09
Nov
09

The Part-Timer – Part 2

Welcome back!

Before this weeks chapter of the story, I wanted to point all fans of the blog in the direction of Library of Horror’s newest anthology Wolves of War.  This book contains a BRAND NEW Apocalypse Shift story, “And the Streets Will Run Red With the Blood of Bunnies.”  I’ve had several people ask for more info and stories on the were-bunnies that were mentioned in the novel, and if you were one of them then this is the story you want to check out.  It tells the tale of how Gloria originally met the Senator Park Lunatics and shows exactly why everyone is so afraid of were-bunnies, but this story will NEVER be appearing here on the blog.  It also will not be showing up in the first volume of the Tales From the Apocalypse Shift book, so the only way you can read it for now is by getting the anthology.

And now on to part 2 of “The Part-Timer.”  If you missed last week’s installment, you can find part 1 here.  And as always, if you would like to see more of the Apocalypse Shift universe, you can purchase the novel at Amazon.

Enjoy!

-Derek J. Goodman

The Part-Timer – Part 2

Simply because he didn’t know what else to do right now, Toby took the bus back to Gabrielle’s apartment.  For the whole ride he slouched in silence between an old lady who smelled like cat urine and a fat guy in a Star Wars t-shirt.  He didn’t pay either of them any mind, however.  He was too busy trying to figure out what had just happened.

He had a job.  That part was easy enough to wrap his brain around.  And unless this was all some elaborate prank, it was the best-paying part-time job he had ever heard of.  But there was no way he had heard the rest of that right.  Maybe they had said he was a Depends and Huggies Representative.  Yeah, that was it- he worked for a diaper company.  Or else he was a Damned Huge Rodent, maybe, walking around dressed as a mouse in some theme park?  The acronym DHR could have stood for so many things, things that actually made a little sense.  It didn’t seem likely that he was now a Defender of the Human Race.

Or maybe he just misunderstood what that meant.  Surely it could have meant many things.  Perhaps he was to be a bodyguard at some marathon.  He actually sat a little straighter in his seat at that thought.  That had to be it.  Apparently the term wasn’t as self explanatory as those weirdoes had thought if he could go thinking it meant he had to actually defend all humans on earth.

He thought back to all the other oddities of the meeting, and he slouched again.  This was all crazy, but he wasn’t going to be stupid about it.  He had to admit the truth.  The job title meant exactly what it sounded like.  And what it sounded like was something that should have paid a whole hell of a lot more than fifty dollars an hour.

He perked up as he got off near Gabrielle’s apartment.  No matter how hard the job sounded, he at least had a job.  That had to be enough to appease Gabrielle.  She was such a sweet girl, and Toby knew from experience that he might never find anyone else like her again.  If this was what it took to keep her in his life, then that was fine.

She answered her door in her painting clothes, and she crossed her arms and gave him an annoyed look when she saw him.  “Toby, I already told you I don’t want to see you again until you get a job, so whatever it is you think you’re doing…”

“But I did get a job.”

She bit her lip and her eyebrows furrowed.  “Toby, I’m tired of you lying about this kind of thing.  If you don’t want our relationship to be completely obliterated then I suggest you…”

“But I’m not lying.  Honest.  I start tomorrow.”

Her eyes widened but her arms stayed crossed.  He could tell that she wanted to believe him, and it hurt him inside that she couldn’t just accept what he said as fact anymore.  Had he really gotten that bad?

“What’s the job?” Gabrielle asked.

 Toby tried not to show his sudden hesitation.  If she saw him hesitate she would think he was lying, but he couldn’t very well tell her what he was really going to be.  If he couldn’t get himself to believe it, then she wouldn’t believe it either.  He hadn’t thought about what he would tell her instead, though.  He just said the first thing that popped into his mind.  “Diapers.”

Gabrielle raised her eyebrows.  “Diapers?”

He had to keep going.  He was committed to the lie now, stupid as it was.  “Yeah, I work in a diaper warehouse.”

Gabrielle didn’t say anything at first, and Toby was afraid she was about to call him out on his lie.  Instead she smiled and jumped to give him a hug.  “That’s great!  I mean, I know it’s not anything you would have wanted to do, but that’s got to pay well, right?”

“Yeah.  I guess it really does.”

