Hypnotized and Humiliated
By Karen Singer
Phillip woke up feeling troubled. He vaguely remembered that Vivian had been there the night before, but he couldn’t remember any details about her visit. Since it wasn’t something that worried him in any way, he put it out of his mind, got dressed, and headed to work.
As was often the case, he was one of the first people to get to their department. Marian always seemed to be the earliest one there. He wasn’t sure if that was because she didn’t like to be late or because she was checking to make sure who got there when – especially in the case of some of them being late… as seemed to happen with the women all too often.
He said a pleasant hello to Marian who was already there. Marian always greeted him kindly. He didn’t get that feeling from the other women. Logging into his computer was a mindless task for him. Since it was still a bit early, he checked the websites for the weather and the latest news but there was nothing that held any interest for him that day. He stopped looking at the websites when it was time to get to work. All the women were there by then… for once. He looked across the aisle at Vivian. Was she smiling at him more than usual? Well, she had been to his house last night. He could remember that much, but nothing more – which was odd because he didn’t feel the least bit hung-over.
He turned his attention to the work he needed to get done. Same old type of stuff. Tedious and exacting. Work that needed his entire concentration to get it right. He prided himself on his knowledge of what he was doing… even though it wasn’t what the company had originally hired him for. While not as interesting as the work he wanted to be doing, it was still work that needed a good degree of technical ability and he poured his concentration into it.
His current task involved a lot of reading again – reading of many exacting details. And fifteen minutes later, he found a problem. He pulled his thumb out of his mouth and fixed it, then moved on, continuing to check every tiny detail carefully.
It was Courtney who first noted it when she got up from her desk to head back to the printer at the back of the room. She had to pass right by Phillip’s desk, and she paused along the way to stare at him. His thumb was in his mouth! She had thought that Marian had removed all his silly behaviors. Before stopping at the printer, she first stopped at Marian’s desk. “What did you do to him?” she whispered with a slight giggle.
“Do to who?” Marian asked, having no idea what Courtney was talking about.
“Him!” Courtney said with a nod of her head in Phillip’s direction.
Marian looked, but all she could see was the back of Phillip’s head. “What’s the problem?” she asked.
Courtney smiled conspiratorially. “Oh… no problem at all!” With another little giggle, she got her papers from the printer and carried them back to her desk, pausing briefly along the way for another look at Phillip sucking his thumb as he concentrated so intently. Before sitting down, she paused again near Brittany’s desk and briefly nodded her head back toward Phillip. Brittany wasn’t sure what Courtney wanted, but she turned to look back… and spotted Phillip in no time at all. She turned around toward Vivian and nodded her head toward Phillip. Vivian of course already knew what was going on. She had been watching him closely since she had gotten to work. She smiled back wickedly. Within minutes, everyone in the room except Marian and Phillip knew that he was sucking his thumb again.
As she often did, Marian glanced up frequently at her workers as she continued with her own tasks. She was surprised to see all the women glancing frequently at Phillip again. And as she watched, very frequently the women were looking at each other and smiling. But fortunately, they all got back to work again soon after. From where she was sitting, all she could see of Phillip was the back of his head – and the fact that he was definitely hard at work – much as usual. But as it continued to happen, she began to worry about some kind of problem – at least as far as Phillip was concerned.
She checked the clock. It was a bit earlier than usual, but that didn’t matter. She got up from her desk with the intention of making the first pot of coffee in the break room. But her second reason… or perhaps her main reason… was to try to see why everyone kept looking at Phillip. She glanced in his direction as she passed his desk… and stopped dead. Phillip was sitting there intently reading… while sucking on his thumb! “Phillip!” she exclaimed. “Are you okay?”
Phillip, still unconsciously sucking his thumb, turned to face her. He pulled his thumb out of his mouth and replied. “Uh… yeah, sure! Why?” And then his thumb seemed to find its way right back into his mouth again as he looked up at her, quizzically.
To Marian it looked like he wasn’t even aware that he was sucking on his thumb. Knowing that something must have gone haywire with the hypnotic commands she had given him over the last few days, she immediately said, “Phillip likes to suck his thumb!” But this time, she didn’t get the results she was expecting. This time, she saw concern and anger cross Phillip’s face. She also saw his thumb come out of his mouth again.
