When I started that job, I let on like my grandparents were still alive so I could get time off when they died. Some Mondays I would go in and tell my boss about the nice weekend I’d spent visiting with grandma this or grandpa that.
This went on for twenty-five years.
My boss, having reached the age of retirement himself, would marvel at my grandparents’ vitality. Then he would say it must be genetic, reminding me how in twenty-five years I had never had a sick day. Which was true. I never missed a day of work, for any reason, ever. And to think, I’d started that job with such high hopes of having all sorts of reasons to miss it.
One day my boss’s grandson came along with him to the office. He was a twelve-year-old with a popped collar who went around the office asking everyone what kinds of grades their kids got. He made his way over to me and put his left hand on the edge of my desk and his right hand on his hip and crossed one foot over the other and said, “I bet you’re looking forward to having my grandfather’s job.”
What I said to that kid got me fired.