plane's swaying rocks him to sleep and God, I wanna kick his butt.
Then his buddy,Mark, picks him up at the Philly airport and they go to a restuarant.A RESTUARANT, MEREDITH! With hot food and drinks! Then to the motel, and he calls me,and afterwords he goes to sleep,all night long, no diapers, no bottle.Then, Saturday, meetings all day, which I know is a drag. Meredith. I know it's not all fun and games for him.Giving up his Saturdays, but restuarants, wine, sleep. How is this fair?"
"Pam, have you talked to him?"
"Yes, but I've got no case. We've got to do this if we want more for our family.We agreed on this. I just didn't know it would be so hard!"
"Pam, we've got to get back to work, but let me think. There has to be a better way."
"Thanks, Meredith, I do feel better."
"Meredith didn't look convinced. "Pam, I haven't done shit yet."
Pam laughed.
On the way home, CeCe asleep in her carseat, Pam thought long and hard about the situation. She couldn't think of a solution, but she knew she was getting close to her limit. Some scary thoughts were popping in her head, an affair, divorce! These were totally unacceptable, and the fact that she even thought of them disturbed her. She did love Jim, and she was in love with him. But he was so wrapped up in his business, he seemed to have no interest in intimacy. She missed their hugging more than sex! (She never thought she'd say that!)
She pulled into the driveway, and naturally, CeCe woke up,and announced her presence with ear shattering screams. Another Friday at the Halpert's. Pam sat on the floor, and checked CeCe's diaper. No problem. She went to get a bottle, when she heard a knock at the front door.
Whenever Jim wasn't home, Pam would peek through a side window, before opening the door.
Meredith! It was Meredith and someone behind her. Pam was actually excited. She ran to the door, and opened it.
"Meredith and Mrs Jankowski. What's going on?"
(Mrs. Jankowski was their babysitter. She had actually stayed with CeCe all night before. They trusted her, and CeCe loved her.)
"Get your coat," Meredith exclaimed. "We're going to Van Lugens!"
"Van Lugens? Carl Van Lugen's? For what possible reason?"
"To eat,dummy. No tv dinner tonight!"
"But Van Lugens? Do you have any idea how expensive it is? I can't even afford their water."
"Who said you are paying? I just got $1500 in back child support from my worthless ex and we are going to celebrate!"
Pam continued to protest, but she grabbed her jacket, hugged CeCe, and was out the door.
At the restuarant, she ordered steak and lobster at Meredith's insistence. The young, handsome waiter flirted a bit with her, and while she knew nothing was gonna happen, she felt pretty, even sexy for the first time in a long time! Pam laughed more than she had in months.
As they left, the handsome waiter shook Meredith's hand, then Pam's. But he slipped Pam a small piece of paper. She kept it in her closed fist. She felt very excited.
"OK, what's in your hand?" Mefedith asked as they got in the car.I saw that!"
Pam opened her fist. It was a phone number!
"Whoowee!" Meredith yelled. "Who's not sexy?"
"You put him up to it, Meredith. I know you did!"
"Wrong, gorgeous. You don't need any help!"
Pam opened the window. She held the paper out."She looked at Meredith.
"Meredith!" She half laughed, half screeched. She took a deep breath and dropped the note out of the window. They drove on.
"You know how to find him anyway. Now, on to Poor Richard's.
"Meredith, no. Jim would be so pissed."
"Let him be pissed. This our night!"
Poor Richard's was Friday night rocking. Pam got asked to dance three times before they made it to their booth.
Three drinks later, she was ready to dance. She danced with some big guy, who resembled Harrison Ford. She thanked him, avoided a kiss, and sat down.

"Meredith, this is terrible. What would Jim say?"
"Meredith nodded toward the door. "Why don't you ask him?"
Jim, looking worried, was paying his cover, scanning the room.
"Jim!Over here"

