ego, pier, freight, pace, solo
Kaz, one of the custodians, knocked on the door, jarring Mac from the tender moment. Kaz fluttered a piece of paper. “I’ve got your order, Sid. Here’s the packing slip.” He shoved the page into Sid’s hands. “Got a new haircut?”
“I did.” Sid accepted the paper. “Which order is this?”
Mac sat on the first student desk. Kaz was a great person and so helpful, but the man had awful timing.
“The new textbook order. Got them all this morning. Big ole freight order. Too me three hours on the pier to go through it and separate them. Had to do it solo, too.” Kaz shook his head. “Teddy’s out sick and they sent Nick to the elementary building for the day. Let me shorthanded, but I wanted you all to get the books in time.”
“I see.” Sid sighed. “Are the books on the dolly?”
“You’ve got ten boxes, so it’ll take two trips,” Kaz said. “I hear you’ve got until Monday to get them numbered according to the system and logged into the spreadsheets.”
“I’ll help him.” Mac hadn’t ordered or been given the orders to buy new text books. “Won’t take long.”
“Then here you go.” Kaz brought in the first dolly of books, left the boxes on the floor, then returned with the second stack. “Good luck.”
“Thanks.” Sid waved.
Mac said nothing. He wanted Kaz to go. Every time he tried to say something to Sid and make some progress, something got in the way. The meeting, the planning, people walking in. It seemed sometimes like the cosmos didn’t want Mac to make time with Sid.
“Well…” Sid’s shoulders sagged and he stared at Mac. “You’re really going to help me?”
“Of course. If one of us writes the numbers and the other records, we should get them done in a timely manner. If we pace ourselves, we should get this knocked out in an hour and a half.” Mac took the clipboard from on top of the second stack of boxes. “Ready?”
“Sure.” Sid grabbed a pencil. “I’ll start in something we can erase–in the event I make a mistake.”
“You won’t.” Sid might not be mechanically inclined, but he was meticulous in his record keeping. Mac had seen that firsthand. “Ready?”
“You’re going to inflate my ego by saying such things.” Sid blushed. “I’m ready.”
“Okay…” Mac looked over the sheets. “We start with A-100 in box A. Where’s box A? The bottom?”
“Um…” Sid rounded the desk and bumped into Mac. “Sorry.” He tapped the packing labels on each box. “It’s on top.”
“Don’t be sorry.” Mac paused. He had to say this now. “I meant what I said. I’d like to go on a date with you.”
“You would?” Sid dropped the pencil. “Mac?”
“I would. How about you get your bank run finished? I’ll organize this so when you come back, all we have to do is write numbers. Then we can go for coffee and have a date?”
Sid picked up the pencil and grinned. “I’d like that.”
“Then get going,” Mac said. “The faster you get back, the faster we get this done, but don’t rush. I’ll still be here.”