“Then we can just go ahead and put all those stupid money arguments behind us.”  She grinned mischievously and reached down to toy with his belt buckle.  “Why don’t we go inside and find a way to celebrate.”

It sounded like a great idea to Toby, but when they went for the door they found it had closed behind her and Gabrielle had locked them out.

*          *          *

Thankfully, Gabrielle’s apartment was on the first floor, and Toby was able to crawl in from a window and unlock the door.  Then, after an afternoon of celebrating and making up in Gabrielle’s bed, Gabrielle dressed herself in something that wasn’t splattered in paint and left for work.  She worked as a receptionist at a chain beauty parlor, and although she hated the customers she rarely complained.  Toby had always felt it was a crime she had to surround herself with such shallow and insipid people all day long.  There was so much more to her than any of them could appreciate.

After she left, Toby found himself alone in her apartment, and he went into the spare bedroom she used as a studio to see her latest work.  She rarely actually finished anything, but what she did finish was bizarre and brilliant in its own way.  One piece was nothing but pi calculated out to a hundred decimal places as it swirled and was sucked down into a black hole.  The one she was working on now, although Toby couldn’t understand it himself, was supposedly a model of the gravity wells of Uranus and Neptune if they were moons of each other.  Toby wasn’t sure how many of these things she actually understood and how much of it she was just making up off the top of her head, but the very idea that she would want to paint such things had always fascinated him.  It also insured that no one would probably ever appreciate her work.

He was so into studying the paintings that he jumped half a foot in the air at the sudden knocking on the front door.  The knocking was persistent, continuing all the way up until he opened the door, but no one stood on the other side.  Instead he found a box sitting on the welcome mat.  He picked it up and saw a note taped to the top and written in a delicate feminine hand:

The Balance wanted me to come by and drop this off for you.  Inside is everything you’ll need for your first day as a DHR.  Your first shift will be tomorrow night between 10pm and 2am.  I’ll be the one training you, so meet me at the top of the Qwark Building, and make sure you’re in uniform!  I look forward to meeting you.

                                                                                                -Mandy

Toby reread the note several times.  He supposed he should have just been grateful for the job, but there were so many things about this that annoyed him.  Ten until two?  No one had ever said anything about this job being a night shift.  And the top of the Qwark Building?  That was the tallest building in the city!  What was he supposed to do, just go up to the building’s security guards and tell them he needed to get to the top to start his job protecting all of humanity?  That was a good way to get a boot in his ass.

And then there was the uniform.  He hadn’t given it much thought earlier, but now that he did this didn’t seem like the kind of job that would require a uniform.  What was a Defender of the Human Race supposed to wear, a blue work shirt with his name stitched into it?  A stupid smock like they had to wear at the convenience store?  With a grimace at the thought of what he might find inside, Toby opened the box.

There were four different items, each one individually wrapped in tissue paper.  Toby took out the smallest thing first and unwrapped it.  It was a cell phone, not really any different than any other model currently on the market except it didn’t seem to be made out of plain old plastic.  The material was spongier, almost rubbery.  When he tried turning it on nothing happened.

Well, that’s useless, he thought.  The phone had a belt clip attachment, but that wouldn’t be of any use either if his uniform didn’t have a belt.  Sure enough, the second thing he unwrapped was a utility belt. 

“Oh, sweet!” he said.  All around it the belt had little pouches, and he immediately opened the first one to see what kind of cool gadgets might be inside.  It was empty.  Same with all the others.  All together his belt had thirty pockets and he had nothing to put inside them except for the phone, which didn’t need to go into a pocket anyway.

The third item was his uniform.  It was made of green and red spandex.

“Oh my God, you’ve got to be kidding me,” Toby said.  The thing looked like it would be tight, especially around the middle.  He wasn’t exactly out of shape, but even the tiniest paunch would be accentuated by this thing.  A patch on the right breast of the suit said “Alphomega Corporation.”  His name was stitched right under it.

Toby wasn’t even sure if he wanted to open the last item, but there was no way it could be any worse than a broken phone, a useless belt, and the single greatest crime ever committed against fashion in the history of the world.  And it wasn’t, thankfully.  The last item was a book, a very thick one.  The cover was a simple white with black letters that said “The Alphomega Corporation Employee Handbook.”

