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February 4, 2018

Dear Valued Employee,

We would like to thank you for the great work you’ve done for us over the years. Our company would not have been able to attain this level of success without you. Today, we have a big announcement to make. Thanks to the latest advancement in United Robotics’ newest model, we are finally able to eliminate your job. You are now free to go home and live your life the way you really want to. Your severance package will be immediately added to your bank account and you’ll start to receive your weekly life stipend from next week.

Week 1

Peter was overjoyed to read those words. No more working 8 hours every day then coming home too tired to do anything else. Now he had all of his time to himself, and he could do whatever he wanted.

During the first week off, he wanted to go out and celebrate his newfound freedom with his friends. He deserved a break after all these years of work. He and his friends went out to the club and he drank to his heart’s content. Not having to worry about money anymore and having all the time in the world was a dream come true.

He spent the whole weekend recovering from his nights out, and lay in bed contemplating what he would do now.

What did he want?

Week 3

He hadn’t figured out what to do yet so he was mostly spending time having fun and hanging out with his friends. He got multiple recommendations that he should “pursue a hobby” or “find his passion”, but no one had a good explanation of how to go about doing that.

He did painting for a few days and was terrible at it. He tried various arts like drawing, comics, graphics, but none of them seemed to be his passion. The more active hobbies were fun. He got to try ice skating which was exciting but a bit too difficult for his liking.

He had fun, but there was still something missing in all these activities.

Week 10

Now he was in Chile. A few days ago he was in Argentina. His South American trip was going good enough. Maybe this was it. He could use his weekly stipend to explore the world and experience different cultures. The quest for his passion didn’t really work out, so someone had recommended that he “clear his mind” by taking a vacation. And it seemed to be working out so far.

Week 18

Now he was in Cuba. He’d just travelled around the Caribbean and was at the end of his journey through the islands. He wasn’t as excited as he was a few countries ago. Things had started to get a bit repetitive. He never imagined it was possible, but travel was starting to get boring.

Although each place did have something special about it, he was finding it harder and harder to care. Maybe it wasn’t the travel, but more his loneliness. None of his friends were with him. He either couldn’t contact them at all, or they were too busy to come. Either way, this whole travel thing didn’t feel like it was working out anymore. It was time to head back home.

Week 25

He was lying on his bed. He’d been doing that for a while now. He’d gone through every hobby he could possibly think of and travelled many countries and now he was back home. His friends were calling him to go out but he wouldn’t respond. He couldn’t take it anymore. All of those hobbies that he tried…what was even the point? So what if he could hit a golf ball or shoot an arrow? All the things he tried were just different ways to kill time. And if he was just going to kill time, he might as well do it from the lazy comforts of his bed.

Week 27

He was lying in bed and watching TV (which seemed to be his primary hobby these days) when he saw an advertisement that some company was looking for temporary employees. It was a rare find.

Most companies were going the other way around, replacing their humans with robots to increase profits. This job hadn’t been taken over by robots yet, although that was probably because it was as dangerous for a robot as it was for a human.

He didn’t really care about the danger, he was just tired of lying in bed all day. This all started because he left his job, so maybe if he got another one it would be okay again.

I write fiction and poetry.

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