This is a work of fiction, any resemblance to persons living, dead or otherwise is purely coincidental. The ideas and thoughts that follow are pure fantasies. In real life, at the very least they would be unpleasant and probably illegal. Fantasies are like that; daydreams where we can contemplate and imagine the sensations without suffering or inflicting the pain, despair or humiliation.
© obohobo 2013
I never cease to wonder how one simple typing error wrought so many changes in my life, not all of them pleasant especially in the beginning.
"Miss Croxley, do you realise the Chrome Spatial Heater sells for £649 not £64.90 as you state on the web page. I am sure it is a simple typo but with the automatic processing system we have already sold and despatched quite a number at that price and your mistake has cost the company thousands of pounds. Fortunately one of my staff spotted the error when the payments came through to this department and I've already instructed the webmaster to take the page down and stopped despatch of further orders until you have corrected the error. You will also have to contact the customers and apologise for the mistake but I doubt any will return the heaters or pay the extra. No doubt your boss will have a few words to say to you when he hears of the error," the angry voice of Marshall Kingsley, head of accounts, blasted into my phone. After altering the entry I sat for a short while with my head in my hands and contemplated my future with the company.
"What will Matthew Clarke the CEO do when he finds out? Will he dismiss me? If he does I will have difficulty in finding another job that pays as well as this, indeed I will find it difficult to get a job at all. Will he offer me the alternative? I'm sure he will delight in making it as painful as he can especially after my rejections of his dinner dates and sexual advances. That was some time ago now so perhaps he's forgotten about them. He still looks at me and speaks when he passes through this office and I answer cordially but without giving him any encouragement. Will he take my previous ten years unblemished record with the company into account before deciding on my sacking or punishment? Probably not; the cost to the company will have a greater impact on his decision especially if the accountancy department demands blood, as it well might." Cheryl Peyton, his secretary, summoning me to his office, interrupted my thoughts.
"Please sit down Miss Croxley." The formal greeting and the frown on his face didn't auger well for me. "I'm sure you know why I sent for you."
"Yes, Sir, I'm very sorry for the mistake. It was only a simple typing error..."
"But that should have been spotted and one that has, according to Mr. Kingsley, cost us at least ten thousand pounds and will generate much unpleasantness with of our customers when we try to recover the money." I hung my head and muttered another apology. "You, of course, know that for some years now since the new government came into power, the courts are allowed to offer corporal punishment as an alternative to prison and managers in businesses such as this, have similar powers, albeit only with the use of a strap and not the cane or whip criminals receive." I nodded. "As I'm sure you are aware, I don't evoke my right to chastise employees very often but with a error of this magnitude I must either punish you quite severely or send you home. The choice is yours, Miss Croxley."
"What do you call, 'quite severely', Sir," I asked quietly.
"Three dozen with the strap on the bare buttocks." I gasped at the number but he went on, "I assumed you would not want to lose your job so I have provisionally booked the punishment room in the basement for 4:30 on Friday when most workers here will have gone home. If you opt for the punishment, please confirm the booking with security and contact my secretary and arrange to fill in the necessary forms. Today is Wednesday, please let me have your decision before you leave tomorrow. That will be all Miss Croxley." With that he curtly indicated I should leave without giving me chance to plead for leniency.
For the rest of the afternoon, dealing with phone calls from disappointed and irate customers kept me busy and it wasn't until I sat on the bus home that I had a chance to contemplate my predicament. "Three dozen seems an awful lot for a simple mistake even if it did cost the firm a lot of money. I know managers can give up to fifty strokes but from what I've heard they rarely give more than twenty, half that is usual. I shall have to take the strapping though because I cannot afford to lose my job. Matt knew that when he booked the room. I'll just have to hope that he doesn't apply them harshly. Bit cruel of him to keep me waiting until Friday and making me confirm the booking but with the company finishing work at four o'clock of Fridays, there won't be many around to see me afterwards." Tears began to fall before I arrived at my destination.
"You realise that this is a legally binding document, Anne, and once you have signed it, there is no changing your mind and if you fail to turn up, it then becomes a police matter and they will take over your punishment. That will be far worse than the strap," Cheryl Peyton brought up the form on the computer in front of me when I visited her office the next morning.
"Yes, there's enough reports in the local papers on what happens to those that run away. The tag we have means they don't get far. Could you not persuade Mr. Clarke to reduce the number of strokes?"
"No, he was adamant on that. You could appeal to the Works Council but they have the power to increase the number of strokes as well as reduce them and with the ill feeling amongst the shop floor workers because your mistake will result in the reduction in their monthly bonus, not only will they take into account the loss of profit from the sales but add the loss, from the production lines being shut down for nearly two hours while accounts sorted the problem. I'm sure the wild rumours on the amount of their loss are exaggerated but that is what they will base their judgement on and I suggest you keep with Matt's decision."
I nodded my agreement and Cheryl continued with a little smirk; we had no real liking for each other, "Please read the form out loud so we know that you fully understand the conditions."
More humiliation. "I, Anne Beverley Croxley, agree to attend the Punishment Room in the basement of the Watkins and Willis building at 4:30 p.m. on Friday 12th June 2026 to receive 36 strokes of the standard strap for negligence in my work that caused considerable financial loss to the company. I further agree without undue fuss, to allow myself to be fastened naked to the restraining device and for Mr. Matthew Clarke, CEO Watkins and Willis to administer the punishment." There followed a privacy box that I ticked to say I didn't want digital recording of the punishment and a space for my electronic signature and another for Cheryl's. "Do I have to be completely naked?" I asked, "I thought I would only have to bare my bottom."
"Mr. Clarke insisted on that partly, he said, for personal reasons and partly for the extra humiliation it will cause and add to your punishment without adding further pain. I will attend as witness to ensure nothing improper occurs." Her smirk became a wide grin and I knew she enjoyed my discomfort and looked forward to seeing the strap colouring my bottom; seeing me thrashed and begging for mercy. After a long pause I signed the form and with much less reluctance, so did she.
I hardly slept Thursday night, my mind churning out imponderable questions, questions that could only be answered after my ordeal. "How bad will the strapping be? How will I fare afterwards and what reception will I get when I return to work on Monday? Will I be fit enough to work? What will Matt, in my thoughts I called him by his shortened name, think of my body?" Several times I stood in front of the wardrobe mirror and tried to imagine his thoughts as he appraised me. "For a thirty year old, she's not in bad shape. Decent sized tits, better now that I can see them and not the tantalising glimpses I get when peering over her desk. Quite dark nipples that go well with her curly dark hair and her bush and her roundish, elfish face, looks fresh with a minimal amount of makeup. Overall a little short but slim and no excess fat possibly because she is a vegetarian. She's obviously no virgin because she lived with Ken when she first came to work for us but they split up a couple of years back and I haven't heard of her having anyone since and yet she rejected my advances without giving a good reason. Wouldn't even agree to my taking her out to dinner. Maybe I'll give her a seven or even an eight out of ten. Certainly she isn't a glamour girl like Stella."
These thoughts led to my wondering about Matt. "He's five or six years older than me and much taller and broader but doesn't have a pot belly possibly because he cycles to work when the weather is decent even though he has a car. He's clean-shaven, still has a full head of brownish hair and usually treats those in his office, me included, fairly and kindly. He no longer has a wife. Stella picked up a sexual disease in Thailand and didn't report it until too late and not until she'd tried to get it treated out there. Doubt he wouldn't want me as a replacement though after the glamorous blonde Stella.
.... There is more of this story ...