Gregor was still here and wasn’t thinking at all about abandoning his family. At the moment he was lying right there on the carpet, and no one who knew about his condition would’ve seriously demanded that he let the manager in. But Gregor wouldn’t be casually dismissed right way because of this small discourtesy, for which he would find an easy and suitable excuse later on. It seemed to Gregor that it might be far more reasonable to leave him in peace at the moment, instead of disturbing him with crying and conversation. But it was the very uncertainty which distressed the others and excused their behaviour.
‘Mr. Samsa,’ the manager was now shouting, his voice raised, ‘what’s the matter? You are barricading yourself in your room, answer with only a yes and a no, are making serious and unnecessary troubles for your parents, and neglecting (I mention this only incidentally) your commercial duties in a truly unheard of manner. I am speaking here in the name of your parents and your employer, and I am requesting you in all seriousness for an immediate and clear explanation. I am amazed. I am amazed. I thought I knew you as a calm, reasonable person, and now you appear suddenly to want to start parading around in weird moods. The Chief indicated to me earlier this very day a possible explanation for your neglect—it concerned the collection of cash entrusted to you a short while ago—but in truth I almost gave him my word of honour that this explanation could not be correct. However, now I see here your unimaginable pig headedness, and I am totally losing any desire to speak up for you in the slightest. And your position is not at all the most secure. Originally I intended to mention all this to you privately, but since you are letting me waste my time here uselessly, I don’t know why the matter shouldn’t come to the attention of your parents. Your productivity has also been very unsatisfactory recently. Of course, it’s not the time of year to conduct exceptional business, we recognize that, but a time of year for conducting no business, there is no such thing at all, Mr. Samsa, and such a thing must never be.’
‘But Mr. Manager,’ called Gregor, beside himself and in his agitation forgetting everything else, ‘I’m opening the door immediately, this very moment. A slight indisposition, a dizzy spell, has prevented me from getting up. I’m still lying in bed right now. But now I’m quite refreshed once again. I’m in the midst of getting out of bed. Just have patience for a short moment! Things are not going so well as I thought. But things are all right. How suddenly this can overcome someone! Just yesterday evening everything was fine with me. My parents certainly know that. Actually just yesterday evening I had a small premonition. People must have seen that in me. Why have I not reported that to the office! But people always think that they’ll get over sickness without having to stay at home. Mr.