Adam was a bookkeeper for the accounting firm of Zebb & Fischer. He was good at his job and enjoyed it, mainly because he was left alone and not expected to make any decisions. He began work at precisely 9 a.m. Sitting at his desk there was an in basket to his left , a calculator to his right and an out basket beyond that. In front of him was a cup of red pencils, a pencil sharpener and a clock.
He took a folder from the top of the in pile, opened it a read “Billing for The Nasser Installations” He turned the page and began adding up the figures and checking them against the type written sheets.
At about 9:30 his boss Al Fischer cane to his desk and said “Zelf.”
“We have some accountants visiting us from another firm. One of them may bring you some figures to check.”
Al walked away. Adam continued to work.
At about 11 a woman came up to his desk. “Excuse me.”
“Yes” he said.
“Mr. Fischer said to bring you this. There’s no rush. Any time tomorrow.”
She put it on top of the in pile. “On the bottom please” he said.
“Oh, sure” she said, picked up the large stack of folders and put hers on the bottom. “Thank you” she said and walked away.
Adam worked continuously throughout the day, stopping only for lunch. Now and then someone would come by and pick up the finished work from the out basket.
When it was almost closing time he had finished all the work except for the file the woman from the other accounting firm had left. He thought of leaving it for the next day but since it was about 7 minutes to 5 he took it from the in bsket out of curiosity. When he opened it the title page read “Actuarial Report for the Babylon Bridge Project.” He turned the page and was surprised to find, not a list of facts and figures, but a list of names in alphabetical order.
At the top of the page was the title “Dismissals” and following that were a group of first initials and last names, “J. Andropolis, M. Bonner, J. Isko, S. Keefer.” He scanned down the page and gasped when he reached the bottom. The last name on the list was “A. Zelf.”
(To be continued.)