Under – Jim Celer – 4200 words (General)
A public assistance caseworker tries, but cannot quite be, insensitive to how his job affects the people he's supposed to help. His is a conflict between duty and consequences, between theory and result. His refuge is the bathroom.
I sat in the can reading “Edward Mills and George Benton: A Tale”, a short story by Mark Twain, well after I had finished what you do there. What I was actually doing now was thinking, or not thinking exactly but being conscious that my mind was wandering. That’s what I was doing – that, and hiding from work, from the phone calls and frustration, and from the certain knowledge that Amber Romander was going to disappear.
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services – that’s what surrounds the bathroom. The job is, nominally, to provide human services.
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