Norman Frets Over Thirty-Six Dollars

It had been over a month. Norman checked his mailbox every day, and yet each day there was no check. The first two weeks he decided the holidays were responsible for the delay. Once Christmas and New Years passed he was certain it would come with the first pay cycle. After the second pay cycle passed with no check, he was frustrated.

In early December he had been chosen among several others in his department to attend a two-day work conference. The arrangement included reimbursement for hotel costs. Employees were allowed to book their own room with an allowance of fifty dollars per person. Fifty dollars seemed extravagant to Norman. He saw an opportunity to prove he was responsible, and chose the least expensive hotel he could find, even though it was an hour’s train ride from the conference center.
On the car pool ride to the event, Norman sat next to Lisa for two and a half hours. He enjoyed being close to her but wished he’d brought a book to cover his inability to think of anything to say.
After the conference, he dutifully submitted a reimbursement form with his receipt . The form stated he should expect a check in the mail within ten business days, but he’d waited for weeks. He debated sending an email to the Accounts Payable department. It was a busy time of year and he hated to bother them. It may not be their fault at all, but not having the money meant he didn’t get to keep his bi-weekly tradition of taking himself out to dinner and he felt he had earned it after a challenging season at work.
Norman stared into his empty mailbox for several minutes. He closed it with a sigh. Maybe he’d give it one more week. He didn’t want to be a complainer.

Norman is a creative commons character in a communal universe where everyone can contribute to his story. Norman is a mild-mannered, middle-aged divorced bachelor. He lives alone with his cat Norman. Norman-the-man has an unexciting desk-job and fancies Lisa, his coworker. All the other details of Norman’s life are created in snippets by writers on Reddit.

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