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Monday Morning

In this short story, co-workers Sofia and Carrie deal with quite the unexpected Monday. Broken printers, disabled wi-fi, and a chance encounter by the elevator alters the course of their day--for the better. When you put enough good into the world, the world looks out for you.

It all started with the printer. You know, the one everyone in the whole office uses? It thought Monday morning was the perfect day and time to give up on life. Well, on that point maybe they could agree.

It was jammed, and the helpful little images (that were being anything but), kept showing multiple locations of affected areas. Carrie had done everything except take the machine apart at this point. The next move was going to be to throw it out the window and smile an insidious smirk as it fell five stories down to the sidewalk below.

She was nothing if not professional, so she kept the image of the printer being thrown out of the window to herself and instead placed a service call for a technician to come take a look at it.

“Have you tried turning it off and then back on again?” her coworker Sofia said with a smile, mocking the instructions one always gets from IT.

“Yes, multiple times unfortunately. I think I’m going to need to be rebooted at this point,” Carrie replied.

“Don’t we all? I hate to break it to you, but the wi-fi is also going down in three, two…”

“Attention everyone! The wi-fi will be going off for an undetermined length of time as our consultants address an ongoing issue. We thank everyone for coming into the office today, but we are going to need everyone to continue working from home for the rest of the day,” the Operations Director projected from the center of their office space.

“Well, that was a complete waste of gas in commuting today,” Carrie whispered.

“And makeup. Don’t forget the makeup too,” Sofia added.

“Agreed. Well, I guess I’ll be packing my things up.”

“Wait up, I’ll walk with you down to the parking garage.”

Carrie and Sofia made their way down the hall and waited for a descending elevator. While they were waiting, the day porter, an elderly man named Gabriel, made his way through the hallway. He moved slowly but methodically, stopping every now and again to clean surfaces.

A loud, combative voice came from around the corner, opposite to the suite Carrie and Sofia worked out of. The voice made its presence known in the form of a well-dressed man, one hand holding a briefcase and the other a cell phone he was using to belittle and argue with whatever poor soul happened to be on the line.

The elevator announced its arrival, and the man assertively pushed past Gabriel. Gabriel teetered, lost his balance, and fell to the floor. The man glanced behind him, rolled his eyes, and entered the elevator.

Carrie and Sofia rushed to Gabriel as they heard the elevator doors close.

“Gabriel, are you ok?” Carrie asked.

“Take a breath, no need to rush standing up,” Sofia said.

“Ah ladies, I’ll be fine. You get used to a few slips and falls in this line of work,” Gabriel answered, smiling. “A little help standing back up would be appreciated though. These joints don’t work like they used to.”

Sofia and Carrie each grabbed one of his arms and lifted him up to a standing position.

“What a jerk!” Sofia said. “I’m so sorry you have to deal with people like that.”

“Is there anything we can do for you?” Carrie asked.

“I’ll be okay—I promise,” he assured them. “Things have a way of working themselves out. If you put enough good into the world, the world will look out for you.”

Sofia took a few steps and pushed the elevator button. Carrie followed her and after a few moments, looked up to find that the elevators were not moving from their current floor location. Sofia pushed the button again and they waited. Still nothing.

“Do you think the elevators stopped working?” Carrie asked Sofia. Carrie turned around to ask Gabriel, “Gabriel, is there something wrong with the--,” and stopped. He was nowhere to be found,

“Isn’t that strange? He was just here, he couldn’t have gone that far,” Carrie said. Sofia and Carrie peeked around the hallway corners, but there was no sign of him.

“Huh. Well, you up for the stairs?” Sofia asked.

“Why not. Better than being stuck on an elevator,” Carrie answered.

They walked to the stairwell and opened the door.

“Do you hear that?” Sofia asked. Faint but recognizable, a voice full of rage reverberated through the walls.

“Wow—he must be stuck on the elevator.”

“Serves him right, acting that way,” Sofia said.

“No, think about it. We all had the opportunity to miss that elevator. Like Gabriel said, ‘If you put enough good into the world, the world will look out for you,’”

“You’re right. Unfortunately, the world wasn’t looking out for me when I picked these five-inch heels this morning,” Sofia said as she smiled.

Carrie laughed and said, “Well, you can’t get everything.”

They made their way down multiple flights of stairs to the garage and parted ways. As their cars pulled out of the exit, the sound of approaching sirens grew ever louder.

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