Readings | A Short Story

“Sit down.”

She did. Linda always listened to everything Mr. Stewart said and did what he told her to. Otherwise, she wouldn’t be where she was today.

He loosened his tie a bit before sliding a file folder in her direction. “Read it.”

“Yes, sir.” Linda reached for the plain file folder with her full name on the corner. Someone had printed out a sticker and stuck it to the folder.

She flipped through the sheets binded together by a paper clip. At any time he could easily remove a sheet or add one. The company didn’t believe in staplers or staples. They swore by binder and paper clips. Even though she’s worked here for years now, her file was thin.

It didn’t take long for Linda to skim through it, the objective facts like her address and date of birth as well as the subjective details about her attitude and performance. Afterwards, she remembered Mr. Stewart said to read, not skim. So Linda flipped back to the first page.

Her boss didn’t seem to be in much of a hurry. If he was, he showed no sign of it.

After a moment, she closed the folder and pushed it back at him.

“Like what you see?” he smiled like he knew something she didn’t.

A frown appeared on her face. “Not really.”

Mr. Stewart leaned back in his leather chair. “How would you like a raise?”

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