Howie got sick, and took a day. This absence was deducted from his pay.
How? There were laws allowing sick days, but Stan felt he could do this. Stan could deduct a day’s pay from his meager salary because he could get away with it.
Howie should be receiving three times his pay, but had accepted the pittance as a semi-charity and a chance for him to get back on his feet. He had not realised working for Stan was selling himself into slavery.
Working for Stan was torture… he hated Stan with this overwhelming emotion, and despised himself for taking it; for not standing up to Stan.
Suddenly a strange mix of emotions came over him.
Stress fell away as dandruff.
Suddenly numbers, ideas, a lightness surrounded Howie. He grabbed a pencil and began to do his math.
As if a day labourer he worked out his ‘day’s pay’. He deducted petrol and lunch from that figure.
He decided that his pay covered 3 hours of work a day. He would do no more than 3 hours of work for every eight hour day.
Howie would no longer do his best as quickly as possible, Howie would do his worst, as slowly as possible. As Stan liked to nit pick, he’d give him nits. Lots.
Howie would begin a project, and if Stan asked to see it, would show it to him. If he didn’t ask, Howie would not say a word or do anything else.
Howie began to work out his day; how many minutes after he entered he would set up, how many minutes before lunch he would shut down.
Three hours work a day. No more.