He swiped his staff card against the card reader, the light above it changed from red to green and it gave with a click when he pushed the door to open.
‘You’ll need one of these to get through every door soon, from buses to your own home. They’ll always know where you are’.
Walking across the changing room to his locker, the smell of old men and cheap deodorant made his head ache. He opened his locker and pulled out his bag, shoes and change of clothes. It wasn’t the end of his shift but he decided to dress in his own clothes over his lunch break.
He left the changing room after using the toilet through the door on the far side of the room, and headed to the staff cafe to make use of the free hot drinks machine.
The room wasn’t full but all the tables had at least one person sitting at them. All the eyes seemed to be watching him, waiting for him to turn around so they could laugh and whisper. He decided to leave and walked down the many stairs until he reached the staff door that led out onto the main street in front of the store. He swiped his card once more, the light turned from red to green. He pushed the door and walked out into the busy street.
His eyes failed to adjust to the brightness of the sun and he walked quickly down the road squinting until he turned and made his way down the quieter street that ran adjacent to the store he worked at.
At the end of the road was a set of steps that led to a fire exit of the store on the opposite side of the street. It was always free and he sat down with the knowledge that no one would disturb him out of fear that they may be asked for some spare change or tobacco.
The events of the first part of the day ran through his mind. The rudeness of the general public, their complete disregard to the events taking place around them and their sudden eagerness to discriminate as soon as the opportunity presents itself made him angry and nauseas. The managers, untalented fools that hold on to their illusion of power for dear life, for if they were to loosen their grasp on this beloved sense of self their lives would literally present itself for what it truly is, worthless.
The headache returned and he pulled his phone out of his pocket to check how long he had left before needing to return. Ten minutes. He checked his notifications and saw that he had received a number of emails. Scanning through them most was junk, but a couple were from reviewers and buyers of his written work letting him know they really enjoyed it.
‘You have a talent. Keep doing what you’re doing, don’t let others get you down or change your ways. Stay true to yourself’.
He read through the emails, smiling to himself as he did so. He finished reading and closed the page before checking on the time once more. He stood up and made sure he picked up any rubbish that had been left behind and placed it in the bin nearby.
He walked back up the road and approached the busy main street. Upon reaching the intersection he stopped and looked at the people rushing around to spend the money they didn’t own. He looked left towards the entrance of his work, and then looked right towards the carousel that spun to rhythm in its place.
Looking at the ground, he started walking, past the carousel and the man that sells raspberries 'two for a pound' and down the long road home.