All of this was potentially macabre given that we didn’t know if the attorney on twenty-eight was dead or alive, but I was so happy to be included and so giddy from lack of sleep that I was ready to lie down on the floor to get a laugh. But before I could embark on my moment in the spotlight, Rebecca got up from her desk and carried her Zippy the Chimp doll over to where I was standing.

“I’ve been here seven years!” she said. “No one has ever asked me to do the floorshow!”

She was kidding, I thought, but when I glanced at her I saw that her lower lip was quivering.

“So do it,” Abhinav said.

Rebecca sniffed. She lifted her doll. “This is Zippy.”

The room fell silent. We were all waiting, I thought, for the actual floorshow, given that she’d been carrying this monkey around for at least the five weeks I’d been working at the firm.

“What does Zippy do?” I finally asked.

Rebecca’s lip stopped quivering. She screwed her mouth into something close to grin, and her eyes twinkled with mischief. “This!” she said. Then she moved her hands to the doll’s ankles, swung him through the air, and brought his nose down on my head.

Zippy’s face, it turned out, was made of hard plastic. I felt such a blinding shot of pain that I thought I might pass out, and when the focus came back to my vision, I was seeing flecks of silver. “What the fuck?” I said, clutching my scalp.

That’s it!” Mr. Norwich shouted, getting to his feet and reaching for his coat. “I am not suffering this abuse a minute longer! Not the F word! No sir! I am going home right now, and I am talking to HR tomorrow! I was not hired to wallow around in a pornographic truck stop!

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