The Smiling Man


The man gave his name with a smile. This irritated the woman. If she had to suffer through working as a nameless bureaucrat, why should other people be happy?


She said it as a statement, but smiling man knew that it was a question. He smiled again, enjoying the fact that he was making her uncomfortable.  “Consultant,” he said cheerfully.

“I can’t use that. I need something more specific.”

“Well,” he grinned, “how about Crisis Management Consultant? Or perhaps Interpersonal Relationship Consultant?”

The irritated woman shook her head “no.”

“I have to select what you do from a list. And none of those items are on the list.” She looked rather more annoyed now.

“You tell me, then,” he said. “I solve problems. People hire me to solve their problems.”

“You’re an analyst, then,” she glared as she clicked the mouse. A pile of papers poured out of her wheezing printer. She grabbed them and thrust them at the irritating man.

“Here. Take these to the next window. Have a nice day.”

With a gracious smile, the man thanked her and took the papers.

“Next, please!”

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