Perk at Work

Vintage Perk at Work #5


Way back then, Perk worked in the mailroom, not the cafe. Later, I realized that only huge buildings have mailrooms. All others just have mailboxes. Also, he’s better in the cafe. At least for the time being.


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Newest Short Story

The Scholarship Dare

The greatest possible difference is the least possible difference. One of my college instructors told me that. He was trying to be all fatherly and wise but I just saw it as him being condescending. Granted, I was trying to defend my grade of zero on a final so maybe he had the upper hand. Whatever.

Why am I thinking of his words nearly three years later while standing in line at the Argyle Cafe? It has to do with being broke. Seriously. Not a dime to my name. I don’t do banks so I don’t have any crumbs of cash in a checking account, much less a savings account. The money I have is the money in my pocket. And there ain’t any in there. I checked like five times, thinking that maybe some reverse pickpocket guy may have slipped a fiver in there because I was cute or something. Nope. Just some lint and half a cashew. How did that get in there? Who cares. I ate it. I was hungry. Don’t judge. In any case, the difference between zero dollars and one dollar is greater than the difference between one dollar and five dollars. Basically, it’s the difference between nothing and something, versus something and something. I have nothing. Like I said, I’m broke.

So why stand in line at a cafe if I’m broke? Well, I’m hoping to charm some food out of Perk up at the cash register. Perk’s such a sweetie and a softie. Hopefully his soft heart will be soft enough to buy me something to eat. I can’t ask him to hook me up because he just doesn’t do that; some sort of honesty or ethics thing he has wired into his brain. Great for him, not so great for the rest of us who eat where he works. If it doesn’t go through Perk, it doesn’t go to the kitchen. I secretly wished he wasn’t there. The cook in the back, Compa, would hook me up simply for batting my eyelashes at him. Candy, the girl that works in the front with Perk wouldn’t though. She doesn’t like me for some reason. She’s not here anyways so it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that I get something in my belly. I’m dying!

The guy right in front of me in line was reading a newspaper. Over his shoulder I could read the headline “Search For Missing Co-ed Continues Two Years After Disappearance”. Beneath the headline was a picture of the girl, bright eyed and beaming. I could remember when that happened. It was like a year ago when that girl Tracy something-or-other went missing. I can’t remember her last name —  I didn’t know her personally — just remember that picture they always used. She went to State and I haven’t gone there for a while. I tried to glean some of the story, inched closer and closer to see if there were any new developments. She was a college girl just like me. Sad.

Click here to read the whole story. :)

Work, by itself, is just a means of making money. The beauty of working is it allows us to interact with people — to meet and connect with a variety of folks. I have met some of my best friends through work. The workplace was an environment where we could learn about each other and build bonds.

Perk at Work is about our experiences as humans. Sure, at it’s core, it is about a lowly cafe worker who chats it up with his regular customers. But they are sharing moments of their lives together, learning and sharing bits of information and, hopefully, learning to care about each other. Is there any greater purpose in this life than to love and be loved? Well, maybe to get the perfect cup of coffee but we can do that while we talk.

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Perk at Work Short Stories

Newest story!

While walking to class on campus, Henna notices a $20 bill with the words “I will pay for your college” on it. She reaches for it and it eludes her. She chases it only to find out that she has been baited by an mysterious organization that offers to give her a chance to win a full ride scholarship. The only thing is, they won’t tell her what she has to do to get it. Does Henna accept the challenge? Click here to read.

#1: “Introductions Are In Order”

It’s Perk’s first day on the job, only he’s the only one unaware of this fact. In this short story, you are introduced to Perk and the whole group. Find out how he got the job and what it was like for him to meet everyone for the first time.

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#3: “This Beautiful Life”

It seems to Moxy that guys are interested in her only for her looks. To test this theory, she decides to dress down to the point of homliness to see how guys will react. In the process of her experiment, she meets a stranger who sheds a strange and refreshing light on her perspective.

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#2: “Party of Two”

Henna’s cute friend Nell invites Perk to her birthday party — a costume based shindig. Unbeknownst to Perk, Nell’s cat was fatally injured earlier that morning and the party is off. Perk arrives ready for a good time only to find out what happened. Undeterred, Perk suggests a smaller event, one made for two.

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#4: “Psycho Chick”

Cal’s loverboy ways landed him involuntarily tied to a bed and at the mercy of a jaded woman. But who is she? What did he do to her? And more importantly, what is she going to do to him?

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