Not quite a short story but … an embelished truth

We were out when the call came through. She had said she would ring on Friday. I never gave it a second thought to let her have my mobile number. My wife picked up the voicemail.

“I think this is for you” she said, and handed me the phone. I pressed the recall and listened.

“Hi, it’s Maddi. This is a message for Tony Hubby.”

“It’s Huby” I said to myself. Did these people never learn anything about pronunciation at school?“A single consonant softens the preceding vowel. A double consonant hardens the preceding vowel.” I can still remember Mr Hill, with his la-di-da voice, drumming the rule into our class. This was often followed up with “Stupid child!” and a piece of well aimed chalk.

Over the years, I have come to accept that many people would pronounce my surname incorrectly. It still makes me want to correct them though.

“Hi. Hope you’re well. I’ve been trying to get you since this morning, without success” the voice said. We had been out since about 11am. “So sorry to leave a voicemail and I may try again later, but will talk to you on Monday if not. We have come to a decision, and I would like to offer you a position in my Project Development team. Will speak on Monday to go through any questions you may have about the role. I look forward to working with you.”

I put the phone down.

“Well?” said my wife. “Sounds like you got the job.”

I could feel the smile creeping across my face. “Yes” I said. “I got ‘a’ job. Not the job that certain people wanted me to get, but got a job alright”. The smile broadened into smug grin.

“You look like the cat that got the cream” she said. “So which job did you get?”

“It was my second preference” I answered. “That’s going to upset things a bit.”

“Do you want that job?” she asked.

“I wanted any job,” I replied “and it wasn’t really a second preference. I had to put down a preference, and the other job was closer to the one I’m doing now, so I picked that. Wasn’t really bothered which I got, so long as I got one.”

By now, the ‘smug grin’ had developed into an ‘evil’ smirk.

“Someone is not going to very happy, on Monday.” I said. “Someone is going to be really pissed off!”


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