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Edna's Employment Agency 2

They say that the only thing worse than having a job is not having a job, but they're wrong.

There is something worse than not having a job.

It is being so desperate in looking for work that you show up at Edna's Employment Agency where her
team of charlatans, ne'er-do-wells, and screwups probably won't find you a job, but they will find you
some laughs as they loudly discuss their sex lives, fake drug tests, break into the office, burn down the
office, dig donuts out of the trash, get punched in the face, make fun of resumes, drag coworkers into
the restroom, hide under desks, get drunk, look for better jobs themselves, treat cancer as a bad excuse
for missing work, plot their way through office politics using bagels, take smoke breaks during their
smoke breaks, watch training videos from the 1980s, use copious amounts of profanity to prepare for
meetings, engage in slapstick to express their status, war against the I.T. department, fume that people
who don't even know how to spell make more money than they do, and, sometimes--just sometimes--,
actually work.

And that's just the staff of the staffing firm. Then there are the temps . . .

You'll meet them all in Edna's Employment Agency, the book you shouldn't bring to a job interview
because you're dressed nicely, so you don't want to piss yourself laughing.

Unless, you know, it's that kind of job . . .

If you like television shows such as The Office and Parks And Recreation, then you likely will enjoy
this novel of workplace humor.

Edna's Employment Agency is the fourth novel by Wred Fright. The other three are The Pornographic
Flabbergasted Emus, Blog Love Omega Glee, and Frequently Asked Questions About Being Dead.
More info about the author and his books can be found at Wredfright.Com.

Praise for Fright and his works from fellow writers, literary critics, and scruffy publications:

"Wred Fright does it again. His almost-all-dialogue treatise on employment agencies comes fast and
furious, or maybe furiously fast. Either way, it sets into motion manic episodes of grand proportions, a
whirlwind of oftentimes zany characters who Fright gives gravitas to by intermingling snippets of their
lives that read like some stream-of-consciousness-infused Winesburg, Ohio, and a tale that stomps the
fringes of absurdity like a cowpoke riding a mad bull.

The kooky cast of Edna’s Employment Agency will almost make you wish you were out of a job just
so you could have them find one for you." - Mark Justice, author of Gauge Black: Hell's Revenge

"[A]n innovative writer of fun new pop lit--a pioneer in the fight to revive American literature" -
American Pop Lit

"[I]nfinitely preferable to the eye-glazing 'literary fiction' shoveled out by the bigger publishers" -
Daniel Green

"I can't wait to read the next one!" - Eddie Willson


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"Wred Fright is one of the best pseudo-fiction (maybe even just fiction) writers that I’ve ever had the
luck to stumble upon" - James McQuiston

"This book is a trip, well worth checking out." - Razorcake

"I found myself laughing out loud a number of times, and that's a rare occurrence" - Zine World
Edna's Employment Agency 4

Thumbs up for business!


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This novel is for mature readers, though those mature readers can be kind of immature in that they
enjoy fart jokes and whatnot.

This is a work of fiction.


Copyright Fred Wright 2020
Published by Frighty LLC
Edna's Employment Agency 6

For anyone who ever had to jump through needless hoops in order to do something they never really
wanted to do in the first place.
Edna's Employment Agency 7

Edna's

Employment

Agency

by Wred Fright
Edna's Employment Agency 8

CHAPTER 1:
NEVER
BRING
FLOWERS
TO
A
JOB
INTERVIEW
Edna's Employment Agency 9

Filing cabinets lined the walls of a shabby office. In the middle were a few round tables, every seat
filled with jobseekers, all of whom looked bored. Off to the side, a small cubbyhole had a couple of
computers in it, which were used for computer assessments. At the front of the room were a couple of
desks, each with a computer and a large pile of paperwork on it. Sitting behind one of the desks was
Sharon, a blonde-haired woman who seemed more dressed for a strip club than for an office. She
played with her cell phone. An old man huffed and puffed and finally stood up and marched up to the
desk. Sharon ignored him and kept looking at Instagram or Snapchat or whatever dumb thing she liked
to look at instead of working.

The man coughed.

Sharon continued to ignore him.

The man said, "Excuse me."

Sharon sighed and put down the cell phone. She looked at the man and pointed at her eyes. "My eyes
are up here," she said.

The man stammered and said, "Uh, yes . . . I was supposed to have an interview at 9 a.m., and I've been
waiting here for an hour now . . ."

