Glass Houses

[More dystopian feminist flash fiction. But it’s not really, is it? Nah, fair play to Alan, who told me it wasn’t. I still think it’s a neat little story though.
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Glass Houses

We proved it. The claims stood up. Our trap had worked! My friend Mike and I had put two years into this. We got jobs at the same company, and matched each other stride for stride. We posted the same sales figures—if he had a bad month, I’d ease up in the next one, and vice versa. By the end of the two years, I’d even clinched 2% more sales than him. Our records were virtually identical. We made sure we both chatted with managers, attended the same number of work functions, even our ‘sick’ days matched.

And yet Mike was shortlisted for the new managerial role. What’s more, he was apparently ‘top of the list’. I was not on the list. Surely I should’ve been joint-top, at least second? We made sure to compare everything. Nothing separated us but a Y chromosome. Maybe ‘Felicity’ just isn’t a managerial name? They interviewed eight internal candidates, all from our level, and I was nowhere to be seen. So we took them to court. And we won. It was a landmark victory, and swathes of new legislation followed. I was a feminist icon.

The pay-out was good, and we both left the company with its reputation tattered. I got offered a strategic position well above my experience level. Mike doubled his pay moving across town to a rival firm. We kept an eye on our old employers. Things went downhill for them. Mike and I were walking past months later and saw employees leaving. They’d just announced serious losses and had cut dozens of lower-level jobs in their ‘slimming’ process. Admin staff, receptionists, cleaners…all women. I looked at their tear-streaked faces. What a great job I’d done.