“Hopefully they don’t have you counting each one.[1]”
There were hundreds of blue packing peanuts spread chunky-thick across the back warehouse floor of Sneaker Transport.
Huh? No-I-uhh-
Jane had just returned from an easy truck route that blazing summer to find Amund, an anxious new hire, on his knees. It looked like a box had fallen off a cart. Myriad peanuts violently spilled everywhere.
“Here, let’s get you cleaned up before anyone judgemental arrives.”

Jane scanned the area.

Usually, there’ll be a hazard or spill pickup broom somewhere…‘ They were located in the furthest loading dock from the office. Even though there was a large shelving unit between them and the office, there weren’t enough stacked pallets to completely obscure the mess from the office.

“Did anything break?”

No-I mean-I-didn’t-take-too-good a look inside-the-box-but I-didn’t hear-anything-break when-it-dropped, so, I guess it’s OK…” Amund quickly jumped up and ran over to the box. He’d placed it on the cart already and turned it around a few times to check to see if there was any damage.

“Pull it down. Check inside.”

No-it-looks-fine. Good thing it’s one of those new flatscreen monitors with all of the styrofoam and such.” Jane was still looking for a broom. “Well, can you see if the screen’s cracked?” She found a push broom next to one of the computer scanning stations. “No… it-it-it should-be-fine.

Jane brought over the broom.

“Here, go sweep up everything. I’ll go take a look.” Amund ran over, grabbed the broom, and started off to the furthest corner. “Yes, ma’am!” The box for the Scribescreen 20, a new 20″ model, was in terrible condition. “Looks like it fell off the truck…” Amund stood up straight and sweat.

R-really? Hopefully… I-I-can’t…

“Don’t panic. Breathe in slowly,” she exaggerated the motion and held her arms up, “and breathe out,” and held her hands at the bottom of her stomach. “Amund, just focus on cleaning up the rest of these peanuts. I’ll think up something.” She thought, ‘everyone’ll be returning soon…’

How’s it goin’, Doc!

The voice boomed from across the warehouse. “Hey, Ruckus. We got a problem.” Amund’s face turned pale. “What happened?” Amund started to tear up. “I-I didn’t mean to! I-was-just pushing-the-cart and it-it-it toppled over! I’d pay for the damages… I just, I-I-I-can’t-” “Lemme take a look.”

Ruckus looked inside the battered box.

Huh, there’s no packing peanuts in here. Must have been defective,” his voice dropped to a whisper, “right?” Amund wheeled out the rolling trash bin he threw all the peanuts into. “Here-are all the-the-the packing peanuts, boss.” Ruckus looked inside the trash bin, over at the office, and back.

I clearly see a defective product.

Jane ran over to the scanning station and returned with some red tape and a clipboard to fill out a defective product report while Ruckus starred down Amund. They maintained eye contact for two seconds before Amund turned away. Ruckus smiled and patted Amund on the shoulder.

Thanks for noticing this defect, Almond.

They all …laughed.

Quotes: [1] Me. The response was a “huh?” followed by me helping out. It was memorable enough that I wanted to capture this moment in “The Story.”
Sources: My professional experiences. Random name generator for Amund. Amund’s speech is in dark green to imply that he’s nervous and shy compared to Ruckus’s use of bold font. Did that work? I want to do more of this in the future.
Inspirations: Besides the aforementioned inspiration, generally, I’ve noticed, that as long as you’re not a jerk about stuff going wrong at work, people will typically help you out. Typically…
Related: Somewhere in the Sammohini Arc of “The Story.”
Photo: The blue devils
Written On: August 13th [45 minutes]
Last Edited: August 27th [30 minutes] – The original ending was perhaps too ambiguous and ominous?
My big goal is to write. My important goal is to write "The Story." My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame a fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. Let's strive to be better everyday. (Avatar)