The Diary of a Nobody
Charles Pooter

April 11.—Mustard-and-cress and radishes not come up yet.  To-day was a day of annoyances.  I missed the quarter-to-nine ’bus to the City, through having words with the grocer’s boy, who for the second time had the impertinence to bring his basket to the hall-door, and had left the marks of his dirty boots on the fresh-cleaned door-steps.  He said he had knocked at the side door with his knuckles for a quarter of an hour.  I knew Sarah, our servant, could not hear this, as she was upstairs doing the bedrooms, so asked the boy why he did not ring the bell?  He replied that he did pull the bell, but the handle came off in his hand.

I was half-an-hour late at the office, a thing that has never happened to me before.  There has recently been much irregularity in the attendance of the clerks, and Mr. Perkupp, our principal, unfortunately choose this very morning to pounce down upon us early.  Someone had given the tip to the others.  The result was that I was the only one late of the lot.  Buckling, one of the senior clerks, was a brick, and I was saved by his intervention.  As I passed by Pitt’s desk, I heard him remark to his neighbour: “How disgracefully late some of the head clerks arrive!”  This was, of course, meant for me.  I treated the observation with silence, simply giving him a look, which unfortunately had the effect of making both of the clerks laugh.  Thought afterwards it would have been more dignified if I had pretended not to have heard him at all.  Cummings called in the evening, and we played dominoes.

The Diary of a Nobody is the fictitious diary of Charles Pooter, written by George Grossmith and originally serialised in Punch magazine in 1888 and 1889.
The text of this version is taken from the Gutenberg etext, and the weblog format was engineered by Kevan Davis (initially a straight weblog in 2004, then rewritten as an auto RSS generator in April 2007).