She blamed it on a Higher Power. This included everything from The Vast Universe to all the various flavors of gods in the Spiritual Smorgasbord. When her astrologically-minded friend provided the calendar dates she knew it was Mercury Retrograde at play. Her conspiracy-theory-minded friend reminded her that the Illuminati and New World Order are behind everything.
It was obviously out of her control, that much she knew.
Since the punch-in process went digital last year she had added the possibility that Russians were meddling with the computer data.
And boy did she have to keep her annoyance to herself when the response to the panoply of background machinations that she presented to her employers were smugly played down as excuses.
It began with the alarm clock—which some sprite would quite often turn off during the night. She always left on time, or close enough that she knew she could make it up on the bus, or the walk to or from it.
The buses! Either they were way behind schedule or she’d see them leaving the stop as she approached. Always one driver who is ahead of schedule, waiting an extra minute at every stop, damn it. The traffic was apparently some vast puppeteer’s game—she couldn’t see the strings but sensed the intentional chaos. And just when things were moving along smoothly the Almighty provided three consecutive stops which required special boarding of wheelchaired commuters.
If all went well up to that point there were always the elevators. Did Fate push every button on the elevator that was coming down? And was it Providence that was bringing in workers who would certainly be getting off on floors before hers?
But this is how it is and how it has been.
I could leave the day before, she was heard to say, and Destiny would somehow find a way to keep me from getting here.
If it was seven minutes the clock proclaimed she was on time, but it was always at least eight, so the clock, liking things in quarter-hour increments, called it fifteen. Twenty-two minutes was okay, twenty-three turned into a half hour.
Connected as Time was to her paycheck, she always stayed to make up the minutes at end of day.
In earlier production-type jobs these minutes created real problems, but now they result in nothing more than occasional raised eyebrows, over rims of coffee cups, from coworkers.
“Thank you Sarah for spending this half hour going over your annual review. I’ll repeat it again—you’re doing great! We really appreciate your efforts for the company.
Before you go, not a really big thing, but—do you think you could make it a point to come in on time?”
She can’t tell them that there is no way in the known cosmos that this can happen—for her to be on time for an entire week in a row.
And so she reaches for a decades old answer.
I’ll try to do better.
© AleXander Hirka 2020. All Rights Reserved.
Read RemingtonWrite’s version here:
In August 2020, I set myself the challenge of creating a daily digital collage based on an image and a concept. The image was that of the antique Omega watch that belonged to my Mom and the concept was Time.
In September 2020, the Anomalous Duo is challenging themselves to write a short piece of fiction for each collage — the Our Hours project.