DEAR SIRS & MADAMS,
Ms. Everson pulled me aside at work today, to reprimand me for having recently performed poorly. It is my understanding that my accomplishment of having even tills, keeping adequate records, and performing general upkeep of the Pantry is sufficient labour and worthy of praise, but Ms. Everson seems to think otherwise.
The whole event has put a looming despair on my day. But I did get paid, and I was even more disturbed. This paycheck was pay for, according to their records and my own, 52 hours over the course of 2 weeks. I get paid $6.90 an hour. My pay should be $358.80. I knew to expect taxes from the last paycheck, but not the kinds I had taken. My pay I had to take back home with me to Daniel was a mere $292.54. That's monies on the order of $66.26 taxed away, direct from my income, easily a quarter of my pay. I'm really rather disgusted by this. Then, when I got home, Daniel insisted on $260, a full $26 more than what we had agreed would be due to him. He said he needed to borrow it, as he was taking a trip up with his fellows to a place called the Spirit Mountain to invest in a new mechanism called "slots". I did not quite understand what this was, but he spoke as if it was some great investment opportunity, and promised me the remainder due if he bears success.
What troubled me was later in the evening, around 6:23pm (my ability to tell the exactness of time amazes me, with so many accurate digital clocks and everything to refer to, it is a wonder that anyone might ever be late). I got a call from Miss C., who insists I refer to her as Natalie, as we did not meet up again as we have for the last couple of weeks, at the local library, so she used the telephone to see how I was doing. We spoke for some time, about trivial things and about our shared love for reading and history, she told me more of her problems with other teachers, which I reassurred here were troubles not worth troubling over. Then I brought up to her where Daniel had gone and found out that this "Spirit Mountain" was a gambling house, and that this "slots" was a game where one gambles against a machine! These kinds of areas always bred filth in my time, the French had for years considered banning such houses, I'm sure they would've in another 10 years or so. In a world which furnishes so many employments which are useful, so many which are amusing, it is our own fault if we ever know what ennui is, or if we are ever driven to the miserable resources of gaming, which corrupts our dispositions, and teaches us a habit of hostility against all mankind. Needless to say, I was very disappointed to find this out, and Daniel's actions concern me. He does lodge me here and he does say that my fair share of the rent is much higher than what I have given him today, I suppose he may be right, but $32 is not much money to subsist on for two week's time, at the least not in this age with it's prices & I find it especially disheartening that he might take that kind of time to gamble instead of making occassion for the fellow he lives with.
- TH. Jefferson