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Peripheral Man Episode 3

Updated on October 6, 2011

You'll never see him clearly, but you'll need him for a trivial moment. You'll never hear him coming, but he'll be there for you in your time of inconsequential need. He's not a superhero, but he's there just outside of view; Peripheral Man.

Hank woke up extra early that morning, he had some serious deadlines that he wanted to meet as he had not been very successful in the past meeting these very same deadlines. He did his regular morning routine two hours earlier, got in the car, stopped for gas and a coffee and got in to work well ahead of the early birds who usually start an hour before he does.

By the time other people started to arrive in the office he already had three of the reports done, he only had two to go so he had made excellent progress. Being a resident expert in his department, however, had costs - soon after the coworkers arrived they started to come to him, like they often did, to ask questions and get feedback. This dramatically slowed down his ability to get the last two reports done. Being an expert meant his bosses relied on him to provide the most comprehensive reports, but it also meant that he was relied upon by his peers. Dealing with these competing priorities is what in the past has made him late, but he figured that starting extra early would make all of the difference.

By mid morning he had decided to shut down his email so that he wouldn't be tempted to reply to anything, but still the occasional interruptions came. By the end of the morning he'd done the two remaining reports, was satisfied with them and sent them off. He sat back in his chair in relief, glad that this week he managed to meet his lunch time deadline. He opened his email and found twenty-three messages, about half of which would require his full attention. Hank decided he would respond to those emails after lunch.

For lunch Hank decided to go to the food court just across the street from his office. He tried not to go there too often but decided today was a day to celebrate having completed the reports. He made his way over and approached one of the food court restaurants, looked at the menu and decided what to order. Unbeknownst to Hank, he had left his wallet in the car; the out of the ordinary morning routine had him put it down absentmindedly in an incorrect place when he did his stop on the way in to work. After he placed his order he reached into his pocket to pull out his wallet only to then realize that he had left it in the car. Fortunately he had some change in his pocket that he felt should cover the meal. Having come to this restaurant before, he knew what the total would be and so he started to count the money he had. Just as he got to the cashier he realized he would be a quarter short, and just as he was realizing this Peripheral Man walked by and gave him a quarter.

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    • Phil Plasma profile imageAUTHOR

      Phil Plasma 

      6 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      I don't think it is just him that needs more than one, I think we all do, from time to time.

    • profile image

      femmeflashpoint 

      6 years ago

      Phil, I'm feeling very sorry for Hank. Now and then, it's awful to be needed, lol.

      Maybe he needs more than one peripheral man?

      :)

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