He put everything else back into the box, then looked at the book.  The damned thing was thick, almost a thousand pages.  He sure hoped he wasn’t expected to read the entire thing.  He flipped to the table of contents to find three-hundred and seventy six chapters.  Damn, there was no way in hell he was going to read all that.  But now that he had the thing in front of him, it occurred to Toby that, although he knew how much he was going to be making, he didn’t have the slightest clue what all his “excellent benefits” were.  He found the benefits section in the table of contents and then turned to the right page. 

After only a minute of looking through the chapter Toby already knew two things: one, the benefits were amazing indeed.  And two, there was no way he was going to understand what half of them actually were.  One benefit was listed as “fourth dimensional quantum time-rip protection.”  Another was called the “temporal employee karma-matching plan.”  The ones he did understand, however, were just insane in how great they were.  He got time and a half for working holidays, and there was chart showing him which days were considered holidays.  Apparently, somewhere throughout time and the galaxy, almost every day was a holiday.  Today, for example, was Saturnian Independence Day, while tomorrow marked the 1,087th anniversary of the Serpent Mother’s Descent, whatever that meant.  His health care covered every possible injury, and it was universal.  Literally.  It was good at any medical facility throughout the entire universe.

Toby wasn’t sure whether he should be happy or wary of all this information.  It was obvious now that he was going to be well compensated for his work, but all this implied that his work was going to be something completely beyond what he had already imagined.  It was apparent that, if he wanted to be prepared for this at all, he was going to have to read the entire handbook.

He grabbed a bag of potato chips from the cupboard, sat on the sofa, and prepared himself for a marathon reading session.  He fell asleep halfway through the first paragraph.

*          *          *

At some point, at least, he managed to finish the first paragraph before he had to go to work the next night.  That one paragraph had to prepare him somewhat, right?  But even he couldn’t convince himself of that.  There was a good chance that on tonight, his first night, he might just be screwed.

Toby had had to find a place to hide his uniform and handbook where Gabrielle wouldn’t find it, so in the end he just shoved them under the couch.  He had trouble, however, when he had to put his uniform on before leaving without her knowing.  She was in the living room right in front of her couch and playing her Wii, and he had to wait until she was completely engrossed in pretending to bowl before he could carefully slip his uniform out.  Getting out without her seeing it was easier, at least.  Being spandex it was the only uniform he had ever been able to wear under his normal clothes.  That was good, too, for the bus ride, as he didn’t really want any of the other commuters staring at him in his bright tights.  He had to scratch himself a lot, though, when no one else was looking.  No one had ever told him that spandex was so damned itchy.

He made it downtown to the Qwark Building with a half hour to spare.  He used the bathroom of a nearby McDonald’s to take his street clothes off and stuffed them into a duffel bag he had brought, then put on the belt with the cell phone clipped to it.  Before he left the bathroom he took a good long look at himself in the mirror.  It was kind of a toss-up, he decided, as to whether he actually looked heroic or if he just looked like a colossal tool.  He ran out of the Mickey D’s before any of the staff could see him in his get-up.

After that, though, he hit a snag.  The Qwark Building was locked up for the night, and he had been right in assuming that there would be security guards roaming the grounds.  As he stood outside trying to keep to the shadows, he dug through his duffel bag to find his other cell phone, the one that actually worked, and checked the time.  His half-hour lead time had already dwindled to one minute.  Great.  He was going to be late on his first day.  That sure as hell wouldn’t be a great way to impress the creepy Balance people.  But there had to be a way to get up there.  They wouldn’t have told him to be here, otherwise.

He watched as the clock on his phone changed to ten o’clock.  Crap, he thought.  I have to get up there now!

He shot straight up into the air, screaming like a little girl all the way. 

“Oh shit oh shit oh shit!”  He only barely kept a hold of his duffel bag and cell phone as he flew twenty, fifty, a hundred feet in the air.  He went right up past the light of the Qwark sign glowing in the dark and zoomed past the roof.  “Oh shit oh shit oh shit what’s happening!?”

“Stop panicking!” a voice called from below him.  “Just think to yourself ‘I want to land on the roof.’”

Actually what he was thinking to himself was Oh god I’m to shoot right into space and die, but that didn’t seem at all productive, so he tried to take a deep breath and then thought about the roof.  Immediately his upward progress stopped, and he slowly descended back to the roof.

When he landed he wasn’t alone.  A young woman about the same age as Toby sat on the roof ledge and shook her head at him with a grin.  “You didn’t read the handbook, did you?”

