Writer's Studio Assignment

Here's this week's Writer's Studio assignment. I was nitpicking with it, fussing over it, and chewing it over. Finally, I am just posting it and leaving it alone. The prompt was "Superior" by Deborah Garrison from A Working Girl Can't Win.

she watched him shake his head
heard him tut tut
admonishing her over his shoulder
as he began to rearrange her stock
for the umpteenth time
she watched in horror
thinking of the time it would take
to undo his goodwill

he explained at great length
how her store could never succeed
with her product so poorly arranged
nevermind that her business had been
chugging along for ten prosperous years
long before he darkened her door

the customer is always right
as the saying goes
normally she would agree
but not this one
he would enter her domain as if he owned it
hands on hips, chest puffed out
ready to say what’s what
as if a woman could not possibly
own or operate a business such as this

she clenched her teeth
bit her tongue
and always found something to do
his favorite target otherwise engaged
he invented new ways to render his service and support

she watched from behind the counter
as he instructed her staff
lectured them about lofty business ideals
that she could never touch
she long ago had stopped correcting
instead taught her staff
how to handle him with grace

she never knew when or if he would arrive
sometimes disappearing for months
she felt a sense of false relief
finally free of his advice
only to welcome him back
with words as hollow as candy fluff

a middle manager with nothing left to manage
she took pity
and once again thanked him for coming in.