The man walked into his office and greeted his secretary, “Good morning Sally,”
“Good morning sir. Coffee?”
“Yes, thank you very much.”
She went out and returned with a cup of coffee and his daily schedule. She also handed him a rare memo from the boss which the man opened immediately. It contained an invitation to meet in the local eatery at noon for lunch.
WOW, he thought. I’m finally getting the promotion!
The man glided through his morning’s work until 11:45. He then left the building and walked the few blocks down 5th avenue until he reached the restaurant. He entered the posh atmosphere and allowed his eyes to adjust in the dimly lit room. His boss, already seated, raised his hand from the corner table and motioned him over.
During the long, amiable lunch, the man’s mind raced in anticipation. After cocktails the boss finally got down to it and said to the man in a very direct manner, ”I have some business I’d like to discuss with you”. The man waited patiently for the boss to speak.
“I hate to be the bearer of such news, but we have decided to move the entire company to Mexico where the business environment is more conducive to our profit margin. We are going to close down your department and . . . I’m saddened to say, you are being let go. There will be a handsome severance check waiting for you at the office in the morning, along with your last pay.”
The man, diving into an instant state of shock, sat there wearing a blank stare. He was speechless.
The boss quieted himself for a moment, then said, “Why don’t you just take the rest of the day off to digest all this? I’m truly sorry, but because of the political circumstances in this country, it was the only thing we could do. Your job will be filled by our Mexican counterpart and there is no place left for you in the company. I want to thank you for your twenty three years of good service and I want to assure you, we will do all we can to get you lined up with a new company if you should choose. Just call me if you need my help.”
The boss rose, shook the man’s hand, gave his condolences one more time, and disappeared out the door leaving the man sitting there staring out the window.
A year and a half later, the man had used up all his options. He’d finally, after much effort to do so, decided there was no job for a guy his age to be had. He’d spent most of his savings. He’d lost his home to foreclosure. His BMW was repossessed . . . and his wife had dumped him for a college professor.
With his life now in shambles, the man left his small apartment, packed up his old pickup with a sleeping bag and some books and drove into the city to join Occupy Wall Street.
Once there, he began to mingle amongst the thousands crying for change in a system that had gone mad with greed, and, for the first time in a long time, felt a spark of hope as he stood on the sidewalk in Times Square carrying a sign that read: . . . WE ARE THE ONES WHO ARE TOO LARGE TO FAIL!
At that moment, a well dressed, middle aged woman walked up to him, looked straight into his eyes and shouted, “You PEOPLE are disGUSTing! We flew all the way from Birmingham just to see this show and you PEOPLE are blocking the sidewalk.” She stopped, took a deep breath, and continued, “We’re going to be LATE for the openING! Why don’t you just quit all this nonsense and GET A JOB?!” A cop standing near by cleared a path for the lady and her friend. She gave the man one long, last, dirty look before scooting off to her show.
The man never replied to the lady. What could he say? He hung around for a while, but soon quietly walked back to the park and spent the remainder of the night on the ground in his sleeping bag.
At first light he packed his stuff, left the park, and made his way back to his vehicle. He drove out of town. When his gas gauge closed in on empty, he pulled off the free way, reached into the glove box, grabbed his pistol and without another thought, quickly blew his problems out the back of his head.
The lady who had berated him to get a job, of course knew none of this. Actually, after the incident she felt pretty damn proud of herself. “I sure gave that lazy asshole a piece of my mind.” she said to her lady friend.
“You sure did honey. He won’t forget that any time soon!” She chuckled.
The lady and her friend made it to the theater on time for opening curtain, watched the show, had cocktails after, and spent the night in an expensive hotel room. The following morning they jetted back to Birmingham and took a cab to their large homes in a gated community outside of town.
The lady’s husband was in the kitchen when she walked in the door. “ Hi honey”, she said. “What are you doing home? Why aren’t you at the office? You sick? You sure look it.”
“I’m so glad you’re finally home,” he said as he walked over to her. “I’ve got some bad news . . . I had lunch with the boss yesterday and . . . .