Wednesday, August 01, 2018
Last Question of the Evening - 6
Full version (English): http://thedanforthreview.blogspot.com/2017/10/fiction-75-finn-harvor.html
"It's only fifteen extra minutes," Laura says. "You'll be paid for it."
Celia's tone lowers, but it's still adamant and clear with outrage. "That's not right. They're tryin' to nickel and dime us. They plan this."
Again, Laura's voice slips under the threshold of hearing. Anders turns back to his screen.
He's been phoning the West most of the evening. With its time differential, he hasn't had to worry about upsetting people by calling too late. With dismay he realizes he'll now be phoning metro Toronto, the most cranky and survey-harassed region of the country, at ten on a Tuesday night. He swears to himself. The questions keep appearing before him. Almost all of them are leading.... As was said earlier, the strike by the teachers' unions is illegal. Does knowing this make you more likely or less likely to support the provincial government's reforms to education?
"It's just another fifteen minutes," the interviewer sitting next to Anders says. He's a skinny skateboarder named Lance. He once told Anders that he ate one meal of eggs and bread a day for a week.
Anders looks back at Lance with an aghast expression. "Are you kidding?!"
Lance shrugs. He slouches deeply in his seat. "Just phone a coupla numbers. Look like you're workin'. Make 'em happy."
Anders's emotions shift very abruptly. Lance is right. Pretend to be a good employee.
But at ten sharp, a mutiny breaks out. People begin rising from their seats, starting first, it seems, with Celia. "I got a connectin' bus to catch," she says by way of explanation.
Hunger gnaws at Anders's stomach. He only had a can of sardines for supper. He was counting desperately on the pay-cheque. He figured after work he'd make a beeline to a bank machine, deposit his pay, then treat himself to dinner at a souvlaki place. Physical discomfort reminds him of how much he hates his company.
Despite his resolution, almost involuntarily Anders finds himself rising from his seat. He makes an extra show of lining up his keyboard neatly on his desk and putting on his coat with genteel calm.
"What are you doing?" Michelle says.
"I'm not staying. This is ridiculous. What, we're supposed to phone people now, and ask them a bunch of propagandistic questions for half an hour?"
"It's a job."
As Anders is walking towards the supervisors' station, the man who was in the front office -- the one with the bald head and fighter's build -- enters. He sees the mass of people huddled around the sign-out sheet.
"What's going on?" he says loudly to Laura.
작성자: Finn Harvor 시간: 3:30 pm