The False Start by The Red Hat Man (Craig Rounds)

Mr. Good Employee got up this morning, got dressed in his good employee uniform, made sure he had his ear plugs, pens and a smile on his face. He left for work, as had been arranged clear back on Friday.

Mr. Good Employee gets to work before he said he would be there. He checks the doors and all six of them are locked, the garage door is down. He sees the lights of the office are on like someone has been in there recently. But nothing is happening. No orders for deliveries are on the table. Someone has already been and gone.

Mr. Good Employee calls the national office to find a phone number for the other driver to find out if there really is enough work for two. Of course there is no real phone list with an easy solution. The national office cannot just give out the employee’s phone number. But they do have it, they call him and then they connect Mr. Good Employee with his coworker. Once connected, after five minutes of chatter, the answer is Mr. Coworker wants all the deliveries, has already left the shop and doesn’t need any help. Mr. Good Employee can go home.

Mr. Good Employee is now becoming pissy.

Mr. Pissy Employee has now spent an hour and half, fuel and lack of sleep in what could have been a paycheck, for a boss that praises him to his face and doesn’t communicate well otherwise.

Mr. Pissy Employee has wet feet from walking through the grass to check all the back doors, has parked and waited ten minutes on the phone and gets to have the day off for the great reward of driving to work to find it all out.

Mr. Pissy Employee leaves the workplace in a black cloud, brows furrowed, doing 45mph in the quiet parking lot to the street and does the 30mph speed limit when he gets on the street. On the way back home, he decides to get fuel from the tribe’s gas station which does not run credit and will not take the debit at the pump.

Mr. Pissy Employee finds this out after 5 minutes of attempting the transaction at the pump and waiting on the computer to cancel the credit attempt for 4 of those 5 minutes.

Mr. Pissy and Exasperated Employee leaves that gas station because he really does not want to go inside to talk to people at this point. He does not care about the people shaking their heads at his loud motor and the short little squeaks from his tires.

Mr. Pissy and Exasperated Employee heads home again, only to pull over long enough to close the gas cap door.

Mr. Pissy and Exasperated Employee, black cloud following, eyebrows furrowed, hits the interstate where no-one does what he wants for the interminable 5 minutes before his exit. The radio is just noise about a musician that doesn’t ever want to hear the music she writes again once its cut and mastered to the album because it has already consumed too much of her life and once completed it is up to everyone else to put their own definitions on it.

Mr. Pissy and Exasperated Employee exits the interstate with a Mercedes SL convertible too close on his tail, speeds through the 30mph corner at 55mph, sweeps two lanes and doesn’t shake the Mercedes. At the light the Mercedes turns left, Mr. Pissy and Exasperated Employee continues forward towards home.

The lights, at least, are well timed.

But wait, Mr. Pissy Employee still needs fuel and there is another gas station on the right, sweep one lane over and turn-in, he refuels easily, spending less money and climbs back in the mini-van to continue home.

Mr. Pissy pulls up to the house and walks up to the front door, the cats are waiting to be let in. They push between his legs, attempting to trip him, insistent in their hunger that they be first.

Mr. Pissy asserts his pack dominance by being the first in the front door and not letting them in. He finds their food dish, fills it and places it out the back door, knowing that they will find it. The cats have been gorging themselves after a night out and barfing on the carpet, they have to eat breakfast outside now.

Mr. Pissy now changes out of his Mr. Good Employee uniform, thinking about what he can do with a free day. The furrowed brows relax. The black cloud thins to let the sunshine from the blue sky in.

Mr. Pissy Relaxing gathers his work laundry, prepares for a nice breakfast and attempts to finish his transformation back into the good guy he prefers to be. He pours a glass of water, sits down, opens his laptop and starts writing a post in Facebook.

Mr. Good Guy finishes writing his thoughts. Posts them. Copies them. Submits them. Then puts on his non-work shoes to restart his day and do all those little creative things he enjoys so much.