Laura from Kangaroo Express

Day 2

The box was three inches by three inches, and three inches tall. Made of cardboard, brown, and extremely heavy. Laura could barely lift it, it was so heavy. She’d been trying for an hour just to lift this one little tiny goddamned box and it wouldn’t budge. It wasn’t the first time she’d been sent on a ridiculous errand, but this one had to take the cake. She scanned the room one more time. A table, a receptionist’s desk, a television, three cloth chairs, and a swinging door with a port window, leading into a small beige hallway. No. There was no one else here.

She tried again, just to make sure. Shit.

Nothing for it but to call headquarters and explain to Mr Sanford the situation. He wasn’t an understanding man. Laura was dreading the call. The last time she hadn’t been able to deliver a package—it was midnight, it was pouring rain, she ran out of gas, and the deliveree wasn’t home—she’d been sent home with an order not to show her face for another week. But jobs weren’t easy to come by in this environment and so she wasn’t exactly going to tell Mr Sanford to shove it, as much as she’d love to.

She reached into her company-issued jumpsuit and pulled out her company-issued cellphone, and punched in some company-issued numbers. Two deep tones, and a company-issued voice appeared on the other end. “Kangaroo Express Portland, can I help you.” The words were high-pitched, almost warbly. Sally. Or, no, Paula. No, Paula was fired. Sally.

“Sally, this is Laura, I need Mr Sanford.” She knew she sounded gruffer than she meant to, but she was in a rush. This was no time to get caught in in workplace gossip. “Laura? Is something wrong?” said Sally, sounding more interested than usual.

“Yeah, it’s this damned package I’ve been sent for. Just find Sanford for me, OK?”

“I can’t, he’s out. He’s at lunch. It’s just Wally and me in the office today.”

Wally. Just what I need. “All right, send Wally out here, quick. Can he bring the hand cart?”

“I don’t know if he can, there’s a—”

“Damn it, Sally. This package needs to be moved, and if I can’t get ahold of Sanford to get another team on it, then I need all the help I can get. Send. Wally.”

“OK, OK. Jesus,” said Sally on the line, and Laura knew she’d upset her for no reason. She said the address into the line, which wasn’t necessary because Sally should have been able to look on the sheet and find it herself, but everyone she worked with was incompetent, so there it was. She’d gotten over it, at least she told herself she had. Kangaroo Express wasn’t the worst job in the world, and it was the first job she’d managed to hold for more than six consecutive months since graduating college. Making friends was something she used to do in school, an old habit. One she’d learned to stop doing after she was fired for the fifth time. Usually for talking too much.


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