The Trade

Image of worker's legs and work boots suspended off ground with office filing cabinet background- prompt for flash fiction
Photo by Rosan Harmens

On the odd occasion, Harry got called out to re-wire a house that was a sitting liability or had the chance to dabble in the circuitry at the local cement works; otherwise, most jobs were no more complex than doing a tag and test in offices and sending out invoices, leaving him bored and desperate for a challenge. Worse still, the waiting made it all the more tedious- waiting for the right person to show him in, waiting for sign-off for the pre-start safety checks, waiting for security passes to go from one part of a building to the next, the endless waiting for bureaucratic loops to be closed and hierarchies of boxes ticked. He started making use of the waiting time to refine skills he’d abandoned since leaving Hogwarts to train in the more employable electrical trade, until his use of idle time cost him his job when a client walked in at the inopportune moment his tool belt got stuck on the edge of the drawer, leaving him dangling just above the floor before tumbling with a drawer full of sensitive documents strewn around him, his claims of innocence and levitation falling on deaf ears.


Inspired by Sonya’s Three Line Tales, Week Twenty Two. Apologies if I have offended any HP fans- I am not familiar with the story, I have just absorbed enough from the world around me to know the main character’s name, that it is something to do with wizards, and the school he attended. Oh, I also read somewhere that JK Rowling wrote a book using time she had on her work commute- something I find encouraging and inspiring as I am doing the same.

Postscript: I did a check of that JK Rowling ‘fact’ and it seems I was wrong. Her biography on the Harry Potter Bloomsbury website says ‘J.K. Rowling first had the idea for Harry Potter while delayed on a train travelling from Manchester to London King’s Cross…’ Ha! I too have been delayed on trains plenty of times, and incidentally I have done the Manchester to London King’s Cross a few times.

Job Seeker’s Sonnet 2

An application for a senior role in the Sustainability Department of Acme Corporation,  world leader in widget design & manufacturing, a subsidiary of W.E Coyote & Sons.

Dear sir, madame or whom it may concern,

I write in search of gainful employment.

Reading your ad tells me what I can earn,

Perhaps stall foreclosure with a payment!

A vibrant culture and staff engagement

conjures up thoughts of a monthly meeting,

where rather than yawns of disagreement,

there’ll be laughter, hugs, fine wine and singing!

Recycling and sustainable living,

my focus shown right here, in this letter,

up-cycled words I am delivering,

savvy, resourceful lateral thinker.

Adjectives that best fit? I give you three:

qualified, skilled and expert, yeah- hire me!

Following an earlier cover letter I wrote (Job Seeker Sonnet 1), I was advised by Robert Okaji to revise the Shakespearean sonnet into a Spenserian sonnet, to improve my chances of securing a job. Fingers crossed! This post is a prime example of why I shouldn’t hit “publish” too soon- I have since revised for the umpteenth time! I’m happier with it now, particularly the fact that I no longer rhyme “me” with “me” – I also made other changes post- publishing for a better flow.

Job Seeker’s Sonnet 1


To whom it may concern

I am in search of employment

From what I can discern

It may help with my mortgage payment

Your vibrant workplace culture

Conjures up thoughts of a monthly brief

Where in place of monotonous torture

We’d be led in song by none other than the chief

A focus on sustainability

I can say we match there too

I’d like to sustain a livability

That affords the occasional Jimmy Choo

To close I’ll leave you with a blurb containing an adjective or three

A hard working, expert, team playing professional, you’d do well to hire me.

I had fun with this and learnt a little about poetry and rhyme schemes. The subject was inspired by This Post where poet Robert Okaji is interviewed and mentions his foray into editing and proof reading resumes and cover letters. No high heels were worn in writing this poem or ever, where the author can avoid it.