Sharon stuck her hand up. "Wait, don't tell me. You're tired of waiting. You're a busy man," she said.

The man waiting for the interview said, "Well . . ."

Sharon said, "You're unemployed. You have nothing but time. Look, our recruiters are very busy
finding people like yourself jobs. I'm sure they'll be with you any moment now."

The man said, "Um, OK."

He went to sit back down but not before trying to get a better look at Sharon's cleavage.

On the other side of the wall from the jobseekers was an even shabbier office with a banner that said
"Regional Recruiters" on the wall. Various desks were grouped together, each desk with a computer
monitor, but three workers--Army Guy, Jonathan, and May--were all gathered around one computer
laughing and watching cat videos on YouTube. Army Guy had a crew cut, wore a buttondown shirt
with the elbows wearing out, and crouched like he was about to ambush someone. Jonathan had
thinning dark hair and a tie that glowed in the dark, but it wasn't dark, so everyone else just thought it
was an odd color. May was an Amazonian woman with long, dark hair and dressed in a style she liked
to think of as cowgirl apocalypse. May, crying from laughter and trying not to piss herself, said, "Wait!
Did you ever see the one where the cat pees on the kid at the birthday party?"

Army Guy said, "I think so, is that the one where the uncle shits himself too?"

May said, "Uh, no, I don't think so."

Army Guy said, "Oh, maybe I have never seen it. Well, let's watch it then."
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May said, "I don't know. Whew! I can't laugh anymore. This is hard work. Anyone want to take a
smoke break?"

"I still don't smoke," said Jonathan.

"You've worked long enough here now to start," May said, "What's wrong with you, Jonathan?"

Army Guy looked out the window at the parking lot. "Wait! She's here," he said.

"Shit, I mean, Swiss!" May said, "I am trying not to swear, so I don't swear in front of Lana. The last
thing I need to hear from my husband is that I am teaching our three-year-old bad words."

She pouted, "I really needed a smoke. I suppose I better interview somebody though. I can't believe
everyone else called off and stuck me with that crowd."

May dug through a stack of applications on her desk. She picked one up, "Let's see, who's been
waiting the longest? Desmond! No, no, Desmond was the name of my high school boyfriend who got
me pregnant and wouldn't pay for the abortion. Fuck Desmond, I mean, Fudge Desmond; I'll interview
Brittany first."

"How many chicks are named Britney?" Jonathan said, "And why are they all unemployed?"

"Have you ever met one?" May said, slapping the application down on the table.

"I've met some Brittnees before. They were pretty nice," Army Guy said.

"In bed, I'm sure. Just for that, I'm interviewing Carl first instead," May said.

"Hey! I was just friends with one of them," Army Guy said.

"What about the others?" Jonathan asked.

"Yeah," Army Guy said, "I fucked all the others."

Jonathan and Army Guy went back to work at their desks. Army Guy looked at his computer and
slapped himself in the face. "No!" Army Guy yelled.

"What?" May said.

"This guy!" Army Guy yelled, pointing at the computer screen.

"What guy?" May said, "Jonathan?"

"What did I do now?" Jonathan said.

"No, not Jonathan. This guy who I told not to come in. He's coming in!"
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"So what?" May said.

"So what? On the phone, he told me he was a CNC machinist, but when he emailed in his resume, it
only had Burger King on it, and in the job description he wrote he 'banged hos in the bathroom with his
flame-grilled sausage.'

"Well, I'll give him points for honesty," May said.

"I'm not giving him anything. I'm tired of these retards lying to me on the phone-" Army Guy said.

Jonathan interrupted, "It's not nice to call someone a retard."

"-Shut up, retard!" Army Guy said, "And then these retards come in and Edna yells at me for bringing
in people we can't place."

"Well, you never know," May said, "if we get a job order for a ho banger, we're all set."

"No, we're not. After I got that resume, I called him back and left a message telling him that I was
canceling the interview, but he's still showing up."

"What's bad about that?" Jonathan said, "Half the temps we place in jobs don't show up the first day. I
like this guy already."

The door to the inner office opened, and Edna entered, moving quickly past everyone to reach her
office in the back. Edna was a middleaged woman who still fancied herself as athletic but got winded
walking around the office. She wore designer clothes, but they were designers who were generally
unknown and stayed that way.

Everyone yelled out, "Morning!"

