The New Manager’s First Day

43FE191A-36BB-40D3-9E0F-29F27FAF4A45Millie put down the piece of chalk, stood back, and admired the elegant script she used to list the special salads on the blackboard for the hotel’s organic café. “Uh oh,” she said to herself when she realized she had failed to include “Under New Management” on the blackboard. That is not something she wanted to omit, given that this was her first day on the job as the café’s manager.

The previous manager had been fired when it was discovered that, in order to save money, he had used non-organic foods in the café. For example, he would fill bottles labeled as organic cooking oil with cheaper, non-organic oil. He was a cheater and Millie was bound and determined to make a good impression on her first day.

A woman stepped into the café and sat down at a table. Millie went to greet her, pointed to the blackboard, and asked her what she would like. “I’ll have the chef salad with oil and vinegar on the side,” the woman said. “And a cup of tea,” she added.

“Coming right up,” Millie said with a smile.

A few minutes later, Millie delivered the tea and the salad with dressing on the side. “Is there anything else I can bring you?”

“Thanks,” the woman said. “I’m all set.”

As Millie headed back toward the kitchen she heard the woman scream. Millie turned around to see her gagging. “Are you trying to poison me?” the woman said. She then stood up and literally ran out of the café.

Confused, Millie went back into the kitchen to check the ingredients used in the chef salad. Everything looked fine. And then she discovered the note from the fired manager. It read, “Ran out of organic salad oil, but fortunately was able to find a can of motor oil in the garage. Good luck on your first day, bitch.”


Written for Paula Light’s Three Things Challenge, where the three things are “black,” “hotel,” and “cheater.” Also for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (chalk), Your Daily Word Prompt (omit), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (oil), and Word of the Day Challenge (tea).

A Simple Question

6A42CD9F-1A4F-43F8-AE8E-A37E493B0BE8“It’s a ‘yes or no’ question, Mr. Avery,” the lawyer said.

Beads of perspiration were forming on Tom Avery’s forehead. He looked helplessly at the judge, who was sitting at the large desk on his right.

Having run out of patience, the attorney also looked up at the judge and said, “A little help, your honor.”

“Answer the question, Mr. Avery,” the judge said sternly.

Tom sighed. “It’s not a simple question.”

“Yes, Mr. Avery,” the attorney chided, “It is that simple. Yes or no?”

Tom cleared his throat, looked up at the judge, then over at the jury, and finally at the lawyer. “It’s not just black or white. There are gray areas. It’s complicated.”

The lawyer threw both of his arms up in the air out of frustration. He didn’t want the members of the jury to think he was badgering the witness, but he needed an answer. “Your honor,” he said, pleading with the judge.

“Answer the question, Mr. Avery,” the judge warned, “or I will hold you in contempt.”

Tom was now sweating profusely. He weighed his options carefully. Finally, he looked past the attorney at the plaintiff sitting at the table behind the lawyer.

“Okay, fine,” Tom said. Focusing his eyes directly on the plaintiff, he said, “Yes. My answer is yes.” A murmur ran through the courtroom. “Yes, Amanda, those jeans do make you look fat.”


Written for today’s one-word prompt, “black.”