Saturday, 4 September 2010

Job sorted

This week I have decided to link two of my older stories to #fridayflash, this one - "JOB SORTED", and another entitled "JAIL BAIT". Both of these stories were written and posted to my blog before I discovered #fridayflash, and so neither of them have seen much readership. My style seems to have changed quite a bit since then too. I hope you enjoy them, and as always, any feedback is very much appreciated.
Thank you for reading.

* * * * * * * * * *


I hate my job.

As I sat at the kitchen table looking at the pistol before me, I fantasised about its past.

Used by a mugger maybe? Pushed into some poor victims face to instil fear, and ensure co-operation whilst their wallet and valuables were taken from them?
Or perhaps taken along on a bank heist and brandished menacingly whilst some terrified cashier threw wads of money into a holdall?

Who could tell where the pistol had been to before I discovered it in the bushes at the bottom of my garden?

Whatever its past, it was mine now, and for the purpose I had in mind it would suit perfectly.

There was a birthday in the office today.

In days gone by a birthday in the office was a day of cream buns and biscuits, brought in by the happy birthday boy or girl. But not any more.

And certainly not today.

Today was HIS birthday, and I was going to ensure that it was a day that would be remembered in the office forever. Today I was going to make his life shit, just as he had made the lives of many other people shit, people who I liked and admired, people who were my friends.

Today was payback day.

I didn't give a thought to the consequences, he needed sorting, and it seemed that I was the only one who was prepared to do the job.

Eleven years I had worked there, eleven happy, contented years, enjoying my job, enjoying the company of my work colleagues. Good men and women each and every one of them.

We had never hesitated to do the odd hour of unpaid overtime to get the job done. The appreciation showed by the old manager paid it back tenfold.

The birthday bashes and Christmas parties were always filled with jovial bonhomie, and genuine cameraderie.

Apart from the odd 'bad hair day' that everyone gets once in a while, I can't for the life of me ever remember any true animosity in that office in all the years I worked there.

Until HE was employed as the manager.

In just six short months he had managed to virtually destroy any sense of goodwill that existed, his constant berating and bullying had reduced the lovely ladies to tears on many occasions.

He felt quite safe from any reprisals, who would dare answer back when their job was on the line?

Yes, he put a whole new meaning on the phrase 'abuse of power'.

Such a big brave man, eh?

Never missing an opportunity to pass sarcastic comments, never passing up the chance of using a put down, or a confidence-knocker.

Did he really think that this was the best way to get maximum effort from his staff?

He put me in mind of the drunken father returning home from the pub to take out his inner demons on his defenceless wife and children.

Well, today would be like no other day at the office.

Today I would take revenge for all the tears he had brought forth from my dear lady friends.
Today he would come to regret all the needless stress he had laid at the feet of my male colleagues.

And before I pulled the trigger, I would expose him for the coward that he really was.

I picked up the pistol from the table, its weight felt good in my hand, I checked once more that it was fully loaded, then slipped it into my inside jacket pocket and set off out of the door to work.

* * * * *

The atmosphere was very subdued when I walked into the office, just the muted ticker of fingers on keyboards and the whirr of copiers and printers. No tinkling laughter, or the sounds of coffee cups clunking onto tables, the sounds that used to accompany a very efficient workforce ploughing their way happily through their daily workload. No, those were the sounds of bygone days.

I walked straight to his desk, pulled out the pistol, and pointed it at his forehead.

His face went deathly pale, he placed his hands flat on the desk and rose shakily to his feet, staring at the weapon.

All sound ceased... All eyes turned to watch.

At first he pleaded. Oh my, what he would or wouldn't do if I would just lower the gun.

The pistol stayed squarely aimed at his forehead.

I stared silently… my face deadpan.

Next he started blubbering apologies to everyone, and “oh please just forgive my past behaviour, I didn't really mean any harm, it's just the way I come across. I've been under a lot of stress to get the workload out … You have no idea what it's like at the top.”

Yeah. Right.

The pistol did not waver... I said nothing.

Then the tears came, and the accusations...“How can you all just stand and watch this happen? You'll all be accomplices .. You'll be as guilty as him...”

And finally the begging. ”No. No. Please, someone help me, anyone, I'll do anything, oh God... Oh no… Please… No… No...”

“Happy birthday” I said as I squeezed the trigger...

* * * * *

The water hit his forehead, then trickled down his nose and chin, at almost exactly the same time as his bowels and bladder purged themselves, and the piss and shit ran down his trouser legs, an ever-widening dark stain covering the grey flannel.

His face turned purple as he ran crying from the room, taking his stink with him, and helped on his way by the loud cheering laughter of every other member of staff, including the senior manager.

There was a flood of overlapping laughter and chattering, as windows were opened and a mop and bucket were brought to clean the floor with.

* * * * *

I love my job.

I am now the manager of a very happy office.

I never even received a disciplinary for the birthday prank, he never came back, just phoned the next day to say he had found another job. Yeah. Right.

And of course, his post needed filling.

Tomorrow I shall be calling in at the bakery on my way to work.


Tomorrow is MY birthday.

And as for the very realistic-looking water pistol?

Well, I threw it into someone else's bushes on my way to the pub with the rest of the office crew.

For some reason we felt the need to celebrate that evening.

©2010 Stephen. J. Green.


  1. Wat-er relief!! Nicely done Steve :)

  2. I really liked this story and the narrator's voice. The water pistol was a good twist. I can see that your style has changed, in that you now write tighter than this, but this was still a good story. ^_^

    1. Thanks Helen, this was the type of "Story with a twist in the tail" which I was writing when I first started my blog, but I very much enjoy the shorter, and often darker style that developed from it. :-)

  3. Steve, this is fantastic! The suspense, the voice, and then the nicely revealed twist - excellent! So glad you brought this one back out.

    1. Hi Deanna, and thank you. I did wonder how this one and "Jail bait" would be received as they are quite mild compared to many of my later stories.

  4. Oh this was great! I was a little tense, expecting the worst but I love how you wrapped it up. I like the voice of the piece too. It flowed well.

    1. Thanks Inky, I enjoyed writing this one, and it's nice to see a bullying manager get their comeuppance, isn't it? :-)