“What the hell is going on?” Phillip demanded with more than a hint of annoyance, if not downright anger in his voice. “That’s a few times over the last couple of days now that people have said something about me sucking my thumb! What the hell is going on? Are you trying to malign me somehow?”
Shocked, Marian replied. “No! Definitely not!” Then before he could say anything else, she tried it again. “Phillip likes to suck his thumb!” But all she got for her efforts was a look of definite anger on his face.
“Why do you keep saying that to me? I do not suck my thumb, and I’m starting to get the feeling that you’re the one behind the vicious rumors that seem to be starting about it. I wish you and everyone else would just stop it!”
Marian backed off quickly. “No! No!” she exclaimed. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean anything.”
“Shit!” Phillip exclaimed as he got up from his desk. “I’m taking my break now!” With that, he angrily stormed out of the room.
Marian looked around at the other women. She didn’t know what to do. “You saw him, didn’t you?” she asked a few of them who sat further forward in the room than Phillip did. She saw them all nod.
“He was definitely sucking his thumb again!” Ashley declared triumphantly. “When did you hypnotize him again?”
“Yeah?” Felicia asked, practically laughing. “I thought you weren’t going to do anything else to him.”
“But… I didn’t!” Marian told them. “I had nothing to do with it. After removing all the suggestions from him yesterday, he shouldn’t be doing this. And not only that, but he’s doing it differently today. He’s not even aware at all that he’s doing it.” She looked around, wide-eyed, at all her workers. Then, not knowing what else to do, she headed for the break room to make some coffee. She now figured she needed several cups.
Phillip angrily headed straight for the men’s room. He didn’t know where else to go. He noticed a number of people staring at him as he walked… but he was walking not just determinedly, he supposed they all could see how angry he was. When he finally got to the men’s room, he stood in front of one of the urinals, pulled his thumb out of his mouth, and pulled his zipper down. A moment later, he was feeling the relief of emptying his bladder. What was up with Marian today? Why had she said that to him? It certainly wasn’t nice! He figured he had good reason to be angry.
A few minutes later, he had washed his hands and was back out in the hallway. But this time he headed much more slowly back toward his desk. He was in no rush to get back there after how angry Marian had made him. What was up with her? He noticed that the people in the hallway were still looking at him. Did he still look that angry? He supposed he must.
Vivian almost lost it when she saw Phillip come back into the room – with his thumb still in his mouth. The dumb jerk still wasn’t even aware that he was sucking on it – as she had told him last night. Of course, that was going to change later… after lunch. But he didn’t know that… yet. She saw Marian watching Phillip intently from the break room. She had no doubt how concerned Marian felt just then. Well, later today, Marian would be feeling even more concerned. She almost laughed out loud!
Lunchtime came and Phillip unconsciously pulled his thumb out of his mouth. Just as unconsciously, it stayed out of his mouth all through lunch that he enjoyed with his friends. And just as unconsciously he proudly stuck his thumb back in his mouth and started sucking on it the moment he walked through the office door!
Marian shook her head worriedly as she watched Phillip coming back from lunch. Had he sucked that thing the whole time he was gone? What had his friends said about it? And the one thing that worried her just as much, was that her trigger phrase for him no longer worked. And she knew without a doubt that it should have. Phillip always went into his trances quickly and all too easily. And he went very deep each time. She could see no way at all that the trigger phrase wouldn’t affect him!
It was nearly an hour after lunch when Phillip happened to look up and see Courtney staring back at him. Why? Then he notice Brittany staring at him too. And so was Vivian! “What?” he asked, his thumb that was still in his mouth garbling the word. But this time, he realized that what had come out of his mouth didn’t sound right… and a moment later, he realized why. His thumb was in his mouth! His damn thumb… was in his mouth! Hurriedly, he pulled it out and looked at it in amazement. He heard some small laughter from several of the women as they watched him. Totally embarrassed, he turned back to his computer. Why had his thumb been in his mouth? He hadn’t even known it was there! Did that have anything at all to do with what Marian had said to him earlier? Very worried about it, he tried to put it out of his mind. But putting it out of his mind was almost impossible, especially since a little while later he realized he was sitting there sucking on his thumb again.