"Shove it!" Edna said, "Someone find me some pillows. My ass hurts. Does anyone know why my
girlfriend is suddenly into pegging?"

Army Guy got up and left the room, "I don't even know what that is."

"That's what all men say," May said.

"I don't. I know what it is, and I'm happy to say that my ass has been pegfree since 2008," Jonathan
said.

"What happened in 2008?" May asked.

"Don't you have someone to interview?" Jonathan said.

"Yes!" Edna yelled from her office, "Why is that waiting room full of people?"
Edna's Employment Agency 12

"They need jobs?" Jonathan offered.

"Well, then find them some and get them out of here. That whole outer office smells like B.O. What
have you guys been doing?"

"Uh, working?" May said.

"Working, my ass! Speaking of which, where are those pillows?"

Army Guy entered the office carrying a pillow, "This one was in my Jeep."

He handed it to Edna. She took it and sniffed it, "Which one of your twelve girlfriends did you have
sex with on this one? "

Army Guy took the pillow back and sniffed it, "Uh, Lauren."

He handed the pillow back. Edna looked down at it and up at Army Guy, then shrugged and took it
into her office. She put the pillow down on her chair and sat down at her desk. She bounced up and
down on it for a moment then sighed and said, "Is that the one with all the tattoos?"

May said, "No, that's Nicole."

"Uh, actually that's Brittnany," Army Guy said.

"I don't know how you keep them all straight," Edna said.

Jonathan looked up from his computer, "Are you saying that being with Army Guy will turn a woman
into a lesbian?"

Edna said, "No, I meant straight in that he remembers their names. I don't know how you do it. How
do you ever not call one of them by the wrong name while you're doing it?"

"I keep quiet," Army Guy said.

"They like the strong, silent type," Jonathan said.

"Shut up, retard," Army Guy said.

"You don't say anything?" Edna said, "That's creepy."

"The Neanderthal grunting says it all," Jonathan said.

"Edna, I'm about to punch Jonathan in the face," Army Guy said.

"Ooh, I'd pay to see that," May said.

"Army Guy, please don't punch Jonathan in the face; we have a whole waiting room of folks to get
Edna's Employment Agency 13

through this morning," Edna said, "I am still amazed that you haven't called one of them by the same
name. When I first started dating Peggy, I called her Monique all the time."

"She didn't get mad?" May asked.

"I just kept pretending that I was drunk and slurring my words and saying things like 'You're Mo sexy,
baby. You're unique.'"

"'Baby.' That's how I do it," Army Guy said.

"What?" Edna said, putting on her reading glasses to read email.

"'Baby.' I call them all baby. That way I never mix up the names."

"You are an all-star player," Jonathan said.

"I don't know how you do it," Edna said, "My girlfriend is enough to deal with. I don't think I'm going
to poop for a week."

"Filter!" May shouted, "We did not need to know that!"

"Fine!" Edna said, snapping her fingers, "Well, I need to know where we are with the welder at ABC
Welding."

"We're running out of letters in the alphabet," Jonathan said, "The guy Samantha sent over yesterday
already quit."

"What for?' Edna asked.

"You'll have to ask Samantha to find out for sure, but she phoned earlier to say that she won't be in
today. She has chemo or something. In any case, I think I know. The boss over there is insane. That's
why he plows through welders," Jonathan said.

"Well, we have to find someone! I need that money coming in. I might have to see a proctologist,"
Edna groaned, "Just because her name's Peggy doesn't mean we have to peg."

Sharon pushed the door open and walked into the inner office. She stomped to Edna's office, "I need
my sign back."

"No! Hell no! Corporate almost crapped themselves when they saw that," Edna said.

Sharon snorted and turned around to face the the rest of the office, "Will you please start interviewing
some of those people? The guys keep staring at my tits."

Jonathan stared at Sharon's tits and said, "I don't know why."

May looked Sharon up and down, "I do. You need to cover those puppies up. They're barking out of
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your blouse and about to bite someone."

"It was the only clean thing in the house, all right?" Sharon said.

"Why don't you do laundry?" Army Guy asked.

"I don't have time. I have a seven-year-old and a drinking problem. But anyhow, who cares? I don't
know why I can't dress how I want. That's why I need my sign back," Sharon said.

"The 'Stop staring at my tits, mister, or I'll cut your dick off' one?" Army Guy asked.

