Going the Distance

“Rob, have those reports on my desk by five.”

“The ones about the iodine levels in our ice cream?”


“Sure. I’ll scan and email the-”

“I need the actual papers.”

“Mr. Barnes, you know I work remotely.”

“I saw you taking your meeting notes on them and I want those for reference.”

“The scans will have those.” I propped the phone up with my shoulder and dumped the reports into my scanner. “I’ll have Lou print them out.”

“Mr. Gellis, if you don’t have those on my desk by five, you’re fired.”

“Mr. Barnes, that is impossible. I live five states away.” I pressed scan and started emailing Lou with instructions to muss up the papers.

“Then you shouldn’t have applied for remote work!” I could hear his sneer in his voice. He’d been trying to fire me for years because his boss let me move away.

“Fine. They’ll be on your desk by five.”

“See that they are!”

“Have a good afternoon, Mr. Barnes.”

Four and a half hours later, my phone rang. “Hello, this is Robbie Gellis with McLew-”

“These clearly aren’t your papers, Gellis. You’re fired.”

“No can do, Todd. I caught a flight just in time but I had to leave them with Lou so I could catch my return flight. You’ll find my notes throughout the reports and a coffee stain on page two.”

“There’s no way!”

“You’re welcome to come out here and prove otherwise, Mr. Barnes.”

“That’s five states away! I’m not flying over there just to grab some papers.”

“Have a good evening, Mr. Barnes.” I hung up and turned off my work phone. Someday, he might actually do it. I’d find that hilarious because my listed address is five states in the wrong direction. Working by phone was the best.