Conscientious; A short -ultra short - story for your amusement.

Started by Gyppo, May 26, 2024, 08:57:12 AM

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   A short story by John Mathewson  (My fiction writing pen name.)
   Copyright John Mathewson 2024

   When Joe Smith arrived at the Royal Mail sorting office the manager looked at his watch in over-acted astonishment.

   "You're early.  Only twenty minutes, but even so...  This will ruin your reputation."

   Joe just smiled and passed through the main hall to his sorting frame.  Over the last twenty years he'd acquired a reputation for always being late,  anything between five and twenty minutes, but he was a fast worker once he arrived and always left for his delivery on time.

   His managers didn't like it, but conscientious workers are worth keeping so his freestyle flexi-time became a matter of legend and wry amusement, rather than a cause for termination.    The newest manager was a bit sarky and referred to him as The Late Mister Smith, but Joe just grinned and did his job, always finishing on time no matter how bad the weather, or how heavy the mail load.

   He sat on his stool by the sorting frame and reached for the first bundle of mail.  He didn't feel quite right and couldn't quite get a grip on things.  Maybe he'd wait a few minutes, get his head together.

   Ten minutes later a policeman arrived and asked to see the manager.

   "Do you have a member of staff called Joe Smith?"

   "We do.  What's he done?  Shall I get him for you?"

   "We'd like his home address, Sir.  He was killed in a car crash on his way in to work this morning, about half an hour ago."



Jo Bannister


Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.
Arthur Ashe