Naflafiwrimo Day 29: Satisfaction

A teacher from my secondary school once told my class a story along these lines. *yoink*

Also, I’ve written an album review for Outline magazine. You can read it here if you like.




There was a guy in my old office, at the accountancy, I think his name was Willis, and he always used to go around with this grimace on his face, like he hated his job and everyone he worked with. That wouldn’t be unusual except for the strength of the emotion in his expression, which was actually pretty frightening. I avoided speaking to him as much as I could while I worked there.

Rumour was that he lived alone and his wife had left him with his kids years ago, though details on why were less easy to come by. I don’t think he could have had many friends; certainly he didn’t have any in the office. The boss never said as much but I think he hated the guy. Supposedly Willis had put his name forward for promotions dozens of times but never gotten the job. New guys like me would join the office and get promoted, move up the ranks or off to other firms, and Willis would be stuck in on the same salary as fifteen years ago.

On my last day I spoke to him. I was feeling cocky and superior to this ambitionless cog in the accounting machine. Not like me; I was on the way up.

‘Why do you go round with that look on your face all the time?’ I asked him. He looked at me with surprise.

‘Because my shoes are too small,’ he said.

‘Why the hell are you wearing shoes that are too small?’ I looked down at his feet. They did look a bit smaller than you’d expect on someone his height.

He considered me a moment before replying. ‘Because I don’t have many reasons to be happy,’ he said at last, ‘but taking these shoes off after I get home is some enjoyment at least.’

Imagine it: he inflicted this misery on himself all day just for that one moment of satisfaction when he got home at five thirty. Why would anyone do something like that? Bloody lunatic!


About lemonmachine

I am Kieren McCallum, a third-year English Literature student at UEA, Norwich. View all posts by lemonmachine

3 responses to “Naflafiwrimo Day 29: Satisfaction

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