Jim walked through the crowd, and sat down next to Pam."
"What's going on? Where is CeCe?"He didn't sound angry,just concerned."I got to Phillie, and there was a voice mail on my cell from Meredith!" He paused. The ladies shared a smile.
"CeCe's fine. She's with Mrs Jankowski."
"So," He puts his cell on .
Meredith's voice, "Jim, this is Meredith. First, the baby's fine. Mrs Jankowski has her. Pam is fine, physically, but needs to be with you tonight! She and I will probably be at Poor Richard's, unless we get picked up. You are probably laughing at that, but I strongly suggest you get your ass here asap. A young stud has already given her his number, and she threw it away. I'm guessing she'll keep the next one!" The message stopped.
"I'm lost,"Jim said. "Have I done something wrong?"
"Captain oblivious," Meredith whispers to Pam."I'm bowing out. Jim will drive all three of us to my house. My car will be fine and I've had too much to drink. Now my guestroom isn't the Hilton, but it's swept, dusted, clean sheets, and best of all it's on the other side of the house from my room, so I can't hear any moans, or beds squeaking, By morning I hope things are better. Maybe not completely solved, but on the way."
At Meredith's house, Jim walked ahead. Pam grabbed Meredith's arm.
"I don't know how to thank you," Pam was choked up with gratitude.
"Actually I lied. I can hear everything that goes on in the guestroom. Just make a lot of noise and we'll call it even!"
"Meredith, you are terrible. Actually, you are wonderful!"
The next day, Jim made a call to Mark in Philly. He told Mark that for him to continue, he would have to cut his Philly trips to twice a month. Mark reluctantly accepted.
On a warm night in May 2012, Pam changed her opinion of Meredith Palmer.
Todd Packer! OMG!! If there was ever anyone as obnoxious as Todd Packer......Pam couldn't finish that because there never was.To Pam, Todd was the worst, no redeeming values at all.Vulgar, rude, demeaning to women,on and on. Oh, Pam realized, there was one good thing about him-he was only in the office one day per month.On the third Friday, spent with Michael, to discuss business,or so they said. Actually they laughed, pranked, kept the others from getting their work done. In fact, the rest of the office would usually work through lunch, just so they could go home on time.Of course, Michael and Packer would have a couple of drinks at lunch , and behave even worse.
Todd's favorite targets were Jim and Pam. He loved to call Jim "queer", constantly comment on Pam's body, and somehow get away with it.
One Friday in October 2008, he was particularly bad. The day before, he had purchased a brand new Corvette Sting Ray,and he was unbearable."Pam! Let's go for a ride. Then afterwords, I'll show you my Corvette."
Michael alone got hysterical. Jim was outraged at the comment, and started to get up. Pam gestured to him not to. Michael, for once, became aware.
"Packer-over the top- into my cave for discipline!" The two clowns
made their way into Michael's office, pulled the blinds and continued their hijinks.
"Oh God, give me strength," Pam moaned.
"He's close," Jim muttered,"Real close."
"Keep your cool," Pam said, "It's only once a month." She said that to keep Jim out of trouble, but she knew how he felt. Packer was beyond disgusting.
At five everyone started leaving. Everyone except Michael, who had to finish the work he should have finished already, Pam who had to help Michael finish, and Todd, God knows why. Jim and Pam knew the routine, and brought two cars. Michael would tell her 15 minutes, but it was never under an hour.
In fact it was6:15 when Pam headed to the elevator. Coincidently, (or maybe not) Todd Packer got on at the same time.
"Pam, I apologize for today, You know, new car, Michael always brings out the worst in me, so sorry. How can I make it up to you?"
Pam didn't believe him for one second. This was just another of his ploys.
"I'll let you drive the Vette!"
"No thanks. I am going home."
"What. You are turning down chance to drive a Corvette?"
"It's just a car." Pam got off the elevator, walked through the lobby, and turned left.
Packer, still protesting,turned right to his car parked in the handicapped spot.
The parking was almost empty. Just Michael's Jetta, the vette, Pam's Civic, and an old Vw van. As she walked past the van, she heard Packer revving his engine.
"What a....." she didn't finish the thought. The VW sliding door opened and Pam felt a hand over her mouth. The person's other hand grabbed her around the waist, and threw her into the van. Whoever this was, he was very strong and smelled of cigarette smoke, and body odor.
Go, damn it go. Louie!" The man who held her yelled.
Pam lay on he floor. There was no middle seat, just a filthy mattress. As the van squealed toward the open gate, Pam realized in terror, she was being abducted!
That thought was horrifying. Suddenly a loud bang,followed by a tremendous jolt that spun the van 180 degrees. Pam had no time to think, her brain still reeling in terror.
"Fuck" the man called Louie yelled. Then he bolted out the door. The other man released Pam from his grip, and ran through the same door. There was a loud thunk from that direction.
