Fired Away

A piece I wrote while skimming through some writing exercises in my English textbook. :D

Write a story about what happens when someone falls asleep on the job.


Work has always been an interesting subject for me. Interesting enough that sometimes, I find myself working too long a night that I can barely prevent my eyelids from drooping the next day. Being one of the few mangers within the production department in the company, I always have a workload ready at the start of the day. I'm one of those people who don't mind working at all, instead taking it as a challenge to complete all my tasks before the set deadline. But one eventful morning, things just didn't go my way.

I always have a cup of coffee in hand, ready to save the day with a heavenly dose of caffeine incase I get the feeling that my head just might fall off my shoulder. My assistant secretary, Margaret, was my personal saviour. She always had two mugs full of coffee waiting on my desk the morning after a long night of the office. But today, I had something different in store for me.

I walked into the main room of my department, greeting the others a 'happy morning' before making my way across the several cubicles towards my office. As I passed, I noticed that the seat which was supposed to be occupied by my secretary was empty. Raising an eyebrow, I opened the door to my office and walked in. The difference?

The scent of early morning caffeine didn't waft through the air like the usual routine. My eyes focused on the desktop; the plain brown mugs were yet to be seen. I silently sat down onto my chair and waited for Margaret to show up, knowing there must be a good explanation for this.

 While I waited, I turned on my laptop, connecting the wires of the printer with it as I got ready for the work to be dealt with today. The door swished open and I looked up to meet the eyes of my secretary.

"The coffee shop is closed down temporarily. They're renovating the place," she said in a wary tone. Worry was imprinted into her face, clearly for how this might have an affect on my progress for the day. Hearing the news, I felt my hands shake by my side in anxiety. But another side of me knew better than to believe that I couldn't go a day without coffee.

Margaret announced my 'to-do list' for the day and I couldn't help but groan in annoyance. My schedule was hectic and filled with meetings and important appointments with members of the Board and a few Marketing managers. Normally, this was a piece of cake for me, but my lack of a stimulant to keep me awake worried me.

Soon enough, I found my eyes closing for a few sweet seconds, the whispers in my head of an oncoming dream growing louder. No! I snapped my eyes open and stared at the laptop screen. I had work to do. Now wasn't the time to be tempted. But the more I resisted, the harder it got. And within minutes, I'd given into it. Seconds turned into long minutes which turned into hours.

The slamming of my door woke me up and my head, that had been leaning against the monitor, snapped back as I straightened my posture in my chair, eyes fixing on the person in the doorway. A grim smile made its way to my face as I tried straightening my untidy hair, and stood up.

As usual, my boss was making an entrance. His eyes glamed wickedly as he observed my disgruntled expression and messy attire to be 'laziness'. I didn't deny that it was.

"Oh, Mr. Smith. I hope you're not occupied."

"No Sir," I said, trying to sound as alert as possible.

"I do hope you're done with your project. The presentation is in just ten minutes."

"Of course I'm ready," I said shakily, my mind racking through the schedule for the day as I tried to figure out which particular meeting boss was talking about. Oh Margaret, where are you?

The boss gave me a wry smile and sat down on a chair in front of me as I stood rooted to my spot, staring at him.

"Ever announced redundancies, Mr. Smith?"

I shook my head.

"Well you will be doing that today at the presentation, seeing as you haven't done much, you could be of other use."

"Sir?" Does he know?

"You already had the presentation work completed two days ago, at least that's what you faxed me."

"Oh, yes...yes I am." Realisation flooded into me and I noticed that boss was right. I, being unproductive today, wouldn't affect that.

"So here's the list of redundancies."

He handed me a paper and I skimmed through it, before stopping at a particular name.

"Margaret Whittle?"

"Yes, I do feel greatly sorry for you as you'll be losing the only secretary you have. But with the upcoming merger, we have to get off the lesser-important staff."

Chewing on the inside of my cheek, I looked through the rest of the page, trying not to let the remorse show on my face. I was going to miss her.

"Besides, you wouldn't want to be on the list, would you Smith?"


Grinning, he asked in a cocky tone, "Well, why don't you sleep on it?"

The End

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