Gary held his head, spun around and marched off with his arms held in the air only to flap them down to his sides again seconds later. Clearly he was frustrated. His boss looked on, angry with him, “this letter isn’t worth the paper it’s written on; you know how busy we are!”
“You could have asked me instead of just sneaking my name on the rota!” Gary snorted red in face and not looking back over his shoulder. He was walking out of there, he had made his point and it was final. They would have to realise that just because they employed him they did not own him. He felt like a prisoner, they didn’t care about his personal life, they didn’t care that he had young children in his family, all they thought about was the business. Gary had been working there for eons now, at least it sure felt like it. The boss never gave praise, he never thanked Gary for all his hard work, then he goes to the press as this shining example of a great man; it’s just a front. Gary should tell the world what a hypocritical parasite he really is, he should talk to the press about his real persona, a mean old man that cared not about his employees.
Gary leaned up against the wall, he was concerned that his actions could result in a serious reprimand, how many warning had he now got? So many he forgets, the verbal, the written, a second written perhaps, how far can he take this? He looked out across the road, the transport moving to and fro, busy, busy they say, I know its busy, all the more reason to respect his employees, if I did a runner now they would suffer, they would never find someone to replace him before Christmas.
All he wanted was his Sunday back, he had bought tickets to a show; it was going to be a family day out that they were all looking forward to; then the old man stuck the rota up. Gary didn’t check it but rumours among the staff went round that he had pencilled in a Sunday on the rota. Gary then walked up to see his name down to work that day. They never normally work a Sunday, if Gary had known then maybe he would have done it but, well, he bought the tickets now. He marched right up to his line manager, told him he had no intention of turning up on a Sunday. His line manger ignored him, told him he would have to see him; the line manager wanted nothing to do with it.
Gary didn’t want to see the boss for he knew how he would react, angrily. He was grateful when it was his secretary in his office; she was filing but only her nails at the desk. She gave him a fake smile, it could be taken flirtatious but Gary knew she was not interested, she did this to all of them, it was a power thing, as she worked closer to the boss she figured that she was more important than the shop floor workers. Her smile turned sneer when he told her that he could not work it and she sighed and told him that she would pass the message on. Just as he was about to leave, pleased that his grievance with the Sunday had been noted and he need not approach the man himself, she pressed a button on her intercom and announced that Gary was in her office and he was refusing to work the Sunday. Gary froze on the spot, a deathly silence was heard from the other end of the intercom, a frosty reception he would receive when the boss burst the door from its hinges, “Well,” he bellowed entering the office in a brash and outraged tone of his voice, “it’s not negotiable! I expect to see you here Gary.” With that he slammed the door. Gary’s response of “well I can’t,” was barely audible over the slamming of the door.
Gary sighed, he went home upset and he couldn’t face telling his wife and kids. His wife picked up on his downright troubled expression though and asked him what was wrong. He told her, told her that he had no intention of working the Sunday, it was a special day; they had all been looking forward to the show. He had never taken the kids to a pantomime, they would love it. She suggested that he write a letter to his boss, expressing his concern.
Gary thought it sounded like a great idea, so he sat and down and plotted his literary masterpiece, it expressed just how he felt, it was solid, formal and conveyed just what he wanted to say, perhaps without the bad language and all the offensive thoughts he had about the boss. He read it back to himself, grinned and folded it into an envelope.
Next day he posted that letter, now it was sealed, he would not have to work now. But the boss came to him and still demanded he worked. So here he was, staring out to the road. Behind him he could hear those obnoxious boots coming towards him, “Gary,” the voice spoke in his jolly tone, it was all so fake “I don’t ask you to work every Sunday, it is the week before Christmas and you know; we are so busy.”
“What about my kids?” Gary sighed, “I promised them.”
“I promise lots of kids,” His boss said, “they rely on us Gary.”
“If you don’t like it sack me!” protested Gary, he was serious too.
“Where else would you go?” the boss asked, “There is nothing out there.”
Gary looked out, his boss was right, there were just snow-capped mountains. Gary sighed, his boss looked at him, “you are needed here, your life is here Gary, and there is nowhere else for an elf like you to go.”
Gary stood up, that was it, how dare he refer to him as an elf, he was better than that, he was more than that. That is all this guy wanted, an elf, a drone, a robotic worker that didn’t know his own mind. He would walk out; there was more to life than this. Flustered and frustrated he snarled at his boss, pointed a waggy finger at him and turned away to walk off, “I Quit!” he shouted, rubbed his pointy ear and made his way into the snow covered forest.
His boss stood there for a while, he was upset but knew it would pass. He had seen elves like him come and go, it was a shame, he was a good worker, made some great toys. Chances are he would be back, grovelling at his big black boots, tugging on his red suit begging for his job back. He smiled a wry smile, scratched his big white beard and went back inside the grotto. Perhaps he could do without him this year, perhaps they had enough elves working the Sunday after all, he certainly showed some front to face up to me, I need people like that in my business, he considered all this and then smiled pressing the intercom as he did so. He called the secretary, “tell Gary to take his kids to the show, Santa said he’s back on the good list.”
Please check out my new book, a compilation of great stories from 10 amazing authors. All the proceeds go to The Devizes Opportunity Centre, a registered charity that helps kids with disabilities and learning difficulties get a good start to life.
Thank you and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.