George’s Afterlife In Data Entry

Five hours and 65,000 keys in to his current workload of data entry, George realized much to his shock that he was alive. Before, he had been shoveling the sidewalk. He remembered th pain in his arm that became the pain in his chest. He remembered the bright light. He lost time between the cold snowy ground and the slightly chilly desk in the nondescript office building. It all felt a bit wrong and more than a little ominous.

He looked to his right and saw gray woman with blond hair. She was working diligently but somehow she seemed vacant.

“Excuse me, do you remember dying?” He asked as politely as one can ask such an odd question.

“Shh. The boss doesn’t like us talking about it.”

“I only ask because I do. I vividly remember dying.”

“Look, just shut up. We talk after work.”

“Uh, when is that?”

“In thirteen hours we get a six hour work break.”

“That’s not much tine to sleep.”

“Luckily, we don’t. Only reason we get any off time is they have to make sure all our computers and peripherals are spic and span. Sometimes they replace keyboards, sometimes they reattach arms. It’s no biggy.”

The two went deep and silent into work. Time passed methodically, every 13,00 keys another hour was gone. As George the seventeenth hour of work, he realized that he had just went through two work days straight, without grievance or even any notice of his own exhaustion. It took the recognition of apathy to instill fear. He couldn’t quite figure out if it that was ironic, but it was sad. 13,00 keys later, quitting time.

All around people stopped, mid entry even. George stopped at the last letter of an entry. It pissed him off, but he couldn’t find it in himself to continue. A maintenance crew suddenly swooped in and gave George a once over. It was strange to see a man in an orange jumpsuit carry a stethoscope but George was too tired to question it. The computers were confiscated, keyboard, monitor and all. The blond women turned back to him.

“Smoke ’em if you got ’em.”

“How on Earth would I have ’em?”

“Look in your bottom drawer.”

As he opened the drawer he beheld his own personal lending library of narcotics, pharmaceuticals, liquor and junk food.

“Jesus, does Hunter S. Thompson work here?”

“No, they’ve got him doing editorials I believe.”

He waited for her to say just kidding, the moment passed.

“So, what poison would you recommend?”

“Poison? Darlin’, you can’t die. There is no such thing as poison.

He picked up a small bag of weed, it was a familiar blend from down Mexico way. He knew it by smell, sight, and a wasted freshman year of experience.

“Mary Jane, you sure? Mom always says that stuff will mess you up.”

George simply stared at her waiting for her common sense to catch up to her mouth. He began liberally seasoning a snack cake with the stuff.

“Sorry, sometimes it’s hard remembering the new rules.” She spoke as she tied surgical tubing around her arm, preparing a shot of heroine.

As he downed the second cupcake he looked back at her glazed glassy eyes.

“So what’s the deal anyways?” Why am I alive again?”

“Because you’re too good of a temp to die, also your cheap. Here at Necrostaff, we provide business solutions from beyond the mortal veil.”

“God damn.”

“He sure did, but the pay is good.”

“Pay, what pay?”

“After this quarter, if you’re not utterly destroyed, you get reimbursed at the tune of 11 dollars an hour. Plus, you get to live again.”

When all is said and done, you have to admit, it is a pretty good deal. Especially, if you consider the alternative.

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