Jack's gotta seal the deal, or... (Daily Flash Fiction Challenge entry for 11/20/08)
|Calling his bluff
Jack adjusted the dash vents, then leaned back to enjoy the drive. This is the life! he thought, watching the city's skyline become an indistinct smudge in his rearview mirror. Patterson Cyberoptics' contract is up for renewal, and old man Jefferson is out sick. So, what does Leemon do? Jefferson's deputy picks me - me! - to take Jefferson’s place, signs me out a company car, cell phone, and credit card, and tells me I have two days to get it done. Two days away from the grind - heaven!
Just then, his cell phone rang.
"Bellwether Marketing, Jack Seagate speaking."
"Seagate? Why are you answering a company cell?" demanded the caller.
Cripes! Jack thought - it's Peter Lambert, the branch manager. Why...? Of course - Leemon hasn't clued him in about the change of plans. He proceeded to explain why it wasn’t Tim Jefferson on the phone and en route to Phoenix.
“Well, you’ll have to do,” said Lambert, “so pay attention."
Some vote of confidence, Jack thought.
"Patterson’s starting to waffle,” Lambert continued. “Some local PR firm’s been all over him, so it’s vital…”
Lambert’s voice stopped in mid-sentence and Jack looked at the display in time to see ‘Signal lost’, just before the company logo reappeared. He checked the signal strength, hit speed dial 1, and was rewarded with ‘Cannot complete call’ on the display. I’m not even out of town yet! he fumed. Well, I'll show Lambert, he thought, settling in for the drive.
Back at the office, Lambert switched off a small device.
“Amazing!” he exclaimed. “It completely disrupted the phone’s signal. This will really cut down on personal calls at work.”
“Aren’t you going to tell Seagate?” the technician asked.
“No,” Lambert replied. “He ought to be worried - motivated - now, and his performance review can use the boost.”