He slammed his fist into the table in frustration. The error message on the computer screen blinked at him regardless.
“Compile error on line 456. Program terminated.”
He hit the cancel button, pushed his chair back and stared at the ceiling. Why was all of this happening to him? He was a nice guy? He didn’t steal? He didn’t swear like his boss did? He paid his taxes.
No - wait. He didn’t. At least not yet.
The programming job at the factory was the first job that Stanley had ever held in his life. And he had never in his wildest dreams expected it to turn out that way. Stanley stood up and told himself that he really ougth to be grateful for the opportunity. Most of his classmates were simply languishing at home during the mid-year vacations. Stanley, on the other hand, had spent the first half of the year sending out his CV to various job postings that he saw online. And when this one came his way, the timing had turned out to have been just perfect.
He stood up and wound his way past the tightly cramped cubicle that he called his “office.” It was little more than three or four square metres. It was at moments like these that Stanley wished he were a smoker. He needed any excuse right now to step out the doors of the high ceilinged, noisy building and take a break. Smokers always seemed to be able to get away with such things. None smokers on the other hand, just seemed to be lazy and to whiling away the time for which they were being paid.
“Where are you going?”
Stanley cringed when he heard the all-too-familiar high pitched, female voice with the heavy American accent. He took a deep breath to calm his nerves, forced a smile onto his lips, and turned around to face his boos. She was a tall, sallow-faced, greying woman. Her name was Fiona. She had a definite artsy streak going, and today it found its expression in the tall leather boots, billowing skirt and white-laced blouse that she wore. “Oh, I’m just taking a break.”
“Is the program working?”
“We’re almost there.”
“Is it working, or isn’t it?”
“It crashed again,” Stanley answered.
“Then get your ass back in your chair. I don’t pay you to take breaks. I pay you to manage my stock levels.” She stalked off down the passage between the ceiling high shelves that ran all along the warehouse floor. Stanley watched her walk off, and wondered to himself whether he really needed this job or not. All of a sudden, the classmates whom he had been feeling sorry for a few minutes ago seemed to be the ones that were really lucky. Not him.
He sat down again at his computer, and pulled up the window of the program that he had been working on a few minutes earlier.
In seconds, he heard Fiona’s voice ringing out across the factory floor again. This time the insults were coming thick and fast. “Can you even read? Are you illiterate? What do I pay you for? Do you know what a dingbat is? It’s you!”
Stanley waited for the shouting to stop, before wandering out of the safety of his cubicle. He took a quick look around to make sure that the coast was clear, and then slipped out into the little courtyard behind the warehouse. Fiona hardly ever wandered into this place. This was one of the reasons why it was a kind of safe haven for the factory workers.
I finished the story in this later draft of Kenward's Day - Final Draft Most likely what happened was that I saved the Scrivener file I was using as a different version. That's how I ended up with two versions. This thing of backing up stories frequently can get quite recursive. It's worth investigating something like Git or Bitbucket. Another day