"Yeah!" Sharon said.

"No!" Edna yelled.

Edna dug in a bag beside her desk and pulled out a red shawl, "Here, put on a shawl."

Sharon looked at what was in Edna's hand as if Edna had pooped in her hand and was handing the poop
to Sharon to throw away, "I don't want to wear a shawl."

"Well, I don't want to see your tits, " Edna said, "So that makes us even, and since I'm the boss, I win.
Put on the shawl."

"Fine!" Sharon said, grabbed the shawl, stomped out of the office, and slammed the door.

"She needs to get laid," May said, after wincing from the doorslam.

"I'd volunteer, but I just got over syphilis. I don't want it again," Jonathan said.

"She doesn't have that anymore. She has that other one," May said.

"She does?" Army Guy said.

"Why do you want to know?" Jonathan and May said.

"No reason," Army Guy said and started staring intently at his computer screen.

Sharon stomped back in.

"Now what?" Edna said, dropping her reading glasses down her nose.

"She's here!"

"No!" Edna said, "Don't we have a restraining order?"

"No!" Jonathan said and started banging his head on his keyboard.
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"Your girlfriend!" May said, cackling.

"She's not my girlfriend! I just had the misfortune of interviewing her because no one else would,"
Jonathan said.

"She's your girlfriend. That's why she comes in every day. To see you!" May pointed at him.

"No, she comes in every day because she's eighty years old and has nothing better to do." Jonathan
said.

Army Guy looked up from his computer screen and said, "The woman wants to work. Do your job and
help her find a job."

"Yeah, Jonathan, do your job," Sharon said, "Are you coming? Hurry up! I'm not going back out there
alone while she's there. She already asked me if I was pregnant all because I'm wearing this stupid
shawl"

"Are you pregnant?" May asked.

No!" Sharon said.

"Well, I think you look cute with the shawl," May said.

"Thanks," Sharon said, taking it off, "You can wear it and be cute also."

Edna snapped her fingers, "Ut, ut."

"Fine!" Sharon said and threw the shawl back around herself.

"That's better," Edna said, "You know Peggy worked long and hard to knit that."

"No, she didn't. I have the same one. I bought it at Rose's on clearance," May said.

"She didn't knit it? That's what she told me. "

"Well, she's lying, unless she lived in Pakistan then and worked in the shawl factory," May said.

"What else could she be lying to me about?" Edna asked, looking dismayed.

"Maybe she's a man," May said.

"She's not a man!" Edna said.

"That would explain why she likes pegging so much," May said.

"Oh my God! I could be pregnant!" Edna exclaimed.


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"You can't get pregnant from your asshole," Jonathan said.

Then he looked at Army Guy and said, "But you can get pregnant from an asshole."

"Shut up, dick!" Army Guy said.

"That you can get pregnant from, for sure," Jonathan said.

"But she missed a couple times! Somebody get me a pregnancy test!" Edna screamed.

"You have nine months. Right now, I have to get back in that lobby, and I'm not going alone," Sharon
said and turned to Jonathan, "Are you coming?"

Jonathan stood up, "Might as well get it over with . . ."

In the outer office, the job seekers were all standing, except for one drunk passed out in the far corner.
They were chanting, "What do we want! Jobs! When do we want them? Now!"

"Wait!" One young man wearing a t-shirt with a poop emoji on it said, "I don't want to work really. I'm
just here because my unemployment compensation makes me apply for at least three jobs a week and
going to crappy employment agencies like this counts towards that. I really just want money. Maybe
we should be chanting that?"

An elderly woman leading the chants by waving her cane like the baton of an orchestra conductor hit
the young man with it, "Shut up, whippersnapper! Let's chant!"

The group went back to chanting about jobs except for the young man who chanted about money.

"What do we want?" the elderly woman yelled.

"Jobs!" the crowd responded.

Sharon and Jonathan entered the room, and Jonathan whispered to Sharon, "Actually, they just want
money. Most of them are too lazy to actually want to work. I should know. I was one of them until
Edna hired me in. "

The young man in the poop emoji t-shirt heard him and said, "That's what I said."

"When do we want it?" the elderly woman yelled.

"Now!" the crowd yelled.

"Actually, it would be more accurate to say in six months when the unemployment money runs out,"
Jonathan said to Sharon.

The young man said, "Two for me, I'm almost done unless they extend it. Let's hope for a recession,
eh?"
Edna's Employment Agency 17

"I like this kid," Jonathan said.

