fiction / short fiction / Uncategorized

The Daily Grind

Meet Daryl, he is a character from the 1990s.  I need to know on a scale of 1-10 how detestable he is.  

Daryl knew what they wanted when he saw that note on his desk. He sat and stared at it for a few minutes. It read:

“NANCY SARGENT WOULD LIKE TO SEE YOU.”

She was the personnel manager and his day had come. He was surprised they had waited so long.

“Hey, Daryl, they left a message on your desk.”

“I know, I saw it.”

“Well, just wanted to let you know that they called once this morning.”

“Thanks, I’m heading up there now.”

Oh yes, he would go up and take the rap. Nancy would sit behind her desk and peer at him through her little wire glasses and tell him that the firm no longer required his services, that he was being terminated, that he would have to leave quietly.

And that was fine because he had already shown them that he could run this place.

“I move mountains,” he told his supervisor.

She had scorned him, but he had made some other friends. He would be missed, they might even rally to his support. They would remember his hours of diligent research, bending the rules a little to get at the first available court documents. Count the ones on his side when the cards came down.

But losing his job even for a short time meant trouble. What about darling little Celene? He hated living with her. She was so unstable she might take that opportunity to load up the furniture and take off. She had done that before when he wasn’t home. He walked in and everything was gone. What was he gonna tell her, “Look, Celene I don’t have a job anymore, but I can get another one if you will give me a few days. I’ll make some phone calls and get a job running a copy machine making twice the money. I never needed that place anyway, they were lucky to have me.”

It was pathetic what they paid a good man like him. Wasn’t even ethical. He deserved so much more because he was worth it, could do the work of all the other office boys combined, could find documents nobody else could, do the work before the others even got out of the gate. He was capable of doing anyone’s job there. Should’ve put him in a corner office. They were stupid, they couldn’t see it, all that talent and superhuman ability lurking right below the surface.

Take a look at the management, there was his immediate supervisor, she was goofy as hell and unnecessary. He knew she was falsifying time records, but he earned his time. Then there was the head manager, she was too busy messing around with the vendors. Couldn’t tell him there was nothing going on. Nobody would keep a bunch of jerk offs like that around unless somebody was getting something out of it. Then there were his coworkers, little Tom Thompson, he came in to eat breakfast and that was it. His lazy little body heaved into the nearest swivel chair; he wouldn’t move a box if it fell on him. Clarence Lehmen, he ate breakfast on company time, too and conveniently disappeared when the work came in. Anthony the artist with all his substance problems, he was milking the system.

Daryl had problems all right. He needed a new girl. Celene was dense, got the worst end of everything because she deserved it, but he needed a roof over his head. Celene was a stupid, mousy little thing. He was still mad about her lending money to an out of work maintenance man. It was fifty dollars, took away money from his household and they wouldn’t get it back.

He dialed the phone. May as well see what the out of work bum was doing.

“Roger, you there? So, what’s up, man?”

“Say what? You can’t find a job just sitting around.” Yeah he was sick of this lazy idiot too. Roger sat around collecting unemployment and did better than Daryl did working his butt off, but apparently, that was gonna change.

“Well, you need to get out and make some contacts.”

“Oh yeah?”

“And by the way, about that party the other night…umm…. those idiots told that girl Abby that I was living with someone. Well, we know that isn’t true, Celene is just here, anyway after that Abby didn’t want to have anything to do with me……Yeah, that’s right, so, I wanted to make sure that you give her my number and have her call me, I want to go out with her sometimes….”

The truth is that he liked to go out, but Celene wouldn’t go out much. That was okay. He could go down to Bill’s Boat and have a few drinks with some strippers that hang out there. He never mentioned anything about living with a girl, they knew him to be free. He was gonna have to work on Celene to get her to visit her mother more so that he could have a few nights of bliss to bring in some girls.

He thought about some women he had met in Florida. He had just made it back because his grandmother died. He didn’t have a lot of time to get to chat up women there because of the funeral and all. He had gone out a couple of nights to avoid his mother. That’s understandable of course since she kicked him out when he was seventeen. Had him removed from her balcony by security. That’s okie dokie, because one day she would pay for that. She wasn’t decent anyway, wasted all her life working for that termite extermination company. Small business fools. Someday he would leave and never go near her again. She would reach a point in life where she would need something, but he’d be gone.

Well, how about one more phone call before he took the plunge? He dialed Celene’s number.

“Hi, whatcha doing? “ said Daryl.

“Paperwork,” she said.

“I can picture that, you look nice doing paperwork in those new glasses,” said Daryl coyly.

“Really?” said Celene. She was beginning to relent and turn back into putty. Her normal pattern. He could predict her response down to the word.

“I think I’m getting sick,” said Daryl.

“Well you need to take it easy when you get home, you just sit on the sofa and have a beer, I’ll make dinner…..I’ll have to make it up to you….. Sure anything you want, maybe this weekend….just let me know…..see you later.”

Duty was done. He had her back in the palm of his hands.

“Daryl, they’re asking for you upstairs.”

“I’m going up now,” he said. He took one look at his desk. It was a small desk with one cramped drawer and a tiny little file cabinet. His space, but it wouldn’t take long to clean it out. This job was the longest he had worked anywhere, but it was okay because he could do better.

It was time. He walked out into the lobby and pressed the elevator’s up button.

“Daryl, when you get ready to do the morning run, tomorrow, please call me,” said June Simmons as she passed by.

He nodded. He knew there would be no morning, at least not here. The elevator stopped on the floor fifty. He got out and walked down the hall. He looked at the cramped offices and the makeshift file rooms. Idiots designed this space. Idiots that he worked for. On down the hall, he spotted his destination. The personnel manager’s door was open and she was sitting at her desk. His steps were slow and calculating, but he was going to keep a lid on it today. He didn’t want to go out with a bang just now, but he knew where his supervisor ate lunch. The personnel manager looked up as he approached,

“Good morning, will you please come in, have a seat, and close the door behind you?”

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30 thoughts on “The Daily Grind

  1. Well, he started around a five which quickly moved on to a 7, then 8. To get at ten he would have been so detestable that I wouldn’t want to read anymore, which up to this point didn´t happen 😉 In fact, I do want to read more and see how´s getting fired! 😀 😉

  2. 6. He seems more pitiful than detestable eith his lack of self awareness. Those around him will sooner or later move on and he’ll have to face homself. Sorry I’vd nit visited in a while – is this part of a bigger WIP?

  3. I’m thinking 10. He’s got many of the characteristics that make a person unlikeable and a character detestable. Is this part of something you’re working on now? I imagine if it is, you’re going to give him some reason for the reader to care, right?!

    • Most people are giving him a ten too, Debbie, ha ha. This is a short story I wrote in the 90s, and it might be something I could do something with, but it would be later on. The one short story that I have right now is the one about the bankrupt vampire. I am thinking about turning that one into a WIP. I could use a little more humor in my life right now 😀

    • Oh, that’s wonderful Jo, I’m glad you helped her kick him to the curb where people like Daryl belong. I’m not sure about this story, it is one I wrote back in the 90s, but you know, I could probably go in and expand and make Daryl into such a hated individual that I might never hear the end of it, lol!

  4. What a jerk. A user who creates his own problems and blames them on everyone else. All of us know a Daryl, I think, maybe a couple of them. Toxic. I’ll give him 9/10. 🙂

  5. I’ll give him a 9, because we’re all human, and we all have issues 😛 Who knows that kinds of problems and/or environment he grew up in that could’ve effected him negatively!

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