“Hey eShrink,” Rebecca said, “today sucks.”

A gently authoritative female voice answered: “How so?”

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break.

Welcome back to Tuesday’s Tale, a weekly feature where we collaborate to write a story. Previous Tuesday’s Tales include Dog Daze and Real Ghostwives of Bigfoot County, Season 2. We follow the basic rules of the “Yes, And” improvisational game – accept everything written so far as part of the story, and add your own paragraph (or so) where the last addition left off – except you needn’t begin your addition with “Yes, and.” I’ll start the story….

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Today’s tale satirizes the rise of online ‘counselors.’ The eShrink is powered by Magic 8-Ball technology, i.e.: it randomly selects prerecorded ‘counselor’ responses.

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Rebecca sighed. “Well, like, today my boss was a complete jerk.”

“What happened?” the voice replied.

“He asked me to sit in on an interview,” Rebecca said, “coz the applicant was a woman. So I said sure, y’know?”

“I understand,” the voice said, with a brief pause, “and?”

“The woman asked if it was a good workplace for women,” Rebecca explained, “and I said yes, if you’re persistent and you’re willing to prove you know your stuff, every day.”

“That’s interesting,” the voice said. “Tell me more.”

Rebecca laughed. “Well, I couldn’t come right out and say she’ll have to work twice as hard to get half the credit. But I think she could read between the lines, y’know?”

“And then?” the voice asked.

“And then Tom, he’s my boss, said ‘Of course it’s a great place for women!’” Rebecca said. “‘Our women love working here!’”

The voice paused until it was clear that Rebecca had finished, then asked “How did that make you feel?”

“It made me feel like I wasn’t there,” Rebecca said, her voice rising. “Like he was the expert on my feelings. I was pissed off, but of course I couldn’t say anything.”

“I understand,” the voice said, with a brief pause, “and?”

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Have fun!

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Photo Credit: Community Purse