“Damn!” He pulled his thumb out again and stared at it – again! What was going on? Why was he sucking his thumb? And over and over again he remembered Marian standing in front of him saying those weird words to him – something about him sucking his thumb. She must have had something to do with it! She must have! She used to be a stage hypnotist. Had she done something to him? Angrily, he looked back at her. She was working and didn’t even notice him looking. He turned back to his computer again, but work was the furthest thing from his mind. What had she done to him?
He tried to work, but he couldn’t manage to think about what he was supposed to be doing. All he could think about was the fact that he had been sucking his thumb and everyone had seen him doing it. And of course, while he was worrying about it, he found his thumb back in his mouth again – several times throughout the afternoon. It was as if the damn thing had a mind of its own. He couldn’t seem to stop it – because he never realized when he started doing it! For the rest of the afternoon he brooded about it. Not once being able to do any more work… and not once ever realizing when he put his stupid thumb back in his mouth again.
Vivian was going mad with delight. All day long she had watched the suggestions she had put into Phillip’s brain at work in him. Perhaps the highlight of her day though had been when Marian had tried to hypnotize him again… and discovered that she couldn’t. She was somewhat amazed that her suggestions had worked. It was one thing to test it with that video recording, but quite another matter with Marian doing it in person. But it had not only worked, it had worked brilliantly! It was all she could do to control the glee that she felt inside. And this time, poor Phillip knew he had a problem and by now he knew that he didn’t know what to do about it. She remembered again when Marian had tried to hypnotize him with that trigger phrase she had used before, and failed. She wondered if Phillip blamed her at all for his current little problems. She had no way to tell… yet. Maybe she could find out later tonight since she was planning on visiting him again.
Thinking about Marian and the way she had failed to hypnotize him again, reminded her that it was time to set the ball rolling in that direction. Pulling up her email program, she began typing.
Marian often got emails from her staff of workers. Mostly they were about business so she always checked them as soon as she realized she had gotten one. The email from Vivian hadn’t sat unopened in her inbox very long before she read it. The email concerned her a bit because it was a request from Vivian for her to wait around after work to talk about a private and personal matter that had come up. Marian didn’t know why Vivian was reluctant to discuss it now, but she had no problem staying a few extra minutes after work to sort things out. She emailed back that she would stay and that she hoped she could easily handle Vivian’s problem.
A few seconds after Marian had sent her reply, Vivian read it with delight!
Quitting time came and Phillip was still trying to figure out why his thumb kept winding up in his mouth. The moment he was able to leave, he very carefully made sure he wasn’t sucking his thumb and hurried for the door – this time, before the women got there! He just wanted to get out of there and get home… where hopefully he wouldn’t be faced with the problem any longer. Hopefully!
“Are you coming Vivian?” Felicia asked as she and the other women were walking out.
“I’ll be along in a few,” Vivian replied with a smile as she set her purse on top of her desk so she could grab it easily when she left. She waved at the girls as they all departed. When she turned around to look, only she and Marian were now left in the room. She got up from her desk and walked across the aisle to lean against Phillip’s desk, waiting for Marian to be ready to talk to her. She only had to wait a moment.
“What’s happening?” Marian asked, seeing that Vivian was now ready to talk.
“Did you see Phillip today?”
All Marian’s concern over Phillip came crashing back at her. She had been stressing over it all day long. “Of course I saw him! You saw me try to hypnotize him again this morning, but for some reason, I couldn’t. And there’s no reason in the world why it shouldn’t have worked! I’m really very worried about it.”
Vivian smiled, but she realized it was a wicked smile. All the better! “You couldn’t, because I hypnotized him last night, and fixed things so that you can never hypnotize him again… ever! In fact nobody can do it to him anymore… except me.”
“You? You hypnotized him? And blocked me out? Why?”
“Because he deserves to be punished! And you don’t seem to be willing to do it!”
“But you can’t do that!”
“But I did do it… and I’m going to continue to do it!”
“No you’re not! You’re going to undo everything you did to him immediately. Set him straight!”
