Work in the office on Saturdays and do your background reading on Sundays – hundreds do it. He glanced at his watch. It was only eleven o’clock. Suddenly he longed for the day to be over – he was ashamed to find that for no particular reason he felt exhausted, and he wanted to go home and relax. An hour and a half until lunch, and then another five and a half hours before he could reasonably catch the train to South Bay. The big sweep hand on his wrist watch seemed to crawl with maddening slowness. Hopkins rarely left his office before seven o’clock, and Tom had sensed he was annoyed to find that Tom usually left earlier. It was embarrassing to have to compete with Hopkins’ hours – it was like taking a Sunday afternoon walk with a long-distance runner. The stereotyped notion of the earnest young man arriving early and leaving late, and the complacent boss dropping in for a few hours in the middle of the day to see how things were going was completely reversed.
Tom rolled a piece of paper into his typewriter and began to write a brief statement describing the origins of the mental health committee. After finishing it, he glanced at his watch again. Almost an hour before lunchtime – it was ridiculous to be so restless. I’ll bet Hopkins never was a clock watcher, he thought.
‘Don’t wish time away.’
The sentence came abruptly to his mind. Who had said that? It’s just an old saying, he thought. ‘Don’t wish time away.’