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After All These Years

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“Got to pay your dues if you wanna sing the blues…”

Jimmy McGill felt as if he’d barely had time to unpack his stuff and break in his bed before Chuck told him he’d be reporting for work.

“At my firm, of course,” had been the terse reply that Chuck had given him when Jimmy had asked where. He figured it’d be better than to ask any more about what he was doing, and quickly conjured up some less-than-favorable scenarios. Maybe he was going to stand in for the opposing side, in stocks, and let the lawyers throw tomatoes at him in order to boost morale. That seemed like the kind of thing Chuck could get behind.

Here he was, however, and he didn’t see any stocks in sight.

All he saw was a mailroom. Mailrooms were not a concept he was unfamiliar with, of course – he had snuck into a few in undergrad and some great stories involving double entendres about “packages” were born – but he had never pictured himself working in one. So that was the plan. Chuck was going to bore him to death to make him atone for his misdeeds. That was just like Chuck, after all – it’s not like he had any insight up in his throne of perfection with his prim and proper wife and fancy lawyer job; everyone else had to always be wrong, because Chuck was always right.

“Here is where you will be working, Jimmy,” Chuck explained. His eyes were already exuding an aura of exhaustion, and Jimmy hadn’t even done anything. “This is your last chance. You mess it up, and you’re done.”

Jimmy wanted to mutter under his breath, but he really did owe Chuck. There was nothing that he hated more than the fact that he owed Chuck.

“Sure, okay. I’ll get right to work. Hi ho, hi ho.” He saluted for good measure. Chuck responded with a disgusted look and walked back off to… well, wherever lawyers did their fancy lawyering, Jimmy figured. He’d have to get inside there one of these days and see how the other half lived.

Jimmy stepped inside. Well, this was going to be exciting – just what he dreamed of, a life in the postal service. No wonder people called it “going postal”. He looked around to see stacks of brown inter-office envelopes, huge plastic bins stacked with mail, and not much else, other than the people already at work sorting them.

“New?”

The word seemed to fly right into his ear. Jimmy jumped and pivoted at once, in a supremely clumsy attempt to see what, or who, had spoken the question.

He had come face to face with a beautiful blonde. Maybe his luck was changing; she had actually spoken to him, which was a nice change.

He opened his mouth.

“Ah, yeah, new, so new.”

She blinked at him, then extended her hand.

“I’m Kim Wexler.”

“Jimmy McGill.”

“Oh.” Kim, as the blonde was apparently named, put her hands on her hips and smiled. “As in… Chuck McGill? Distant relative.”

“Extremely distant. I’m his younger brother,” Jimmy grumbled.

Kim cocked her head to the side; she had a ponytail and Jimmy watched as it bounced a little.

“I don’t see it.”

“Yeah, neither do I,” Jimmy said. “To hear my mom tell it, he’s John, Paul, and George, and I’m Ringo.”

Kim looked at him, her eyes flashing as she smiled.

“Well, hey now. Ringo was pretty talented in his own right. It Don’t Come Easy was a great song.”

Jimmy blinked.

“You know, it really was,” he agreed.

There was a long pause, as he stared at her in a way that he was sure was uncomfortably long, to the point in which she was going to trip him and then hit him over the head with the mail scale.

Thankfully, it didn’t go that way.

“Anyway, mail room. Welcome…” She gestured around her. “This is where office correspondence goes – usually to die, because I don’t know who actually reads this stuff.”

“Where’s the boss?”

“Making the rounds. Better look busy.” She reached out and handed him a stack of mail. “You are basically going to want to take these from this place, and put them somewhere else.”

“Where else?” Jimmy asked.

“One of these bins is usually a good bet. Then some other lucky person gets to wheel it around, figure out where these go, and get pissed off because one of us put something in the wrong bin.”

“Well, I hate to ask it – but what’s the right bin?”

“No one knows.” Kim spread her arms apart. “This is basically The Trial by Kafka. If you find the right bin – let me know.”

“I’ll keep you posted.” Jimmy set the mail down beside him for a moment. “So what brings you here, anyway? I mean…”

“What’s a nice girl like me doing in a mailroom like this?” Kim quipped.

“That’s basically it.”

She shrugged.

“Needed a job. Plus… I mean… I don’t know, it’s stupid.”

“I don’t really see any better conversation coming along.”

“Well, I’m actually in law school right now, so I figured I’d try and get into a law firm, anyway I could. Turns out,” she paused to toss a piece of mail in a bin, “That way was here. Maybe it’ll rub off on me.”

Jimmy crinkled his nose.

“Not a fan of that phrase.”

Kim threw a piece of mail at him.

“Pervert.”

Jimmy retrieved his stack of mail, gazed around, and walked over to deposit them in a random bin before guiltily speeding back over. Kim was shaking, obviously trying not to laugh out loud.

“I think I’m going to like working here with you, Jimmy McGill.” She offered her hand and shook his. “Or, you know, Ringo Starr.”