Steven is sitting in the mess hall finishing up his lunch when Parla walks in and sits down. No sooner as she did, the odor hits him. “Whew, what have you been working on?” he said as he put his hand to his nose.
“I just got back from working on a clog in the waste reclamation system. Earlier I was in docking bay having to grease the crane rails.”
“Ew, I hate having to do that, I always get grease everywhere.”
“Yes.” she says holding up her arms and looking over her body at all the splotches of grease.
“I was verifying inventory counts and checking that the new shuttles will hold the correct number of packing containers.”
“I know, everyone else was doing easy, clean jobs too. I thought Quatittel was giving me all the dirty jobs on purpose.”
“Why would ze do that?”
“Ze blames me for the assignment to negotiate the Lixa deal.”
“Why are you to blame?”
“About twenty days before Quatittel left, I overheard my dad talking about the trade deal and the problems they were having with every negotiator being injured because of their skin. I suggested that they use a Sudopodian since their outer membrane wound not be hurt. I did not know that Quatittel was the only one in this sector and I did not know that ze had taken several courses in negotiations making zim the best candidate for the job.”
“And now you think ze is intentionally assigning you the worst jobs?”
“That is what I thought at first until I looked up the logs, which is why I missed lunch. They showed that ze was assigning the next job to the next available tech.”
“So you were not being punished.”
“No. But I was curious why I have never been assigned one of these type of jobs before, so I looked back further. I found that ze had been intentionally keeping me from them and giving me the next cleaner jobs and now ze is not doing that.”
Steven laughs a little bit “Humans have a saying, Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Ze feels slighted and now ze is not giving you special treatment.”
“I never asked for special treatment, but I appreciate that ze did it for me. Ze will never forgive me, will ze?” She lowers her ears and gives him the sad kitty look.
“If you tell zim what happened and apologize for inadvertently causing zim to get selected, I think ze will understand and forgive you. I can’t say ze will go back to giving you the cleaner jobs, but it is a good place to start.”
“I do not necessarily want the cleaner jobs, it is not fair to everyone else, especially you.” She reaches a paw up and places it on the side of his face. “You were getting most of the jobs that I should have gotten, and I am sorry for that.” She then gives him a kiss and wipes her paw down his face toward his chin leaving a grease smear.
He reaches his hand up and feels the grease on his face and gives her a scowl. “I don’t mind.”
“I know, but still, it is just filth and it will clean off, even if it takes a while. But, you know, if you helped, it would not take as long.” she perked her ears up as she said the last part and changed her gaze to one of a cat about to pounce on its prey.
Steven smiles, “Looking forward to it, just let me know when you are done with your shift.”
“I will let you know.” she replies as she rubs her paw on his chin, leaving another grease smear causing him to just shake his head as she sashays away, tail swaying back and forth.