On Schedule

Contributor: Benjamin Goodwin

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This was going to be the start of a whole knew life for Roger. He had put in the time and seemingly endless hours at HyperTech International and now he was on his way to interview for his dream job. That morning, Roger had gotten up two hours earlier than he usually did. This was odd for Roger who had always been a man of very strict routine. He coordinated his days almost to the minute, leaving only a little time for scheduled daydreaming and free play. Roger believed that every wasted minute was one more minute he could be working toward his future. It had all been leading up to this. This was the moment he had been working for.

Their lobby was charming and ornate. They had a neat little koi pond with small fish swimming around. Roger approached the elevators and saw a lot of people had gathered and were getting into a recently arrived elevator. Roger decided he would take the next one. He didn’t want to be late and his interview was on the 37th floor. He could not afford to wait for all those people to get out one by one.

He instead got in the next one and quickly pushed the close door button as to not let anyone else slip in. He watched the numbers on the screen go higher and higher as he slowly ascended the building. He decided now would be a good time for some routine daydreaming. He hoped it would relax him before his interview. Roger closed his eyes and thought back to a day long ago.

It was April of last year and Roger was seeing a nice enough young lady from the human resources department of HyperTech. Her name was Leah and she had suggested they go to the cinema to see a newly released film. Roger did not remember the name of it. He had not expected for Leah to want to see a movie after dinner and had only scheduled two hours of date time in his mind. He was planning on using the rest of his evening to get a head start on his taxes and do a lesson with his German Rosetta stone tapes. He had bid Leah farewell and gave her a sincere apology that he would not be able to accompany her to the movie. She had ended things with him the next day.

When asked of her motivation for doing so, she simply said that he was not spontaneous enough. Roger then scheduled two ten-minute blocks of crying time for that day and the next.

Roger thought back to this day and remembered every detail. He was thinking of it so clearly, that he had not noticed that the elevator had stopped. Roger looked at his watch. He had fifteen minutes before he was supposed to be at the interview, so as long as it was fixed by then he would be fine. But it was not fixed by then. Hours started to go by and Roger eventually got tired of standing. He scheduled twenty minutes of sitting. He then scheduled a urination break in the corner of the elevator. Then he had fifteen minutes of jogging in place, ten more minutes of sitting, two hours of screaming for help, another urination break, half an hour of jumping jacks, twenty minutes of rocking back in forth while humming to himself, and two more hours of screaming for help. It was while he was beating his fists on the elevator door that his watch broke.

He immediately scheduled time to fix it, but then realized he couldn’t keep track of his schedule without a watch. This thought terrified every fiber of Roger’s being. He didn’t know what to do. He began having a panic attack and he fell to the floor trying to catch his breath. Eventually, he calmed down enough to turn his mind off. He put himself into an almost comatose state where he could slowly cope with this tragic turn of events. He slowly stood up after a while. He wished more than anything he could know how long that tantrum lasted so he could log it. Roger shook it off and started thinking rationally.

He looked to the ceiling and saw the one of the panels was lose. After many failed attempts, he was able to climb on top of the elevator. He saw the doors for the floor above and opened them up without much hassle.

He had missed his meeting by exactly eleven hours and nineteen minutes. Roger didn’t care at that point. He was just happy to be free. The security guard told him that they were aware of the broken elevator but they assumed no one was inside. Roger had not noticed the emergency call button. It really should have been the first thing he looked for.

On the drive home Roger daydreamed about that night with Leah. He wished he could remember the name of the movie she wanted to see. He would have loved to rent it.

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My name is Benjamin Goodwin. I'm very good looking and I play by my own rules.
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