Point of View, Part I

Posted: January 31, 2011 by writingsprint in postaday2011, postaweek2011, Writing
Tags: , , , , ,

Today’s exercise is two very different characters having an argument: one is an old hippie, the other is a young Republican, arguing about whose job is fulfilling. Tomorrow’s exercise is to have the same characters argue opposite points.

Alex shook his head. “It’s easy for you put up with high taxes and big government. You don’t have a real job to begin with. Your taxes are 10% lower than mine, and I’m less than half your age.” He rolled up his sleeves and got ready to duke it out with her.

Mrs. Wainwright didn’t seem impressed. “So what if I have my own business? That’s my choice. At least I’m making money using work from my own two hands.” She had the chapped hands and some dirt in her cuticles to prove it.

“Your own hands. You grow pot and do odd jobs for your neighbors.”

“This is California. Medical marijuana is legal, and so what if I like being a handyperson? I call it being self-sufficient.”

It was Alex’s turn not to be impressed. Alex, and his degree from the Yale school of management. “A trained monkey could do what you do.”

“Jealous?” she said with a smile.

Alex’s temperature rose. “I manage the retirement funds for over fifty people.”

“And you get a nice cut from their funds for their trouble, whether those funds make money or not.”

“Come on, Mrs. W. That isn’t the point. If those funds fail, I lose my job. And all those people lose their life savings.”

Mrs. Wainwright nodded slowly. “Wow, your job. That’s a shame.” In the same even, slow delivery, she said, “And you’ll find another one. Those people will be completely ruined.”

“What’s that supposed to mean? Do you think I don’t care?”

“You seem like a good kid, Alex, but let me ask, what would you do to help them?”

“What… me, personally?” That was fifty people. If he lost his job, he wouldn’t be able to help anybody… “Look, I would feel horrible about what happened.”

“I call people like that ‘neighbors,’” she said. “Those odd jobs I do? They’re because they can’t afford a real plumber, or a real carpenter.”

“But you do it because it’s your job, not because you like it.”

“Who says?” Now he knew she was lying. “Didn’t you ever shovel someone’s front walk when you were a kid because you knew it would help them out?”

“Sure I did, but I hate shoveling snow,” he admitted. “I pay two kids $20 every snowstorm to shovel my mom’s front walk.”

Mrs. Wainwright smiled. “I knew there was a soft heart in there somewhere.”


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