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“Dirty Dishes” Done – A Short Story Collection

October 31, 2013

Short stories on work life in Danish workers manual

Dirty DishesFor 25 years I’ve been writing stories about work life. Many of the story ideas were triggered by my own work experiences and some were based on stories I had heard from other workers. However, all are fiction and any resemblance to persons alive or dead, as they say, is purely coincidental.

Late last year (2012), out of the blue I received an email message from Cecilia Leboeuf-Hansen, a woman in Denmark who had read some of the stories. They were posted to my site as part of a series under the title “Dirty Dishes & Other Stories,” a work-in-progress.

She liked them and wanted to publish some of them in a book she was writing. I was ecstatic. She was an instructor at a Danish college for workers. She was preparing a teacher’s manual and my stories were to be used in the Teaching English as a Second Language section.

At first, I was also a little cautious. My stories are not high-brow literature. They are simple tales with a basic plot line intended to entertain and sometimes offer a lesson. Some readers might even find them too simple and too ‘plotty’.

The stories are not meant to be preachy or ideological but they do invariably take the side of the workers. As a long-time fan of short stories, I wanted to create situations that any worker might relate to while also ensuring that the stories would be fun and easy to read.

Cecilia was keen to use my stories in her manual and she agreed that they would not be altered without my approval. She would add only a glossary of unfamiliar terms and an exercise page to assist students in analyzing the stories for the purpose of learning North American English.

She reassured me that she wanted to publish the stories in her manual because she genuinely liked them. I believed her and several months later the book In the Loop appeared in my mailbox. Actually, there were two books. One was subtitled “English for Mechanics” and the other was “English for Construction.”

Of course I was thrilled to see my stories in print. It was especially gratifying to know that they were to be used in instructing workers. Cecilia had also enlisted the help of a relative to provide several colourful illustrations to go with the stories.

The book was published by Erhvervsskolernes Forlag of Odense, Denmark. Roughly translatedCover - In the Loop that means Business Schools Publishing. See them at http://ef.dk/Forside-EF.aspx. Other than my stories, the manual is in Danish.

Thanks to Cecilia for contacting me, for being so encouraging, and for getting my stories about work life into the hands of workers. Here’s hoping they enjoy them as much as she did and that they add some fun to their own work lives.



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