It’s early yet, putting this out there, but look at as a spur to defeat procrastination–the opening of a book that I will be publishing in 2015. It’s sci-fi of sorts. So see if this grabs you:
Bright sunlight streaming through half-open blinds hit Sam’s closed eyes. “Damn, what time is it? I’m late for work,” he muttered to himself. “Nine-fifteen,” the clock said aloud, another one of those smart appliances his employer gave out as recognition in lieu of more money. As a tech firm involved in designing and engineering AI products, it made sense. But Sam didn’t wear jeans and a T-shirt or have a pocket protector full of pens; he managed contracts, a job where the boss expected people at their desk on-time. No sense asking the clock why the alarm didn’t go off, it wasn’t that smart. Sam just got dressed in a hurry.
Damn, where the Hell’s my building pass, he thought to himself, almost talking to himself again. He always dropped it on the table by the door as he came home. Not this time, evidently. Too late for looking elsewhere, he headed out the door, wondering what happened the night before.
He got to Advanced Semiotics at 10 AM, an hour late. “Sorry, I misplaced my building pass; can you give me a temporary one,” Sam asked the security guard.
“Sure, let me see your driver’s license.”
“Ok. This is the first time this has ever happened to me.”
“No worries; everybody does it sometimes. What department are you in?”
“Contract management, 5th floor.”
“Hmm, that’s odd; I don’t see you on the employee listing. Are you new here?”
“New? No, I’ve been here nine years!”
“Ok, don’t get excited. Probably some computer glitch. Who is your immediate supervisor? We’ll just give them a call and see what’s up.”
“Robert Jackson, extension 4-8765. I’m late today, so he will probably be wondering about me anyway.”
“Hello, Mr. Jackson, I have a Sam Andrews down here at the security desk. He says he misplaced his pass and works for you, can you confirm that? … Really, is that so!”
“Well Mr. Andrews, Bob Jackson says there is a good reason you can’t find your pass. You don’t work here anymore—after making a spectacle of yourself at a staff meeting last month they fired you and confiscated your pass.”
“What? That’s ridiculous! Let me talk to him.”
“Well, let me see if he will talk to you . . . Ok, here,” the guard said, handing him the phone. “Just keep it short; I have to keep this handset free.”
“Bob, what the hell is this all about?” Sam, asked, bewildered.
“Sam, Sam—you mean to tell me you don’t remember? I thought you seemed kind of out of it. I mean, standing up during the staff meeting, calling Mr. Jacobs an idiot and then actually urinating on the agenda in front of everyone—we had no choice but to fire you on the spot. As I suggested then, you should consult a mental health professional—soon.”
“I did all that?”
“Yes, Sam, you did. Now I really have to go; I have a meeting to attend. I hope you can get some help Sam.”
Sam’s hand slowly fell away from his head, carrying the phone from his ear.
“Not good news, huh?” the security guard said, noting Sam’s slumping shoulders below his paling face.
“No. I have to go somewhere and sort this out somehow. Here’s the phone,” said Sam, looking away, before heading back out the door.