Toby was too busy trying to catch his breath to say anything.  She was wearing a spandex suit just like his, except hers was blue and yellow and had a cape.  She also looked a whole hell of a lot more attractive in hers than he did.  The patch on her right breast identified her as Mandy.

“Don’t worry about it,” Mandy said.  “I never read that damned thing either.  I use it to hold down the lid on my hamster’s cage at home.  Everything I know about being a defender I ended up learning from experience.”

“What the hell just happened to me?” Toby asked.

“You flew.  What else did you think it was?”

“But how did I fly?”

Mandy shook her head.  “Man, you didn’t just not read the handbook, you didn’t even get to the second paragraph, did you?  You flew because you have superpowers.”

“I do?”

“Well, yeah.  How do you expect to be a Defender of the Human Race without superpowers?”

“Uh, I don’t know.  I guess I just didn’t think about it.”

She smiled.  “You still don’t have the slightest clue what you’ve gotten yourself into here, do you?”  She stood up and then hovered a foot above the rooftop.  “Come on, I’ll fill you in on a few details on our way.”

“Where are we going?” Toby asked.

“We’re going somewhere where you can learn about what you can do now.”

“And where is that?”

“Nepal.  The Abominable Snowman is about to attack a village.  I hope you’re prepared, because this is going to be a long night.  The first one always is.”

*          *          *

After Mandy gave him a few brief tips, Toby was able to figure out how to hover in the air and then did a few quick circuits around the top of the Qwark Building.  Once he had that much down they both took off in the general direction of Tibet.

“First thing’s first, I guess.  I’m Mandy.”

“Toby.  Nice to meet you.”

 They were flying side by side at a speed beyond anything Toby would have thought the human body could stand, but he only felt the slightest pressure.  The only wind resistance came from the duffel bag still in his hand.  He would have left it on the roof but Mandy had said it would be useful for training purposes or something, so he desperately tried to keep a grip on it.  He looked over at Mandy and saw the way her cape whipped behind her, but otherwise the force from their speed didn’t seem to be affecting her, either.  It wasn’t even causing her breasts to…

Mandy looked over at him and raised an eyebrow.  “My eyes are over here, newbie.”

Toby blushed.  “Right.  Sorry.  It’s just your suit kind of accents, uh… you know.  Things.”

Mandy smirked.  “Yeah.  Actually I do.  Just like it accents your rock hard body.”

“Hey, I know I look ridiculous, but that’s no reason to make fun of…”  He stopped as he looked down at himself.  His paunch was gone.  In fact, for the first time ever he could actually see his abs.  He even had pecs!  “Whoa.  I did not look like that before.”

“Yeah, looking good is one of the powers all defenders have.”

“Seriously?”

“Yep.  When was the last time you saw an ugly hero in spandex?  It’s just one of our many powers that turn on when we’re on the clock.  You should see me when I’m off.  I’m not ugly, but let’s just say you wouldn’t have been staring at my breasts.  You would have had to find them first.”

“So our powers just turn themselves on and off whenever we’re working?”

“Yeah.  More than one Defender of the Human Race at a time is uncommon, but the Balance is making an exception tonight so I can show you the ropes.  I wouldn’t need to if you had just read the damn manual, but no one ever reads it.  I don’t think the Balance has ever even read it and they’re the ones that wrote the damn thing.”  She rolled over in the air so that she was flying on her side facing him.  She put her head on her hand as though supporting it even though there was nothing to support her arm.  Toby tried to mimic the motion and instead dropped a few feet.

“So let’s start with the basics,” Mandy said.  “You are a DHR.  I’m sure you can guess what that basically means.  We were hired to basically keep things from getting too out of control when strange things happen in our section of the cosmos.  And yes, that means that at some point you will probably be going into space for whatever reason.”

Toby had a brief mental image of flying at amazing speeds to the moon only to blow up from explosive decompression halfway there.  Great, he thought.  This job is just getting crappier and crappier.

“Your uniform is made of a lightweight spandex-like fabric, but it’s specially tailored that no matter how much damage it takes it will still somehow manage to cover your nether regions.  Don’t ask me how it does this ‘cuz I don’t know, but trust me, it’s helpful.  Prevents a lot of embarrassing situations.  You also have your belt and cell phone…”

“Actually I think my cell phone’s already broken.”

