Jimmy, Billy, Johnny?

“Seriously?” Bill asked his co worker Jim.

“Yes seriously, I’m tired of this crap, jobs are valuable but I can only take so much.” Bill walked down the aisles of the supermarket straightening the shelves.

“I understand where your coming from Jim, but you can’t just quit and let him cause you your job like that.” Bill said referring to John, the owner and manager of the Wixie Dixie Supermarket who had just accused them both of stealing snacks from the supermarket.

Bill for the most part ignored John, the tall mid 50’s 20 year supermarket owner. And being accused of stealing 50 cent snacks seemed not a big deal but he knew that John was a bitter snake who didn’t care about anyone but himself and it was his pleasure to make his store night crew look like crap in front of customers.

Jim continued straightening the aisles while Bill pushed the broom behind him. “Bill I know you ignore him, but he just gets to me, he is just so fake around people and he blames us for all the crap that he does or doesn’t do.”

“You are right about that,” Bill walked the broom in circles like he did every now and then just to be different. “But he is a miserable man, I know he’s evil but if you try to avoid him you can make it here until your book gets picked up by a big publisher and you blow up fo show up dude.”

Jim smiled for a second. “My book might never get picked up, although all things are possible right? I do need this job to pay my bills, but avoiding John is like …,” he walked down another aisle and picked up a small folded piece of paper on the floor. He unfolded it, always curious to see what people had on their grocery list.

Bill followed him with the broom, now casually pushing circles around him. “Well think twice before you quit, or think five times, you might not be able to avoid him but you don’t have to…

“True, I’m trying not to, believe me.. hey listen to this,” he said scanning the piece of paper. “Their idols are silver and gold, The work of man’s hands. They have mouths, but they cannot speak; They have eyes, but they cannot see; They have ears, but they cannot hear; They have noses, but they cannot smell; They have hands, but they cannot feel; They have feet, but they cannot walk; They cannot make a sound with their throat. Those who make them will become like them, Everyone who trusts in them.”

Bill stopped pushing the broom and looked at Jim. “I’ve read that before, it’s in the Bible.. interesting that it was on the floor.”

Jim stared back with a questioning look, “Are you sure it wasn’t you who placed it on the floor?”

Jim and Bill had talked about his Christian beliefs more than once before, there were a lot of people Jim didn’t care for, but on an individual level he respected Bill’s beliefs, Bill was always honest with him and Jim knew truly honest people were hard to find these days no matter what they believed and sincere was the word that came to mind when he thought of Bill.

Bill smiled, “Nope, it wasn’t me, you know if I have a verse to share I just tell you or put it up on the classified board in the front of the store.”

“Yeah I know, and it usually stays there until John sees it and takes it down.”

“Yep, but at least it’s up there for a little bit.” He was pushing the broom again.

Jim read over the words again.  “Very interesting words, was it God talking, do you think?”

“I think so, but I’m not sure, I’ll look it up and let you know.”

“Don’t you have your Bible with you?” Jim knew that Bill brought a small Bible with him to work.

Well no, not today, last night John saw me reading it and said I wasn’t here to read and if he sees me with it again he’ll fire me.”

Jim shook his head. “John is just like you say, so miserable, he knows you do your job and reading your Bible isn’t bothering anyone, he just doesn’t like you. I don’t know how you  put up with his evilness.”

Bill stopped pushing the broom and leaned on it thinking for a second before he spoke. “Jim you know John is unfair, a snake, to most of us on the night shift, but the truth is if I didn’t lean on Christ, my faith, I’d probably have some choice words for him and be gone. But I do try to pray for him, as hard as that is, and he isn’t worth me losing my job.”

Jim looked at Bill only half listening but he heard him. “Yeah I hear ya, maybe he’d be a lot worse if you didn’t pray for him.”

“Maybe, but in the end it’s his choice, and ours, the choices we make and the way we act and treat others in life.”

Jim nodded, “I agree with that.”

They both turned as they heard someone walking toward them, it was John. He had his common smirk, “Preaching again are we Bill?” John was a thin tall man. Even though he owned the business and didn’t have to be there nearly as much as he was he was there six nights a week unless he was away on a “vacation.” Which was usually about ten times a year. And he always seemed to be there when Bill was working.

“No I wasn’t preaching,” Bill said kindly as he stopped pushing the broom.

“Well it sounded like preaching to me.” John stopped facing them.

“Nah, I was just talking to Jimmy.”

“Well your not here to talk, your here to work.” the smirk left his face. “So less preaching and more work, I’m not paying you to chat.

Jimmy raised his right hand to his forehead and slowly saluted, “Yes sir Mr. John!”

John squinted his eyes as he stared at Jimmy. “Your a funny one huh?” He stepped closer. “A regular stand up comedian.”

Jimmy let his hand to his side slowly as he stared unblinking into Johns soul. He was surprised and a bit saddened at what he saw, John really was miserable. Why am I feeling sorry for him, he makes his choices.

John’s smirk returned, “Funny man, clean the restrooms at the end of your shift. And I know you will, because you need this job.” With that he walked away to the front of the store.

Billy looked at Jimmy smiling, “Your goofy dude, but ain’t nothing wrong with that.” He laughed.

Jimmy quietly grabbed a small box of cereal from the shelf and flung it about four aisles over to keep from screaming. “Owww,” they heard the box as it hit a customer. Then they both started laughing and moved along sweeping and straightening shelves before they really got in trouble.

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