“Oh, I’m going to set him straight alright. Just not in the direction you think he should be going.”
Marian got up from her desk so that she too was on her feet. Sitting down while someone was standing over you could be seen as a disadvantage. She walked up to Vivian’s desk and leaned against it where she would be directly across from Vivian. “Vivian,” she said, “doing something like this is not only unethical, it’s illegal!”
“Oh, I don’t care. I’m not the least bit worried about that.”
Angry now, Marian took a more brutal track. “If you don’t set him straight, I’ll have you dismissed! Fired for unethical behavior!”
Vivian’s grin was from ear to ear. “No you won’t.”
“Yes I will!”
“Nope! You won’t because there’s nothing at all to tie me to Phillip’s little problem.” Her mischievous grin grew totally evil. “There is however, lots of proof that you had everything to do with his problem. You’re the one who needs to be worried about being fired!”
“You!” Vivian confirmed. “What do you think would happen if I sent one of those videos I made of you hypnotizing him up to Human Resources? Both those videos show very clearly how you hypnotized him. Not only that, but every woman here saw you hypnotize him several times. Don’t you think their testimony alone would be enough to get you fired?”
Marian was shocked. Outraged and completely shocked. “You wouldn’t!”
“Oh, but I would. I was bold enough to go to Phillip’s house last night and hypnotize him… not to mention fix it so that you couldn’t anymore. So don’t doubt for a minute that I’d turn you in if I had to. Nobody saw me doing anything at all to him. But everybody saw you! And those videos I made aren’t just valuable now, they’re priceless! So don’t doubt for a minute that I’ll tell HR and get you fired if you give me any trouble at all!”
“You wouldn’t,” Marian said again, only far weaker this time.
“Marian, we both know for sure now that I would… and I will!” Vivian replied. “So from now on you’re going to do nothing but support me in everything I do.”
“You can’t do this!” Marian tried again. “It’s not right!”
Vivian grew angry. “You want to know what’s not right? What’s not right is the way Maria, Leanne, and Terry got fired! That wasn’t right! And you want to know what else isn’t right? You! Your job! That’s what isn’t right! After those women were fired, I should have been next in line for your job. The Supervisor job should have gone to me! And instead they brought you in from somewhere else… from the outside… from… whatever circus you used to work for. That’s what isn’t right! Your job as Supervisor should have been mine! So don’t think for a minute that I won’t hesitate to do whatever I need to if you give me the least bit of trouble!” Her manner seemed to drip with even more vehemence. “And with something like this on your record, how easy do you think it would be for you to find another job? Huh? The job market is bad enough as it is. You’d never find decent work again! So the choice is yours Missy! You either do what I say from now on and don’t give me any trouble at all, or your ass is out in the cold. And maybe they’ll even arrest you for what you did!”
Marian was totally dumbfounded. Worse, she knew that everything Vivian had just said was all too true. And there was a good chance she could be arrested over it. “This is… blackmail,” she said.
Vivian paused to consider that. She hadn’t even thought about that before. “Why, yes it is, isn’t it?” she said with a smile. Her voice gained a touch of evilness again. “And since it is blackmail, then I might as well take advantage of it and find some ways to make your life more miserable too!”
Marian felt as if she had just been slapped – hard. In a way, she had. “Please…” she tried to plead.
But now that it had been said, Vivian was all that much more pleased with the situation. “Marian!” she said, shutting the older woman up. “You may be Supervisor here… and I guess you’ll continue to be the Supervisor. Hell, you’re even doing a fairly decent job of it. So you may be the Supervisor, but you better darn well realize that I’m your boss! And if I tell you to do something… anything… then you darn well better do it! As I said, your job should have been mine! So I have no problem at all with bossing you around… and you better toe the line with anything at all I say… or you know what will happen. And as you know now, I’ll have no problem at all letting HR know exactly what went on here!”
Marian could only look at her in speechless shock.
Seeing that Marian now understood the situation a little better, Vivian walked over to her desk and picked up her purse. She turned back to Marian, who was still staring at her with disbelief, and leveled a very mischievous grin at her. Then she turned and walked out, feeling very, very satisfied.