Ode To Joy

When he came in, she leaned forward in the chair. “Can you help me? I think my voucher is wrong, I’m supposed to be—”

“Ma’am, I’m just the technician, if there’s a problem with your voucher you need to talk to the service counter.”

“But she said I should talk to you. Something about approval numbers and how she doesn’t have the authority to—”

“Was is Becky? I bet it was Becky. Short girl, dark hair? Becky.  She’s hopeless, never learned the system. She can always go back in and… never mind. Lemme see your chip. And go ahead and lean back and get comfortable.” He took it, held it up to the reader, touched a few buttons, scrolled, scrolled, traced the screen with his fingertip. “Yeah. So your usual Boost is ‘Moderate Contentment’?”

“But I just got promoted at work to a Level Five, and with my seniority—”

“I see it. So you should be at ‘Satisfaction and Occasional Joy’.”


“Well, I’ll tell you what: I can go ahead and give you the SOJ boost today, but next month the voucher really does need to be correct, or we both get in trouble. Okay?”

“That’s very kind of you, thank you.”

“Ever had ‘Occasional Joy’ before? It’s great. I get it twice a year through my wife’s contract.”

“I won a spelling bee when I was nine. My mother didn’t know what to do with me, sent me to Grandma’s for two weeks. Gran just said, ‘this is how a child is supposed to be’. But of course she was from before, you know, old folks don’t really understand.”

“My Granny can’t even program her phone; I wonder how she ever gets anything done. Now let’s get this voucher edited so you can enjoy the rest of your day.” He touched a few more buttons, and held the chip up to the reader again. It beeped, and he winked at her.

“Oh, thank you so much.”

“Okay, here we go. Eyes closed.”

1 comment:

  1. Author's note: the 'Trifecta' tag originally denoted that the piece was a response to a prompt from Trifecta, an 333-word weekly prompt. Since that prompt site is now defunct, when I use the tag it will simply be to denote a 333-word piece.