Pam still didn't know what was happening, but she had enough presence to know she had to get out of that van! The only way out seemed to be that same front door. She was so frightened, her legs barely worked, but she summoned all her courage, and made it out. There, to her amazement, was a site she would never forget! Todd Packer was standing directly in front of her, holding a baseball bat in his hand. He had a look of fury on his face.
His brand new vette was smashed against the vw. "Let's go, Pam," he yelled "into the building. They may have guns!"
Pam was still terrified, and could not move. Todd scooped her up and ran toward the building. Michael had heard the crash, and was opening the front door.
"Lock it," Todd yelled, as he entered, still carrying Pam, who was as pale as a ghost. She felt a sense of safety in Todd's strong arms.
Michael locked the door. "What happened?"
"Call 911. Hurry! We need the police now."
Michael made the call.As he was on the phone, Pam began to shake. Todd took off his coat, put it on her, and put his arms around her, holding her tight in a fatherly way.
"It's ok Pam. You're safe. No one's gonna hurt you." He glared in the direction of the VW. "Son of bitch!" he whispered through clenched teeth.
Michael was amazed. Packer? This was a Todd Packer he'd never seen.
As the of sirens could be heard in the distance, Pam started to cry.
"That's good Pam, get it out. You're safe now." his manner could be described as almost tender, definitely protective.
""Michael, call Jim. First words out of your mouth ‘Pam's OK' You got that Michael. ‘Pam's OK. Then tell him to come to the 3rd Avenue Fire ...." The first police car, sirens blasting, sped into the parking lot.
The first policeman ran through the door, right as Michael opened it.Todd gave Pam to Michael, and went over to the cop. They began talking.
"Michael, forget about calling Jim.They are sending a patrolman to get him."
The first cop herded Todd and Pam into his car. Michael jumped in his, and followed.
With sirens again blasting, they were at the station in minutes. Pam had calmed down considerately.Todd had his arm around her, but there was no smirk on his face, just a look of concern. The two were whisked inside and led to a room. Michael waited outside.
Suddenly the outside door crashed open. Jim came crashing in, no coat, clothes disheveled.
"Where is she Michael?" His voice full of panic. Two nearby policemen took notice.
Michael remembered what Todd had told him."She's Ok,Jim. Scared, but Ok."
Jim went ballistic. He grabbed Michael."Where the Hell is Pam?" the two cops rushed over.It took all 3 to wrestle him down. One officer reached for his Mace!
"Don't" Michael yelled."his wife's in there!"
Hearing the noise, the interrogator opened the door. Pam ran out, and embraced Jim. "I'm OK, I'm Ok."
What happened?"
Pam looked to the interrogator.She nodded."You got 5 minutes." She and Todd went back to the room. Jim and Pam sat in a corner, hand in hand, Pam telling Jim what had happened. Michael, for once sat, respecting their space. He watched as both were talking, hugging, crying. Finally, they signaled Michael over.
Jim looked up, his eyes red from crying. "Todd Packer!?! Todd Packer?!." Michael patted his knee, Pam stared straight ahead.
The door opened. Todd walked out, looking more serious than anyone in the office had ever seen. Pam went back to finish her testimony.
Jim reached out his hand to Todd. "Thanks, To....." That was all he could get out before he began sobbing.Jim had been fairly composed, but now he lost it. Todd hugged him. "Don't worry, nothing wrong with crying, Jim.' It was Michael's turn to be surprised. He had never heard Todd call Jim ‘Jim'.
Everyone was calm by the time Pam emerged.
"You can all go home. Expect a call soon. Old Baldy there gave great descriptions." Everyone looked at Todd. He shrugged. "If it had been a chick, you would really see a description!"
All of a sudden, there was a commotion back where the cops desks were. An older looking man came out."We got one, big guy, bruise above his left ear. He went to ER and they were ready. How did he get a bruise, huge I hear!"
"Todd, you did that," Pam exclaimed. That thunk I heard as I was getting out of the van!"
"Guilty! I was mad I only got in a glancing blow. I was an All State high school baseball star."
"Anyway, he's already singing.We'll have his buddy by morning."
"Hey,"Todd yelled as they left the station. "I don't have a car. I need a ride back to the motel."
"Bullshit!" Jim butted in. You're in our guestroom!"
"Speaking of cars," Michel asked. "Can they fix your vette?"
"Who cares?" Todd looked at Pam. "As a smart lady once told me- It's only a car!"
On Monday, Todd was late as usual. Everyone cheered him as he walked in. Proving he was still Todd Packer, he grinned and started humping the door.
Everyone disgustedly went back to their desks. Everyone except Michael, who always laughed at the Pacman, Jim, who would never again get mad at Todd, and Pam, who for the first time thought Todd really was funny?
On the third Friday in October, 2008, Pam changed her opinion of Todd Packer.

Notes:


This turned out ok.I hope isn't too ooc. I particularly enjoyed Toby backing down Michael( whom I can't stand!)



Moogie Man is the author of 10 other stories.



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