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The Short Form

“Sometimes You Break Their Hearts, Sometimes They Break Yours”

Marie-Helene Bertino


I work as a receptionist for Landry Business Solutions. I have no idea what we do. When people ask I say, When businesses have problems, we have solutions. If they press me, I say it involves outsourcing. A monkey could do my job better and with more hilarious results. I answer the phone, keep the candy jar filled, and monitor the bathroom key. Ten minutes out of my twenty-minute training were candy jar-related. The other ten consisted of bathroom key shakedown tactics. People are always losing the bathroom key, and the receptionist before me must have gotten frustrated because she hot-glued it to a twelve-inch ruler. I have no friends at Landry Business Solutions. I assume they are too busy outsourcing and thinking of solutions. They don't bother me and, unless they receive a FedEx package, I don't bother them.

We read it in Safe As Houses.

Originally published in Indiana Review: Volume 31, Number 2.