The elderly woman spotted Jonathan and pointed her cane at him, "You! Did you find me a job yet?"

"I'm working on it, Sue," Jonathan said.

"That's what you tell me every day. They should just give me your job because clearly you aren't
working that hard if I'm still unemployed."

"She does have a point," Sharon said.

"Hey! I work very hard!" Jonathan said.

Sue whacked Jonathan in the crotch with her cane, "Put your boner back in your pants, boy! I know
I'm a milf, but I don't want to hear about it. Just find me a job! I can do anything! I have tons of
experience!"

Jonathan slowly crumbled to the ground holding his crotch. Sue stormed out of the office. "Milf?
She'd be lucky to be a gilf," Sharon said, looking after her.

The crowd sat down and began playing with their cell phones again. May came out and called out, "I'm
looking for Carl Alameda. Carl?"

The drunk in the corner woke up, raised his hand, and stood shakily up. "Oh, boy," May said and
guided him to the back of the inner office for an interview.

Jonathan stood up, wincing in pain, and shuffled back to the inner office. May was in the corner
interview room interviewing the drunk, Edna was rubbing her ass in her office, and Army Guy was on
the telephone scheduling an interview. Jonathan limped in, hunched over. Edna looked up, "Did you
find me a welder yet?"

"I need to find an icepack first," Jonathan said, gripping his desk to sit down in his chair.

"That's a good idea!" Edna said, "Can you find me one also?'

Jonathan looked at her, shook his head in wonder, stood back up slowly, and limped into the
breakroom.

"Can you also bring me one of those cupcakes in there?" Edna yelled.

Jonathan didn't reply.

Edna shrugged and said, "Army Guy!"

Army Guy hung up the phone and said, "I have a name, you know?"
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"Yeah, but I can never remember it, so I just call you 'Army Guy'," Edna said.

"Nice," Army Guy said.

"At least it's not 'Baby'. You know I'm talking to you."

Jonathan limped out of the breakroom with two icepacks and a cupcake. He handed the cupcake and
one of the icepacks to Edna.

Edna took the icepack and sat on it. The cupcake she started to nibble on. She sighed in relief, then
asked, "Where are you going to stick your icepack?"

Jonathan turned and pointed at his crotch.

"Did you have sex with Sharon in the utility closet again? Well, this time, I hope you didn't break any
lightbulbs. The next ones are coming out of your paycheck," Edna said.

"No!" Jonathan said, "My crazy temp caned me in the nuts."

"Well, good for her! I've been wanting to do that to some man for years," Edna said.

"Are you all right?" Army Guy asked Jonathan.

"I'd be better if you took Sue off my hands. Why don't you try to get her a job? In fact, to make sure
we don't get in this sort of jam again, let's not schedule any more interviews with senior citizens."

"That would be ageism, Jonathan. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or E.E.O.C. as
we like to call them for short, would not like that, and, therefore, neither would Corporate," Edna said.

"Then let Corporate get hit in the nuts then," Jonathan said.

Sharon entered. She looked at Jonathan holding his icepack on his crotch and said, "You know, I don't
have syphilis."

"That's great news," Edna said, "You realize that your desk is out there and not in here, right?"

"I can't take it out there anymore. Not today with everyone else called off. Now there's a guy out there
with flowers. At first, I thought he was a delivery guy, but he said he has an interview with May."

"He brought flowers to a job interview," Army Guy said, "What's his name?"

"Milton," Sharon said.

"Oh, no! I told that moron not to come in also!" Army Guy said.

"For a scheduler, you seem to sure tell a lot of people not to come in for an interview," Jonathan said.
Edna's Employment Agency 19

"Do you want to waste our time, dickweed?! Everyone should be thanking me for weeding out the
complete wastes of time. Or is it 'waste of times'? Whatever!" Army Guy said.

"Well, this waste of time is here, and he has flowers," Sharon said, looking at Army Guy, "At least
some men still remember to send flowers."

Sharon went back to the reception area.

"Uh, OK," Army Guy said.

May walked the drunk out who stepped in a wastebasket on his way out. She left him at the door as he
shook the can off his leg and said, "I hope we'll find something soon" to him, then turned and said to
Jonathan, "He's going on the Do Not Use list. He was nodding off in the interview."

"DNUed!" Jonathan whistled.

