Just an Average Guy by Martin Green.
Jack Hastings burst into his bosss office, pounded on the desk and said, Ive had enough of this shit.
Lets go back.
Jack Hastings was just an average guy. As a boy he wanted to be a baseball player. In college he toyed with the idea of being an architect but ended by taking business courses. When he graduated he thought of going to Europe, but he met a girl and before he knew it he was married.
He landed a job as a trainee in a large corporation. He and his wife Jane lived in an apartment. They had a baby. He bought a tract house in a suburb outside the city. They had another baby. They moved to a larger house in a nicer suburb. Meanwhile, he moved up the ranks to a mid-level management position.
So there he was, 39 years old, married, two children, a job that was just a job. He couldnt complain too much about his life, but they could never save any money; something always came up. No further promotion was in the cards. What was the rest of his life going to be like? A dreary repetition of what he was doing now, over and over again.
At first Jack was depressed. He moved through his house and his office like a zombie. Then he became angry. A seething rage boiled up in him. He refused to accept that this was all there was to his life. Damnit, he had to do something. He decided that hed get fired from his job, then hed be forced to do something. He knew, beneath his rage, that this was irrational, but he couldnt help it. He had to do something.
He burst into his bosss office. Ive had enough of this shit, he said. Ive been in the same spot for five years. Ive had it. He pounded his fist on his bosss desk. You dont even know my name, do you? You dont even know I exist.
His boss blanched. Youre Jack, uh, Hastings. I know who you are. I thought you were happy with your job.
Well, think again, you little twit Jack grabbed his boss by the throat and drew back his fist. I ought to break your jaw, he said. Aw, youre not worth it. He let go, left the office, slamming the door on his way out and went home.
The next week Jack got a promotion. They could finally save some money, not live paycheck to paycheck. He was still seething inside at lifes injustice. The people he now supervised were afraid of him. His wife and kids gave him a wide berth. Life was still a crock, but at least this was a little better.
* * * *
More stories from Winamop
Copyright reserved. Please do not reproduce without consent.