“No it’s not.  It’s indestructible.  It’s just not working because you don’t need it yet.  It’s the only way to contact the Balance if you need to, but it won’t even turn on unless your need is exceedingly great.  Always keep it handy, and keep it clipped to the outside of the belt.  Don’t put it into one of the pockets.  You might not be able to find it again.”

“What’s even the point of the pockets, anyway?  Seems like way too many.”

“Don’t ask me.  Whatever idiot designed the things must have just liked pockets, I guess.  You only really need one.”

“What for?”

 Mandy gestured at his duffel bag.  “To put things in.  Go ahead and test one out.”

 Toby snorted.  “There’s no way in hell this is going to fit into one of those tiny things.”

 “Just try.  Each pocket carries its own time/space anomaly, so you can hall around practically anything.”

Toby raised his eyebrow, then opened one of the front pouches and tried to shove the whole duffel bag in.  He wasn’t surprised when it didn’t fit.

Mandy smiled and shook her head.  “There’s a ridiculous amount of space on the inside, but the actual opening is exactly the size it looks like.  Try taking everything out of the bag and then put them in the pocket one by one.”

He took out his cell phone, managed to catch it when he almost dropped it into the ocean (holy crap, he thought, we’re over the ocean already?), and then put it in the pouch.  Then he grabbed his t-shirt and started to feed it in, figuring it wouldn’t go in very far.  To his surprise it fit in completely, and so did his pants afterwards.  He finished by wadding the duffel bag up and stuffing it in with the rest.  When he closed the pouch it bulged a little, but he thought maybe he could still fit in a lot more.

They only had to fly for another minute before Toby could see the snow-covered mountains of Nepal beneath them.  The mountains were all far enough down that they looked pretty small, although Toby was sure one of them had to be Everest.

“Hey, how come my lungs aren’t burning?  Shouldn’t we not be able to breathe this far up?”

“Another one of our powers,” Mandy said.  “We’ve an almost imperceptible field surrounding us for as long as we’re on the clock.  It allows us to breath where we normally wouldn’t, like up here or in space, but always be sure you’re back in a safe place by the time your shift is over.  Your powers automatically switch off no matter where you are or what you’re doing.  The same field makes us kind of invulnerable.”

“Isn’t invulnerable an absolute?  Either you are or you aren’t.  How can you be ‘kind of?’”

“Don’t be a smart ass.  What I mean is we can take a lot more damage than we would normally.  I’ve taken bullets before and all they leave is a nasty bruise.  I’ve never tested how much it would protect me and I don’t want to test it, so doing stupid crap like flying into the sun?  Don’t even.”

Toby squinted as he looked down over the snow reflecting the sunshine into his eyes.  Despite the glare he thought he could see smoke nearby.

“Oh.  We’re here,” Mandy said.  As they got closer and began to slow down Toby could see the smoke was coming from some burning buildings, and a nine-foot blur of white fur ran between the carnage, roaring as it looked up and saw them descending. 

“I’ll take care of this one.  You just watch,” Mandy said.  And Toby did.  He watched as she swooped down towards the creature, and he watched as she fired bright blue energy bursts from her hands, and he watched as she threw punches that knocked the creature down on its ass.  He watched it all, and for the first time it occurred to him that earning his fifty dollars an hour might not be a chore after all.  If this was the kind of stuff he was capable of doing, it might actually be fun.

*          *          *

Toby and Mandy had to keep close track of the time, as their hours were being counted according to the time of their home city even though they spent most of the next several hours in different time zones.  After defeating the yeti they zipped over to Hawaii where Mandy had Toby test out his invulnerability by walking around inside an active volcano, and while it did hurt he at least didn’t seem to be in any immediate danger of burning up.  In Ecuador they stopped the attempted rape of a young girl.  In Moscow they thwarted the illegal sale of leftover Cold War nuclear missiles.  In New York they stopped a bank robbery.  They stopped by the moon (without any of the explosive decompression he had worried about), and Toby put a moon rock in one of his pouches.  On their way back they saved a man caught in an avalanche in Switzerland.  By one-thirty they were back in their home city, and they found a quiet park where they could sit in a tree and talk shop until the end of their shift.

“How come we don’t wear masks to conceal our identities?” Toby asked.

“Have you ever worn a mask at any other job?”

“No.”

