by Some Kid
Hadn't these people ever heard of e-mail?
|'This shows I'm really responsible,' Drew leapt out of his Nova fastening his tie. His long fingers were too nervous to function so he had to take it off and try the knot again as he mumbled, "I can't even show up on time for my first day." He licked his palm and rubbed his scalp furiously trying to tame his unruly hair.
Drew took his time approaching the reception desk when he finally made it inside. It was his attempt at walking off the embarrassment he felt for smacking into the glass doors. "Hello," Drew squinted at the young lady behind the counter's ID badge, "Kimberly." One of the first things he had learned in business school was to make a point of learning everyone's names. "I'm new here and ---"
"Room 208," Kimberly smacked her gum.
Startled by the answer to a question he had yet to ask, Drew said, "Okay, thank you, Kimberly," and walked down a hallway he hoped would lead him to room 208.
After the confusion of learning that the 200 offices were actually located on the 4th floor, Drew's wary body finally arrived in front of 208. He turned the knob and was surprised to find a middle-aged man, 20 years his senior, talking on a phone behind the desk. "Don't you knock?" the man's mouth barked beneath a massive mustache.
"I'm sorry," Drew apologized backing out of the room, "This is my first day and I was told ---"
The man put down his phone, "You've got the right place." Drew gazed at him, befuddled. The older man pulled out a sheet of paper. He mumbled as he wrote, "We'll have you settled in a jiff, but first I need to ask a favor of you." The man looked up at him, "This is a very important. I need this envelope delivered to Mr. Chard in 410 ASAP. And absolutely no peeking! I would do it myself, but I have a major meeting to prepare for. We're getting new management here, you know." He shoved the envelope into Drew's hands. Drew looked down at it even more bewildered than before. He decided, however, if he wanted to make a good impression he must appear amiable.
"Should I just come back here when I'm done?" Drew asked in the doorway, but the man was too busy typing at his computer to answer.
Drew went up and down a couple of flights of stairs and braved a few wrong turns; one was into the daycare center, after which he vowed never to enter again. Once in front of Chard's ajar door he tapped on it gently and poked his head in. "Mr. Chard? I have an envelope for you."
The mousy man snatched it from him, "Who's it from?"
Drew tried to recall, but had no reply. He fumbled with the words, "I didn't catch his name."
"That's the problem with kids these days, they don't bother with details," the man complained adjusting his thick spectacles. His magnified eyes quickly skimmed the memo and then he put it back in the envelope. The man's stubby, ink-covered fingers crossed off his name and jotted another one underneath. "I need you to take this to Tobbs in H.R." he demanded, "No peeking!"
Drew remembered walking past a room full of stone colored cubicles marked Human Resources a few floors down. When he arrived there, Drew called out for a Mr. Tobbs only to find the most unattractive woman he had ever seen pulling food out of a brown paper bag. "I'm sorry, Mrs. Tobbs."
"It's Miss," she growled, shoving potato chips into her tiny mouth, which was oddly un-proportionate to the rest of her body.
Wondering how he could have ever made that marital-status mistake, Drew stated, "Mr. Chard wanted me to give this to you." She ripped it out his hands and read the contents. Without another word she put the paper back inside and scribbled another name and number on the envelope. Drew wandered down the hall in search of 515, the envelope now sticky.
Drew wound up in ten more offices, each sending him off in another direction, before he had it. What could be so important that he had to hand-deliver it to so many people? Hadn't these people ever heard of e-mail?
A floor above in the main conference room, upper management was settling into their chairs. The mustachioed man hovered behind the swivel at the head of the table, where he was so accustomed to sit. He stepped to the right to settle in the chair beside it as Drew trampled in.
Management's heads followed the young, exhausted-looking man, who happened to have entered each of their offices at some point earlier that day, as he made his way to the head of the table. Drew threw all his things down and patted down his hair, trying to look somewhat presentable. He opened his mouth to speak, but Miss Tobbs interrupted him, "What's the new kid doing here?"
"We can't have conference crashers," the beastly Slovakian woman from accounting remarked.
The table murmured their agreement until the mustachioed man calmly said, "Let the kid say what he has to say."
Drew cleared his throat and opened the envelope that contained words that everyone there had already read.
"Hey, just giving the new kid some exercise.
Pass it on, because you know we're not going to have any fun once the guy
from corporate shows."
"We told you not to read that!" Mousy Mr. Chard shouted, jumping out of his chair.
Ignoring this, Drew went on, "I'd like to take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Andrew Convos and corporate has sent me here to whip this branch back into shape. They seem to believe there is too much play and not enough work going on here." The room was silent and Drew smiled, "Don't worry, I'm not mad. I like to think I have a sense of humor. Besides, it was just an innovative tour of the building, right?" Drew chuckled as he sat down and the table nervously joined him. "Now, the first thing I want to discuss today is pay cuts."