James had been having a hard day at work. When he left home twenty minutes late he knew he was already sitting on a bed of nails, and it was just his luck that the police stopped him and nearly ripped his nose hairs out for speeding. When he got to work his boss decided to test the resiliency of his eardrums by shoving a large steel pole directly into his ear lobe. Then the secretary, in collusion with the boss, tied weights to him, and his department head spent the morning trying to pry the unfinished Holgate report from his hand. Tim, the man with the hearing trumpet in the cubicle across from James, hoping to move up in the business world, kept checking for signs of life, that he might hear the telltale sounds of an expiring career. James was tied up and strapped down. When he left his chair it seemed as if someone was watching him from behind, or maybe even from above, and drills were bored into him by many eyes when he took a water break. He knew that his coworkers were envious of his new promotion, and that his superiors were expecting more from him, but this was beginning to take its toll.
Finally when it seemed that things could get no worse he put his foot in a bear trap. He heard an eerie chuckle echo around the empty hall. Then Tim came from around the corner. When he saw James he looked at him in horror. “I’m so sorry! I’m so sorry!” Tim said as he raced up to James, but the grin Tim wore said something completely different. “I was only going to leave it here for a second. I never thought anybody would come along in such a short amount of time.” James finally, recovering from shock, began to scream. The following moments were all a blur, but the next thing James knew he was being rushed out the front on a gurney. Someone shouted, “Yes!” as the doors closed.
James wondered what he had done to deserve this. He had always been friendly and reliable, but never too reliable. He worked as hard as he should, and did all that was asked of him. He never gave anybody any trouble. At the Hospital the doctor dismissed James’ injury as being mostly psychological and said that he didn’t need to be operated on anymore than he already had been. When James returned to work he found his promotion had been rescinded and reassigned to Tim. The boss said that he’d much rather have the man setting the traps in charge than the man falling into them. As James sunk back into his cubicle of anonymity he thanked his lucky stars that he had escaped a worse fate and been so easily rid of ‘that job’ as he would call it from then on.