Christopher and the Ergonomic Chairs

Christopher parked his Nissan Sentra in the company’s CFO spot—walked into the empty building, and took his place at the Information Desk of the vacant building.

He checked and routed yesterday’s mail, checked and routed yesterday’s email and voicemails, and checked his email and schedule–nothing was for him.

It was March of 2020, and he was grateful that the company didn’t lay him off or request that he work from home–he had a laptop, but his cheap apartment did not have Wi-Fi; anyway, it was nice to get away from his annoying roommate who yelled why he Zoomed.

Most days, he brought a sack lunch; then, after his sandwich, he would belt out show tunes to the dozens of empty ergonomic chairs in the call center.

By March of 2021, the routine was getting old, and he craved human connection.

In May, the company was working in the building at half capacity; Christopher lost his convenient parking spot to his boss, and he had to stop singing to the ergonomic chairs; some of its occupants may not like Broadway songs.

ShoeShining Optimism

Looking through the Pennysaver, Jack found the shop where he used to have his shoes repaired before COVID-19 turned his city into a ghost town had reopened.

Besides shoe repairs, Ben, the owner, was back to shining shoes! Wouldn’t it be nice to step up on the shoeshine stand and have Ben shine his oxfords?

Jack usually shined his shoes. These days, working from home, slippers were the office footwear, but today, he would dress for work and visit Ben. The shop’s reopening was a sign of brighter times ahead, and Jack wasn’t going to ignore this auspicious moment.