“Then why would you wear a mask at this one?”

“Well, I’ve never worn a cape at any other job, either.”

“And you’re still not wearing a cape.”

“So why do you have a cape and I don’t?”

“Because you’re still in training.  You can wear a cape after you’re done with your probationary period.”

Somewhere in that conversation Toby had lost the point he had been trying to get at, but he was too tired to try finding it again.  She had been right earlier.  This had been a long night.  But it had been a satisfying one, too.  Maybe this was a job he could get used to.

“So how exactly did you know where we needed to go tonight?” Toby asked.  “Like that guy in the Alps.  How did you know he would be there?  It’s not like we have super-hearing where we knew he was in trouble.”

“That’s the one thing that doesn’t shut off when we’re not on the clock,” Mandy said.  “I know you don’t work again tonight, but you’ll start to feel it throughout the day.  You’ll just have hunches.  Like you’ll see things you can do to help the world be a little better.  They can get a little jumbled in your head if you’re not careful.  That’s why I keep track of them.”  She reached into one of her own pouches and pulled out a notebook.  She opened it up to show Toby row on row of hunches and premonitions, each one numbered and cross referenced with each other.

“Wow,” Toby said.  “I don’t know if I could be that organized.”

Mandy shrugged.  “That’s just the way I am.”

“Most people I hang around aren’t that analytical.”  He thought of Gabrielle and her paintings.  “Or at least not analytical in that way.”

Mandy shrugged again and fidgeted with the notebook in her hands.  “I’m just more comfortable being able to put things into order.  You should see my apartment.  Absolutely spic and span.”

Toby swung his legs from the tree limb they sat on.  If he wanted to he could just stand up and walk out into the air right now without falling.  That was definitely something he had never been able to do at the factory, although he did notice that he still smelled strange.  Except instead of oil and burning metal he smelled like burning rock and yeti musk.  He would have to make sure he took a very thorough shower before climbing into bed with Gabrielle.

“How long have you been doing this?” Toby asked.

“About a year,” Mandy said.

“You planning on sticking with it for a while longer?”

“Maybe.  The pay’s awesome and everything, but it’s not like you have much of an option to climb the ladder.  You can’t just go from being a part-time defender to becoming one of the Balance.”

“What’s the deal with them, anyway?  They gave me the heebie-jeebies.”

“Not much of a deal to begin with.  They are what they are.”  She dropped all expression from her face and adopted a mocking monotone.  “’We are the Balance.’ Not going to get much more in the way of explanation, or at least not from them.  I’ve got my own thoughts, though.”

She looked at Toby, seemed to think for a second, then opened up her notebook.  “You see, I’ve noticed they take this balance thing really seriously.  They pretty much hire us defenders to be the good guys, but what if there’s too much good?  That’s when they actually hire on bad guys, too, a nemesis.  You know?  Just to keep the universe from getting too light or too dark.”

That didn’t sound quite right to Toby.  “You mean they actually hire us to fight guys that they’ve hired to fight us?”

“No, not always, and that’s probably not something they would do after what happened with the last nemesis, but… well, look here.”  She opened up the notebook to the latest page.  “See all these notations here?  These were all the random little things I’ve picked up just in the last twenty-four hours.  And then see here?”  She flipped back a couple pages.  “These are how many I was getting in a day a week ago.”

“That’s, like, triple the earlier amount.”

“Right.  And now here you are.”

“What do you mean by that?” 

“I mean there’s usually only four defenders at a time, all of us working only part-time.  That’s why you don’t hear about us in the newspapers or anything.  Other than the fact that we keep a low profile and this whole city has a way of keeping its secrets, there just aren’t that many around.  Except now you make five.  There may even occasionally be overlapping shifts.”

“I still don’t quite understand what you’re getting at.”

“They intentionally put another one in the light side column.  Which must mean that the dark side column was too full.  They wouldn’t put you here if it would tip the scales too much in favor of the good guys.”  She closed the notebook and put it back in her pouch.  “Which means something big is going on that we’re going to have to deal with.  Something that would require more hunches and more people.  And I’m not sure that I like it.”

She slipped off the branch and floated to the ground.  “Better come down now.  If you’re still up there when your powers shut off we’ll have to get whoever’s on the next shift to come get you down on your first day.  Now that would be embarrassing.”

To Be Continued

(c) 2009 Derek J. Goodman

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