Your dyslexia’s been dissed and anger brews!

We’ve all been there. In this short story, one of our readers recounts one such occasion, when her annoying boss almost got what was coming to her.

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Character key:

Cathy – Annoying Boss

Linda- Work Colleauge

Leanne – Work Colleague

Narrated by the author


“S@*t!”, Leanne’s not so silent expletive shot over from across the desk.

“Are you alright love?”, Linda asked as she handed out our tea.

Tea breaks were always the highlight of the day, no one ever said ‘no’ to the opportunity of a cuppa – it was the best excuse to step away from our desks and stretch our legs. It was also one of the few moments where we could escape Cathy.

“Yes, it’s just the word composition”, Leanne replied, “I keep flipping the b and the p around”, she said while attacking her backspace key. “I always do that.”

We all nodded in agreement. “We all have those words”, I assured her. “I used to turn Photoshop into Fotoshop or Pohtoshop. It’s a speed thing.”

“Yes”, Linda agreed. “I have tons of those words, they annoy the heck out of me.”

“Oh I do too”, said Cathy.


I cringed, the sound of her voice was like nails on a chalkboard, no matter what came out of her mouth, it always sounded patronising.

“There are words I’ve spelled wrong ever since I learned how to type”, Cathy said and the others mumbled an agreement.

I remember struggling with a ton of words growing up. Being from the Netherlands, the Dutch words were always especially hard. “I have that with the word success”, I said. “It took me forever to learn how to spell it. I can do it now, thankfully.”

As soon as I said it, I knew I should have kept quiet.

“Well, that’s probably because you never had it”, Cathy said without looking up from her screen.

“I’m sorry?” I said as bright and cheerful as I could muster. Deep down I could feel the pit in my stomach growing.

“Well, you probably never had success, that’s why you can’t spell it. You just need to have it first and then you’ll know how to spell it.”

Several thoughts ran through my head all at once:


  1. Breaking my teacup on her head
  2. Emptying hot tea on her head first and then breaking the cup
  3. Ducktaping her to her chair, hiding her in the broom closet, throwing hot tea on her, then finally breaking the cup on her head.

I broke from the Tarantino movie in my head and looked down at my mug: Two cute elephants were smiling back at me. I couldn’t possibly break those cute faces, could I?

I took a deep breath while everyone around politely laughed at her so called joke.

“No”, I said while looking straight at her, which was hard to do because of the monitors between us. “It’s because I’m dyslexic.”

She looked at me blankly and before she had a chance to respond, Leanne jumped in. “Are you really?”


She thought about it for a minute and then shook her head. “No, you are not dyslexic.”

“I am.”

“But your English is so good, better than most English speaking people at least.”

I shrugged while still thinking of ways I could draw a moustache on Cathy without her knowing it and without getting sacked.

“I worked hard to get here.”

All the while Cathy hadn’t said a word, she just glared at me over her monitor.

“Well”, she said finally. “When you finally have success, then you’ll know.”

That was when I decided it was a great moment to get up and go to the loo. Some people are not worth wasting a good brew over.

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