Joe Pyne


Creative Writing Final Project



            Novak had only just entered the office when he heard the rumor that there were going to be layoffs. He collapsed into his chair, turned on his computer, and waited for the ancient machine to turn on. If there really were going to be layoffs, they would be announced via email from the self proclaimed Ņtech-guruÓ boss who everyone had come to realize was actually just the usual douche-bag boss. He logged into his account at the startup screen, but still had to wait even longer for the system to actually load. What worthless computers. What a worthless job. Yet as Novak opened his email program, he prayed that the rumors werenÕt true. This job was all he had.


Ding. YouÕve got mail.



            Novak reread the opening to the email from Mr. Anderson. Blunt: heÕd been laid-off. He double-clicked his resumˇ document on his desktop, and sighed. What job was he possible going to find in a recession-struck country now? His neighbor and friend Abraham peered his head over the side of NovakÕs cubicle.


ŅYou gonna be okay?Ó

Novak sighed. ŅYeah. IÕll find another job. ThereÕs always one out there.Ó

ŅI donÕt think itÕs gonna be you, man. YouÕve been here a while, and actually do work. ItÕs gonna be people like Will. People who are both new and useless.Ó

ŅNo...because IÕm still one of the new guys. There hasnÕt really been anyone hired after I got here--Will is the only one. ItÕs going to be me, him, and maybe a few others who I canÕt think of right now. ItÕs a small office, and they canÕt get rid of too many of us without a big uproar.Ó

            Abraham smiled. ŅI sort of wish they would, you know what I mean? I still want to do that firefighter stuff, and my opportunity to reapply is coming up pretty soon. I know IÕm gonna get in this time. There isnÕt anything I donÕt know about anymore, and they wonÕt get me with that bullshit insurance thing again. I know you need the job more than me anyways. I wish they would just kick me out and leave you or something.Ó

Novak tried to halfheartedly smile back.Ó Thanks...but IÕll just have to figure this out.Ó

ŅYou have anything off the top of your head?Ó

Novak laughed. ŅNo, not yet. I hope an idea comes soon though.Ó


            In his apartment later that night, Novak sat at his desk and fiddled around with his laptop. He looked at his resume, looked online for job offers, switched back to his resume, then back to job offers. He was a nervous wreck. He tried to sit still, but his leg kept shaking, so he got up, and started pacing around the apartment. How was he going to figure this out? He had almost no time to find a new job. He had nothing going for him. He couldnÕt go into work tomorrow, especially because it would only be to confirm his fears. Maybe he couldÉ man it was hard to focus on any of this. It was all way to overwhelming. He needed a place to just relax, or take his mind off of all the worries that had instantly piled up on him. Anywhere but the office. He thought to himself, and decided on AliciaÕs coffee shop, which was about a five minute walk from his apartment, and about a 10 minute walk from his (now ex-) office. It would be perfect, and he could manage the mountain of stress and not be around anyone that would remind him of his eliminated future. He stopped pacing. Now if he could only be able to get to sleep.


The next morning, Novak woke up late, and walked into Alicia's coffee shop.