"Where's Paul?" I asked, glancing around the office.
"I haven't seen him all day," SallyAnne replied, quickly brushing past me on her way to the microwave.
"Well did he call out sick?" I shot back.
"Look," answered SallyAnne, her tone short as she gripped her coffee mug full of soup, "it's not my job to keep track of him."
"All his things are gone." At this point, I was genuinely concerned. "His collection of aluminum cans; his jar of urine; the October 21, 2009 copy of the Wall Street Journal he used as a blanket: They're all gone."
"Well good riddance!" exclaimed MaryAnne. "Frankly, he smelled worse than the bus station bathroom we found him in!"
This comment incited my rage. "Hey! We might have found him in a bus station bathroom, but he's the best damn IT Consultant this company has ever had." I paused, then added, "Wheeeen you take into account productivity against cost ratios." I was the accountant; adding such qualifiers is part of my job.
"That's because you paid him by allowing to live in that cube!" SallyAnne fumed. "He was practically your slave!" She stormed off to her soup-warming destination.
The truth was, we did. We did let him live in that cube instead of paying him. I mean, he was a filthy homeless guy. And what did I care? I didn't have to sit next to him, SallyAnne did, and she was a bitch.
Paul Van never returned to Deans Property after that day. I never saw him again. But we left his picture on our website anyway. No one knew how to change it. He was our homeless IT guy.
All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.