Thursday, December 22, 2016

Microstory 479: Floor 6 (Part 2)

Trainer: Oh, dude, I didn’t see ya there.
New Writer: Yeah, I got lost. This is my first day, and I don’t really know where I’m supposed to go.
Trainer: We’re on lockdown, though. You shouldn’t have been let through the lobby.
New Writer: Yeah, I was actually here about a half hour before that announcement came on the speakers. I’m really lost. I assumed the guard would make me be escorted, but I guess they were too busy to worry about those kinds of things either way.
Trainer: Well, you can’t leave now, but I could tell you what floor you’ll be on. What’s your job?
New Writer: I’m the new writer?
Trainer: Oh, you’re the replacement. Man, you couldn’t have come at a worst time in general, ya know because of all the window problems, but it’s even worse because you didn’t get to meet the guy before you.
New Writer: Why, will he be a tough act to follow? Is everyone gonna keep comparing me to him, or something?
Trainer: No, quite the opposite. Well, I guess they will compare you, but you have a pretty strong advantage against him. He was—and keep in mind that this is coming from a personal trainer, I know my stereotypes—kind of a douchebag. No, scratch that, he was a pretty big douchebag. I don’t know why they hired him.
New Writer: Was he really that bad?
Trainer: Yeah, you would think I wouldn’t know him that well, but he only came here to talk. He didn’t even ever workout. He just sat on one of the machines to tell me about his life story. Apparently his portfolio was this blog he still writes for. He writes paragraph-long stories, and posts one every single day. Guy was damned proud of it too. Thought he was the next Stephen King. Along with publishing the next great American novel, he says he’s gonna be working on his website for fifty-two years...but, I don’t know where he came up with that number.
New Writer: There are fifty-two weeks every year. Maybe he just likes squares?
Trainer: Oh, that musta been it. Honestly, I love getting to know my clients, but he was the kind of guy who just never. Shut. Up. Which is ironic, I know, ‘cause here I am goin’ on and on.
New Writer: Oh, it’s fine. I like listening to people talk as well. I already know what my own thoughts are. What I need is to understand how other people work.
Trainer: That’s...that’s really beautiful, man.
New Writer: Thanks. They’re just words. I’m not here for the next great American novel. I’m just happy to have a job with benefits.
Trainer: Yeah, I feel ya. But hey, I thought they were stuck at a hiring freeze, because of the whole window thing.
New Writer: That’s what I heard too. Everything’s becoming more and more automated though. Maybe it was a clerical error?
Trainer: That wouldn’t surprise me. Between you and me, I don’t see this company last through the end of the year. In fact, if the place is still up and running on December thirty-first, I’ll give you my last paycheck.
New Writer: Deal.

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