This short story stems from two things:
1 - a little while ago I was paid to do some cleaning, and found myself in the position of having to vacuum a stranger's room while they were still in bed. Talk about humbling.
2 - the idea that it’s who you are when no one is looking that truly shows your character – especially your virtues (or lack thereof).
A delightful definition of diligence:
A zealous and careful nature in one's actions and work; decisive work ethic, steadfastness in belief, fortitude, and the capability of not giving up. Budgeting one's time; monitoring one's own activities to guard against laziness. Upholding one's convictions at all times, especially when no one else is watching (integrity). (Vice: sloth.)
“That’ll do,” said Penny, giving the figurine a final flick with her duster.
Esther, thankful the figurine survived Penny’s carelessness, continued polishing a crystal vase.
“What they don’t know won’t hurt them, Esther.”
Esther continued working, taking her time with each valuable item. For her employers, cost no longer meant worth. They barely glanced at the treasures surrounding them. That didn’t mean she should rush her job.
“They may not know, but I will.”
“Don’t give me that crap. Just leave it.”
Esther looked at Penny, “Is it really that wrong to work hard even when no one is looking?”
Who are you more like? Penny or Esther?
To peruse some other short fictions, simply click here!