Ean’s boss was a short man with shaggy hair and thick glasses. He sat behind the kind of desk people get when they’re demanding to be taken seriously. He also never, ever spoke except in a toneless deadpan.
Hello, The Boss said.
Hi, Ean replied. Is this about my application for that junior programmer position?
No, The Boss said.
Oh… then what is it? Ean asked nervously.
What?! E yelped. Why?
Company policy, The Boss explained. You’ve come in late too often, and today put you over the acceptable number of tardies.
But… but I was early, Ean protested. You can ask Fred.
The Boss blinked. Oh, he said without inflection. In that case, I’d like a cup of decaf, please. Thank you.
And with that, Ean was dismissed.