a breakfast serial

One bite-sized story every morning to uplift, motivate, or provoke thought.

Archive for August, 2012

a sparkling finish

< by JHK >

In this world, there are nice, reasonable people, and then there are people who make you dust an entire museum gift-shop with one paper towel.

Meet Brooke: the other kind of person. A 5’11” bulldog.

She had thick black hair, and she slicked it straight up like a treasure troll. Black glasses squared her eyes, and a scowl twisted her top lip.

Unless, of course, a customer walked in.

“OOOOh hiiii,” she’d croon, as if she was summoning forest creatures. “I love­ your dress/hairdo/face.”

On my first day, she assigned me to dusting duty.

“Pick up each item, dust it, and put it back. If you put it back in the wrong spot, I’ll know.” She handed me a bottle of Windex and a paper towel.

After shining up a patch of decorative paperweights, I went to the supply closet and rummaged around for another paper towel. When I stood up, Brooke’s hot breath skimmed my neck. “Did I say you could get another paper towel?”

“Um, no.”

“Fish that towel out of the garbage and finish the job.”

For two years, I dusted a two-story gift shop with one paper towel. Then, one day, Brooke pulled me into the back office. “It has come to my attention that you have been abusing company resources (paper towels). You’re fired — ” she hesitated. “I mean, we still need you to work Sunday.”

That Sunday, I shined each item in the store with its own sheet. Then, I folded the towels, bundled them with a bow, and left Brooke a note:                   Don’t the paperweights positively glisten?