Flash Fiction #195

Wired

INFORMATION OVERLOAD

If I could just get them to shut up for a minute, I could think.

Input, input, input! The living room had begun to resemble the NYSE trading floor – everyone talking – nobody listening. I don’t know how those guys do it – a phone in each ear, and a hundred people screaming. Screw multi-tasking, I lose my place reading a book if the dog barks, outside.

The wife has an opinion. The daughter has an opinion. The son has a different opinion. All I suggested was going camping this weekend.

I’ll just lock myself in the den – and soundproof the door.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Friday Fictioneers

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Hours And Hours

 

clock

Some Japanese office workers literally work themselves to death, putting in huge numbers of hours. Others commit suicide if they feel that they have somehow failed – their employer, their family, or themselves.

North Americans may be losing ground to devoted Asians, even though they try to work smarter, not longer. Unlike my Cypriot Turkey auto-parts co-worker, I have never felt the need, or the ability, to put in consistent 80/90 hour work weeks.

The first full job I obtained in this town, 50 years ago, was a position as an Inventory clerk at a steel warehouse/fabricating plant. I was classed as an office worker, but was paid an hourly wage, rather than a weekly salary.

The rest of the office worked from 8:30 to 5:00 PM, with an hour for lunch. I was told that there was a lot to do in Inventory, and told to start at 7:00 AM. I quickly found that I accomplished more in that first hour and a half, than I did the rest of the day.

Long before computers, the department ran on paper. And we had piles and piles, and PILES of paper. Large cards in a bin for new material received, and then sold or applied to a job. Four drawers of rolodex-sized cards for material used in fabricating. If a 37 foot part-beam had another 19 feet cut off it, the 37’ card had to be removed, and a 18’ card inserted. We kept two women busy at an IBM punch-card machine. A worksheet for every job had to have weight calculated, material prices applied, and costed, so that Billing/Accounting could determine profit (or loss).

As company sales increased, so did the piles of paper. I took to coming back one evening a week, usually Wednesday, and working from 7 till 10. My 45 hour week became 48, and still the paper piles mounted. Billings (and company income) were delayed.

My manager asked me if I could work Saturday mornings to clear the backlog, so I came in from 7 till noon. The Provincial work standard insisted that any time above 48 hours had to be paid at time-and-a-half. Now I was regularly working 53 hours/week, and being paid the equivalent of 55-1/2.

No matter how careful we were with the paper, often the card amounts didn’t match the physical count. Once a year we did a physical inventory. The plant was divided into 4 categories, plate, sheet, bar and beam. Four counts were done on four successive weekends.

The workers from each division only had to work their one weekend. We lucky Inventory clerks had to work from 7 to 5, Saturday and Sunday, all four weeks – actually working 5 weeks without a day off. And since the Saturday time was spent correcting the inventory, an extra evening was often necessary to keep up with Billing.

It’s a good thing that I was young and stupid strong. I started with the company just before their yearly material count (lucky me), so I endured five of these 5-week, 7 days/70+ hours/week sprints, before I was promoted to the 37-1/2 hour position of Purchasing Agent, and got to know my kids.

Part of the reason for my lack of success, is my lack of stamina and dedication to both my career and my employers. How about you faithful readers?? Did you ever work somewhere where you had to put in long hours?? Or were you able to ‘git-er-done’ in a 40-hour (or less) work week? 😯

Where There’s A Will

Will

JACK’S LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT

Jack has died. His lawyer is standing before the family and reads out Jack’s Last Will and Testament:

“To my dear wife Esther, I leave the house, 50 acres of land, and 1 million dollars.

“To my son Barry, I leave my Big Lexus and the Jaguar.

“To my daughter Suzy, I leave my yacht and $250,000.

“And to my brother-in-law Jeff, who always insisted that health is better than wealth, I leave my treadmill.”

***

A weary traveler enters a pub.

The lady bartender says, “Welcome! What are you drinking?” The traveler, weary from his long journey, responds simply, “Your finest ale, please.” The bartender tells him, “Brilliant.” As she pours him a pint of her finest ale, she makes him an offer.

“Since you are a first time customer, I will offer you a gift I offer all of my first time customers.” The traveler blushes and nods at the bartender, who was easy on the eyes.

“You may choose either this first pint of ale is free or instead you may pay for the beer and I will give you a piece of valuable advice.” The traveler pondered this for a moment, knowing his coin purse was light.

“Though my purse is light, I am intrigued by your offer. I will pay for my ale, now please share the valuable advice.” The bartender grinned, counting the coins he had given her, looked him in the eye and said, “You should’ve taken the free pint.”

***

On his 70th birthday, a man was given a gift certificate from his wife.  The certificate was for consultation with an Indian medicine man living on a nearby reservation, who was rumored to have a simple cure for erectile dysfunction.
The husband went to the reservation and saw the medicine man. The old Indian gave him a potion and with a grip on his shoulder warned, “This is a powerful medicine. You take only a teaspoonful, and then say: “1-2-3.’ When you do, you will become manlier than you have ever been in your life and you can perform for as long as you want.”
The man thanked the old Indian, and as he walked away, he turned and asked:  How do I stop the medicine from working?” “Your partner must say 1-2-3-4,’ he responded, “But when she does, the medicine will not work again until the next full moon.”
He was very eager to see if it worked so he went home, showered, shaved took a spoonful of the medicine and then invited his wife to join him in the bedroom.  When she came in, he took off his clothes and said: “1-2-3!”   Immediately, he was the manliest of men. His wife was excited and began throwing off her clothes and then she asked: “What was the 1-2-3 for?”
And that, boys and girls, is why we should never end our sentences with a preposition, because we could end up with a dangling participle.

My friend asked me if I liked any sports.
I said that I was into shooting.
He asked if I was into anything mainstream.
Mass shooting?”

Ice hockey is just basically guys wearing knife shoes and fighting each other with long sticks for the last Oreo.

The first 5 days after the weekend are always the hardest.

If taking a shit is a call of nature, is farting a missed call?

What’s the dumbest animal in the jungle?
The Polar bear….and how did he get in the jungle in the first place?

Everything’s a UFO when you’re near-sighted.

The best place to hide a body is on page two of the Google search results.

Breakups are like;
“You’ll never find anyone like me.”
That’s the plan!

 

Flash Fiction #152

Winter Vacation

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW

Moving from job to job every few years, for a maximum of experience, had been a good idea when he was younger. He’d finally stayed with one employer long enough get a third week of vacation.

They’d had fun going to the beach or camping during the summers. He’d scheduled this one halfway between New Year and Easter.  What should he do during it?? – Absolutely nothing!  Stay inside.

Groceries were laid in. Water flowed.  Furnace worked.  Wrap up in a Snuggie and binge-watch Netflix with cookies and hot chocolate.  He’d shovel all that snow on Friday….Saturday, at the very latest.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.