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When Your Boss Is On The Lam

This story is true. Some of the details have been changed to protect…me. I’m scared.After a year of racking up credit card debt, the time had come for me to get a real job. Through a friend of a friend, I heard about a gig doing shipping for a website that sold candles designed to affect moods. The candles that were supposed to make a person more social, or respect you, but mostly make you want to fuck. It sounded a little shady.

And it was. The office was housed in a run-down Hollywood building that was never without a mysterious black van parked outside. I spent the day printing out orders, packaging them safely in bright green bubble wrap, and shipping candles out to sad men and women willing to shell out money for anything that could possibly get them laid.

Yet the longer I worked there, the more questions that arose. Why was I paid through PayPal? Why did the business have 5 different names? And who was this woman named Harmony who was owned the company but only communicated to us through iChat?

My co-workers advised me that Harmony hadn’t been seen in months.She had left abruptly for reasons unknown, and it was unclear if she’d ever return. But return she did, completely unannounced. I opened the door one day to find a tiny Asian woman wearing a respirator mask and making candles she said were designed specifically for gay men who liked to party. Harmony was back in LA to oversee her business. For a few weeks, “overseeing her business” meant that Harmony watched us work while she brought in Danish furniture from some mystery apartment. She had children (that we never actually saw) fathered from some sperm donor (whom we knew nothing about). She drank Kombucha, painted the office sky blue, and may or may not have stored a miscarried baby in the office freezer (we still don’t know). As strange as it was, with time, all these things almost became normal.

Things changed when we arrived to find Harmony in a shaken mood. She told us that someone had broken into her apartment “just to show they could.” She knew this because no one had taken the $30,000 in emergency cash kept in a duffle on her bed (described as a normal thing). This helped make sense of the time Harmony had once left her PayPal account open with a balance of $500,000. We didn’t sell that many candles.Harmony went on to describe how people were out to destroy her and her business. Liars were posting falsehoods about her candles in candle forums, thieves were trying to steal her candle secrets, and a trouble maker had once called child protective services to her 6” X 1’ Post Office box in Culver City (because it was her only known address).The next day, Harmony was gone again, leaving behind her 60” Plasma television, iPad, and a creepy Danish stool nobody ever used. We were advised to begin forwarding her mail from the P.O. Box in Culver City to another P.O. Box in Austin. I never saw or spoke to her again, only communicating via iChat. I worked there for another year.
The next day, Harmony was gone again, leaving behind her 60” Plasma television, iPad, and a creepy Danish stool nobody ever used. We were advised to begin forwarding her mail from the P.O. Box in Culver City to another P.O. Box in Austin. I never saw or spoke to her again, only communicating via iChat. I worked there for another year.

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