Shapes

Shapes

Colin Thomas Wright, Technology

Shapes

A short story by Colin Wright

 

The old overseer sat at his large circular desk with wistful eyes.

He had bookcases, with pictures of only himself, a few dreary paintings, clean grey carpet, and windows surrounding him from where he faced. When he looked outside one of his many windows, at the stars above, or the civilians living their own lives below, he saw only shapes, nothing more. He also had an assistant, the assistant only cared about profits similar to the overseer. The assistant would almost always say yes to the overseer’s propositions and would give advice to the overseer. The assistant’s advice would often negatively impact the people that worked for the overseer. Though he was the wealthiest man in the world being the founder of the biggest delivery service, he was disappointed in himself. He had realized long ago that he was missing out on joys that he had wanted to experience. He had to discard his dreams to get to the point he was at, and regretted it. That regret turned to anger over the years which affected his personality and changed the way he treated others making his family and friends grow distant.

 

One day, as he was inspecting the stocking room the floor was scattered with cardboard boxes, and the sound of tape ripping was deafening. While observing the workers, looking down at them as though they were worthless, a young new hire asked him which section to store office supplies, “Hey, do you know where to put these paper clips?” unaware who he was. The overseer scoffed at her and ignored her question. The new hire, confused, persisted and followed the overseer, repeating her question. The overseer then stopped in surprise, “Excuse me?” it was rare for someone to not know who he was, and it was even rarer for someone to not show him respect. She then responded with, “These paper clips, do you know what a paper clip is?” He then irritatedly bellowed, “Of course I know what a paper clip is!” The overseer then walked through a doorway and slammed the door behind him.

 

The next day he avoided the stocking area, assuming that the new hire would be working there.

All night he was thinking about their interaction. He thought, How dare they disrespect me? I could fire them in an instant! so, that is what he was going to do. However, he didn’t know her name. After a few hours looking through page after page for a picture that resembled her on his vast employee list, he found her. He then began to look at her background information about her life. He saw her interests, her passions, and he realized that she was an actual person. He now understood that he was planning on firing her because of a little bit of attitude. After a while of self re-evaluation, he knew he had to start treating people like people.

The overseer then went into the stocking room where the new hire was, stood up on a couple of stacked cardboard boxes, and gave a speech to the new hire and the other employees, “I acknowledge that I have mistreated most if not all of you. Maybe your paycheck is too small, maybe you are overdue for a promotion, and maybe I have been inconsiderate in the number of days I let you get off. And for that, I truly apologize.” he then left shouting that they would all get a raise to their surprise. When returning to his office, he told his assistant what he had done. The assistant said, “What? Why?” to which the overseer replied with “Why not? Our employees would benefit from it.” the assistant then stated that “It wouldn’t benefit you, or me!” that’s when the overseer noticed that his assistant was just like he was before. After persisting and seeing that the assistant would not change his mind, the overseer laid him off.

 

The overseer today sits at his large circular desk without wistful eyes.

Now known as the wealthiest man, as well as a generous man.