Thursday, December 2, 2010

In The Airport

John Luke had worked in the Dallas airport for 43 years and tomorrow was his last day. He hadn't exactly written a resignation letter, but he was sure his supervisor wouldn't be surprised. She was a touchy-feely-micromanager type, a personality he'd never encountered before. Julie was her name. She wasn't bad overall. She seemed to care about others and genuinely want them to be comfortable with her. But she had a habit of looking over everyone's shoulders and checking their reports three or four times for every incident. It was annoying and undermined the trust she tried so hard to build with her subordinates.

John lay in bed thinking about the drama last days used to bring. When Shirley retired, the company bought a cake and a few bottles of champaign to congratulate her on retiring. It was quite the party, but that was long before airlines operated 24 hours a day. He remembered Alan's last day too. That was a couple of years ago, close to the 9/11 disaster. Poor Alan. He was given a card signed by his co-workers and a fond wave just before the exit door. No fanfare. John liked Alan a lot more than he liked Shirley and occasionally wondered if Alan had felt betrayed by the company that he'd served for most of his adult life. He wondered what he'd get for his last day, if anything.

Looking at the clock, he forced himself to turn his mind off and go to sleep. Tomorrow would come early and there was a lot to do before he could call it a day. He had to gather his gear, clean out his space, reassure flyers with a smile (although that part had always come easy to him), and make sure he found Julie before it was too late. It was his last conversation with Julie that was on his mind when he finally fell asleep.

The alarm beeped him back into consciousness. It had been going off for nearly 20 minutes and John was startled that he had slept through it for so long. Quickly he swung his legs over the side of his bed and made his morning preparations before dashing out the door. The first four hours of his shift went well. As the sun set in the deep winter afternoon, he knew it was time to announce his retirement. There were few passengers flying out at that time of day which meant no one would be looking for him anytime soon and he'd have time to find Julie.

Going to his locker, he pulled out his duffel bag and retrieved first the letter that had been mailed to him informing him of the denial of his claim for work related injury and then the letter that followed it a week later letting him know that his name was pulled for the next set of lay-offs based on his most recent performance review. The exact date was unknown, but they would be sure to give him two weeks notice. Next, he pulled the gun from the pocket that typically held his clean socks. Unlatching the safety, he took a deep breath and headed for the small bank of administrative offices letters and weapons in hand.

*** Daily Writing Practice ***

1 comment:

  1. wow! as i read the last paragraph, i felt like i've been whacked in the chest. that was quite unexpected. very nice, heather. if you don't mind, though, just one thing: champagne.