She looked at Jonathan, "Why are you icing your crotch? Did you mistake Viagra for aspirin again?"

"Between his dick and my ass, this place is like the nurse's room at a porn shoot," Edna laughed.

Army Guy said, "Hey, May?"

May turned to face him, "What's up?"

"Remember that guy I was telling you about, the one I told not to come in?" Army Guy said.

"The Burger King ho banger?" May said.

"Yeah, well, I also had one that was even worse yesterday. This guy has no experience, so I also told
him not to come in. Then somehow he was on the schedule, so I called him leaving a voicemail that
the interview was canceled, and . . ." Army Guy said.

"And he's here," May said.

"And he has flowers," Army Guy said.

"What do you mean 'He has flowers'?" May asked.

"He brought flowers to his job interview," Army Guy said, "For you, I think."

"For me?" May said, "What's his name?"

"Milton," Army Guy said.

"Milton?" May said, "Why would he bring me flowers?"

"Because he wants to bonk you," Edna cackled.


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"Or have you get him a job," Army Guy said.

"Or both," Jonathan said.

Jonathan looked down at his crotch, "Boy, this is getting really wet."

"Shut up, retard!" Army Guy said, "The adults are talking."

"That's weird," May said.

She went to her desk, picked up the phone, and called Sharon, "Is the guy with the flowers cute?"

"Uh, no," Sharon said.

"Thanks," May said and hung up.

She looked at Army Guy, "Can you tell him I'm not here? That's a little weird."

"He brought flowers," Edna said, "You have to interview him."

"I'm creeped out," May said.

"What took you so long?" Jonathan said, "I was creeped out by this place at 8:30 this morning."

"8:30!? I would shit my pants if you were here at 8:30," Edna said, "You're always late."

"How would you know?" May said, "You're always even later yourself."

"I have business meetings in the morning," Edna said, snapping her fingers, "Anyway, somebody
interview this guy! You're costing me money! We could be filling job orders now."

"I'll interview him. I need more experience if I ever want to get out of scheduling, and he can't be any
worse than Sue," Jonathan said, putting the icepack on his desk.

He got up and went through the door dripping a trail of water.

"Nice. Flowers and an ice pack," Army Guy said, "That should go well."

"That's what Peggy should have given me last night. Maybe tonight I'll peg her . . . or him," Edna said.

"Stop! That was a joke! She is not a man!" May said.

"How do you know?" Edna said.

"I've met her!" May said.


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"When? That little vixen better not be twotiming me!" Edna said.

"The Christmas party, remember?" May said.

"No, but I don't remember much from the Christmas party. That happens when I get near an open bar.
I do remember telling Jonathan that a packet of sugar was cocaine and laughing at him when he snorted
it," Edna said.

Army Guy raised his hand, "Uh, that was me. Don't tell anyone about that. Every time I blow my
nose, I still smell candy."

"Oh," Edna said.

She continued, "Sorry, that was kind of mean. Also, maybe I should start drug-testing employees."

She looked at May, "So I brought Peggy to the Christmas party? Was I dating her then?"

"No, she came with Jonathan as a friend when he couldn't find a date," May said, "And she came back
with us to the office for the afterparty."

"Oh, that's right," Edna said, "She helped me clean up the lightbulbs from Jonathan and Sharon's fling.
I do remember that part also."

"Uh, speaking of that, what venereal disease does Sharon have?" Army Guy asked.

"Oh, it's nothing serious," May said, "What is it?"

"Was it chlamydia?" Edna said.

"No, it's something else. What is it?" May said.

"Isn't it anal warts?" Edna asked.

"Yes! It's anal warts. I always forget about that one because, you know, they're in the back and all,"
May said.

"Anal warts?" Army Guy said, "Hey, uh, Edna, can I have that pillow back?"

"No, my ass still hurts," Edna said.

Jonathan came back in, dripping more water.

"Where are your flowers?" Edna asked.

"He left," Jonathan said, "He took them with him."

"He left?" Edna said.


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"Yeah, as soon as he saw I wasn't May, he decided not to go through with the interview," Jonathan said.

Army Guy pointed at the window where a middleaged man holding a bouquet of flowers was leaning
against the glass and looking in, "Is that him in the window?"

May ducked underneath her desk, "Oh my God! That's supercreepy!"

"He's not a welder, is he? If so, get him back in. We need a welder," Edna said.

