Lunch Money

Courtesy of David R.

Mr. Smith was known far and wide as a hard-nosed boss who watched his employees like a hawk. He was making one of his regular tours of the factory when he spotted a young man leaning against a pile of boxes just outside the foreman's office.

Since George, the foreman, wasn't around, Smith stood off to the side and watched to see just how long the young man would stand around doing nothing.

The young man yawned, scratched his head, looked at his watch, and sat on the floor. He took out a nail file and began cleaning his nails. Then he stretched, yawned again, and leaned back on the pile of boxes.

Smith stepped from his hiding place and walked up to the young man. "You!" he boomed. "How much do you make a week?"

The young man looked up indifferently. "Two hundred and fifty dollars," he said.

Smith swooped into the cashier's office, took $250 from the cash box, and returned. "Take it," he said, "and get out! Don't let me see you around here again!"

The young man took the cash, put it in his pocket, and left.

Smith snorted at his lack of remorse, embarrassment, or any other feeling. Then he went looking for George. When he found him, Smith was red with anger.

"That idler in front of your office," Smith said. "I just gave him a week's pay and fired him. What's the matter with you, letting him stand around as though he had nothing to do?"

"You mean the kid in the red shirt?" George asked.

"Yes! The kid in the red shirt!"

"He was waiting for the twenty dollars we owe him for lunch," George said. "He works for the coffee shop around the corner."

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