Friday, February 8, 2013

The Arnold Palmer

It was 4:48 PM. Twelve more minutes. He could handle twelve more minutes. Hell, he hadn't done a thing since he saw his desktop clock read 4:09 PM. To be perfectly honest, he hadn't done a thing since he finished that leftover burrito for lunch. At this particular moment, his mind was fixated on the ice cold Arnold Palmer he was going to make himself when he got home.

It was Friday evening, the start to a three day weekend for Steve Hollands. He had been working 5 day work weeks for 48 weeks straight. This week he had put in 58 hours between his two jobs.  He didn't feel too bad about slacking off for the last few hours.

His boss, a 75 year-old semi-senile millionaire with a penchant for cheap cars and cheap suits was in a meeting all day, the only reason Steve was able to relax. Normally, the old man would be standing, or more likely leaning, over Steve's shoulder, watching him type away on his obsolete desktop. Steve respected financial conservatism, but he also respected technology that worked properly.

He actually didn't mind the slower processing speed on this lazy afternoon. Let the internet take its sweet ole' time loading up prank videos on youtube. What did he care? He was out of here at 5 PM and he could watch videos in the comfort of his own home, sipping an Arnold Palmer.

As he watched two roommates deliver nearly fatal pranks on each other (both pranks involving fireworks and a live raccoon) the door to his office swung open and a high pitched, crackly voice screeched out:

"Hollands! I need you to write up a proposal to Belgium."

Steve shot forward in his chair and clicked on the "x" to close the youtube browser. The porn he had left open appeared in its place. After sneaking one last glance at the heavy-set redhead with nothing on but a pair of high heels, he frantically clicked the page closed and opened a spreadsheet as his boss walked around to his side of the desk.

"Uhh, Belgium, sir?"

"Yeah, we're looking to expand."

"Of course."

Steve's stomach sent a hateful bubble through his digestive tract. His shoulders slumped and he put his fingers to his forehead, attempting to smooth out the wrinkles taking permanent hold beneath his widow's peak. The Arnold Palmer was now another 20 minutes away, at least.

He stopped typing and glanced at the time.

5:18 PM.


"What's that, Hollands?"

"Nothing. How's this sir?"

As his boss read the proposal out loud, Steve felt a rising resentment at the old man. There was a creeping sensation that he would cause physical harm if he had to hear the whole letter read in that high pitched squeal. Objects on his desk were beginning to look like weapons.

He began humming softly to himself, thinking of the cold digestif waiting for him at home. Good thing, too, because the leftover burrito from lunch wasn't digestif'ing too well.

"Not bad Hollands. Print it on our letterhead, make 2 copies, and send one out to this address." He handed Steve a paper and walked out of the office.

The paper had numbers and letters scribbled on it. Steve never contemplated the connection between someone's voice and their penmanship, but he swore his boss's handwriting was as shrill and piercing as his voice.

Steve wanted to rip the paper into pieces. Instead, he made a few copies (his boss had a way of losing things) and put one in an envelope. He shut down his computer, grabbed his coat and walked out the door. There was a mailbox in front of the building down the street, so he'd drop off the envelope on the way home.

He bounded down the four flights of stairs and out into the bright sun. He sometimes wished he had a job with summers off, but he always savored the moment he left his office and felt the warmth of the summer sunshine envelop his body.

He walked down the street, and as he got close to the blue metal box, he thought about the last minutes at work. Why had he gotten so upset when his boss asked him to do a simple task? It took an extra 30 minutes. He hadn't done any work since lunch, and the work his boss was asking for was a cinch. Why did he let it affect his mood so drastically? Was he that desperate to get to his drink? Did he have a problem?

Maybe he was over thinking it.

He opened the slot on the mailbox and reached for the envelope...which he had left on his desk.


He slammed the lid shut and kicked the mailbox, breaking his big toe.

"Son of a shit!"

-end part 1

I Love You All...Class Dismissed.

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