Jonathan looked at her, "We're working on it!"

"At this point, I'm desperate. I'm like Sharon, I'll take anybody," Edna said.

"Hey!' Army Guy said.

"Hey! That gives me an idea!" Jonathan said.

"And my ass hurts. Somebody get me some Preparation H and a welder. Are you sure that guy's not a
welder? He's still staring in the window," Edna said.

"No, he's not a welder. He's just general labor at best," Army Guy said, "He uploaded his dad's resume
by mistake. That's why I called him. But he has no experience himself."

"Maybe we can get him a job as a florist," Edna said.

"Let's just get him to go home," May said from under the desk.

"I'll take care of it," Jonathan said.

He marched up to the window and stared back at Milton. They stared at one another through the glass.
They started pretending to be mirror images of one another with one moving a hand and the other
following, then a foot, then some dance moves.

"Yeah, that's not working," Army Guy said, "I'll go out there and tell him to leave."

"No! I need you to schedule some welders," Edna said, "He can stand out there all day and stare if he
wants to. Jonathan! Get back to work!"

"But I want to see if he blinks first," Jonathan said.

"Just get him to go away!" May yelled from under her desk.

Sharon entered the room, looked at Milton and Jonathan at the window and May under her desk and
just shook her head, "It's even weirder in here than it is out there."

"Seriously?" Army Guy said, "I can take care of this in like two minutes."
Edna's Employment Agency 23

"Well, that's about a minute more than you lasted with me," Sharon said.

"Why are you back here again?" Edna said.

"The waiting room's full again, so I gave an applicant my seat," Sharon said.

"Well, then go stand!" Edna said.

Sharon ignored her and pointed at Milton, "Why's the creepy guy still here?"

"I don't know, but he's going to blink first!" Jonathan said, staring through the glass at Milton.

"Hurry up!" May said from under the desk, "I need a smoke!"

"Edna?" Army Guy said, standing up.

"Fine. Get rid of him," Edna said.

"No!" Jonathan said, "I want to win!"

"All right, give Jonathan another minute," Edna said.

"I'm just going to crawl outside," May said.

"I'll go out and smoke with you," Sharon said, "I can use the shawl to cover you as we make for the
back door to the alley."

"Doesn't anybody work here?" Edna said, "Hello?"

"What? I haven't taken a smoke break since right after my bagel break," Sharon said.

"When was that?" Edna asked.

"Right at the very beginning of the day. I always clock in and then eat breakfast," Sharon said.

"Wait! You clock in and then eat breakfast?" Edna said, slamming her hands down on her desk.

"Yeah," Sharon said, "I don't have time to eat at home."

Army Guy stared at Milton, "Some of those guys are like this guy. They just won't leave. You have to
make them leave."

"No!" Sharon said, "Well, yeah, but some of it's just getting my daughter ready for school."

"I need to start coming in earlier," Edna said.


Edna's Employment Agency 24

"We can have breakfast together! Can you bring a new cream cheese? We're almost out," Sharon said.

Jonathan spit at the window, and Milton blinked. "Ha! He blinked. I mean I spit, but that still counts,
right?" Jonathan asked.

"You spit on the window?" Edna asked.

"Well, yeah, it was between me and the guy. He still did the instinctive thing and blinked," Jonathan
said.

"Clean the window!" Edna yelled.

"Are you sure? I wouldn't want to ruin what appears to be a decades' long streak of not cleaning them,"
Jonathan said, rolling his eyes.

Milton glared at Jonathan and stepped away from the window. He walked across the parking lot and
left, his flowers drooping.

May came out from underneath her desk, "Finally! Now I can go smoke."

"How do we know he's not going around back?" Sharon asked.

May went back underneath her desk and lit a cigarette.

Sharon walked over and bent down. She also crawled underneath the desk. "Move over," she said.

Sharon took May's cigarette out of May's mouth and used it to light one of her own. She then put the
cigarette back in May's mouth.

"This is a smokefree workplace!" Edna yelled.

"Not anymore," May said, "Not until it is a creepfree workplace."

"I am not firing Jonathan!" Edna said.

"Hey!" Jonathan said, "I'm not a creep!"

"That's right; you're just a retard!" Army Guy said.

"Or Army Guy!" Edna said.

"Hey!" Army Guy said.

"It's going to be awesome smoking indoors in the winter. I always hated standing outside in the cold,"
Sharon said.

"That's because you don't wear enough clothing to stay warm!" Edna said.
Edna's Employment Agency 25

"If you paid me more, then I could buy more clothing!" Sharon said.

May put her cigarette on Sharon's shawl. "Hey! I think your shawl is on fire," May said.

Sharon ran screaming out of the room.

"May!" Edna said.

"What!? It was too crowded under here. Someone had to go," May said.

"Peggy knitted that shawl!" Edna said.

"I thought we went over that already. In any case, men don't knit," May said.

"We just spit," Jonathan said, cleaning the window with a paper towel.

"No spitting!" Edna said.

Army Guy about to put some chewing tobacco in his lip paused, "What? May can smoke, but I can't
chew?"

"No smoking!" Edna said.

"Why doesn't everyone calm down? I'll put on some cat videos," Jonathan said, throwing the paper
towel away.

"Ooh! Did you see the one where the cat chases the robot vacuum cleaner?" Edna said.

"Yes, this morning," everyone said.

"I did also! It took my mind off my ass!" Edna said.

"Should we check on Sharon?" Army Guy offered.

"No, if she doesn't come back, then I'll just hire someone from the lobby," Edna said.

Jonathan made a cat video full screen on his monitor, and they all gathered around to watch it.
Edna's Employment Agency 26

MILTON

Milton walked on the sidewalk, his shoulders slumped, his flowers nearly dragging on the sidewalk.
He mumbled to himself, "What a waste of time!"

He held up the flowers and looked at them, "And of $2.99. I am never going to get a job! Or a
girlfriend! And I need a job first! Girls cost money!"

Milton stopped and sniffed his underarms, first the right and then the left. He grimaced, "And so does
deodorant!"

His cell phone rang, and he fished in his coat pocket for it, nearly dropping the flowers. He pulled it
out and pressed the answer button. He held it to his ear and said, "Hello? Who? Superduper Staffing!
You liked my resume? Great! Sure, I can come in for an interview! Tomorrow? 9 a.m.? Sure! Who
am I interviewing with? Jessica? You guys are at the corner of Peanut Butter and Jelly, right? All
right, I'll see you then."

He pressed the disconnect button and put the phone in his pocket. He looked at the flowers. "I'll just
stick them in water until tomorrow," he said aloud and walked home.
Edna's Employment Agency 27

SUE

A loud clanging filled the dirty metal fabricating shop. A foreman with a mustache that looked like it
was taking a nap approached a welder, who was wearing a mask and welding two pieces of metal
together. The foreman tapped the welder on the shoulder. The welder shut off the torch and looked
over at the foreman. "That looks terrible. Are you sure you've welded before?" the foreman said.

The welder raised the faceplate and looked at him. It was Sue. She pointed the torch at the foreman
and said, "Listen here, sonny, I was welding when you were just a stain in your daddy's underwear.
Now get out of here and leave me alone!"

The foreman backed away slowly from her. When he reached about twenty feet away, she turned back
to the metal that she was welding. "Kids today don't know crap about welding," she said and dropped
her faceplate back in place.

She went back to work.


Edna's Employment Agency 28

AFTERWORD

I worked at an employment agency for a few months, and it was the funniest place that I ever worked.
Not the funnest, but the funniest. Stories just seemed to walk in the front door. I thought it would be a
great setting for a novel. Years later, I am happy to make that happen. It initially started as a teleplay
for a situation comedy, as I wanted to learn that format. The teleplay served as the basis for the first
chapter of the novel. After that, the characters took over, and the novel was on its way. In addition to
the humor, I hoped to raise points about how much of the workplace is slanted against workers.
Bullshit such as noncompete agreements and being able to dock someone's pay after the fact really
should be illegal. The labor market is only an even playing field in libertarian fantasies. People need
to work to provide for themselves and their families. No doubt workers do a lot of dumb and
frustrating things, but employers should not be able to prey upon them just because the rich can afford
to hire lawyers and bribe legislators. Time for poor people to get politically active. This country could
use a real labor political party. In the state I live in, I get taxed on my employee income, but on my
self-employment income I can get the first quarter million taxfree. Can you guess what segment of
society wrote that law? Sometimes this stuff is so crazy, it's hard to parody. In any case, I tried to have
some fun here. I hope that you have enjoyed it. Thanks for reading!

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copyright Fred Wright 2020

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