“John, what are your thoughts?”
The question pulled John Hunter out of his reverie and into the real world of intellectual property, legalities, and the ancient relic of job security/modern day myth of job security.
He rubbed his brow furiously, trying to shake daydreams of the beautiful vistas, freedom, and happiness.
The stark silence on the phone unnerved him. Why hadn’t he been paying attention?
Quietly, he thumbed through the first 500-page proposal, trying to make sure others on the conference line wouldn’t know he was scrambling.
In frustration, he pitched the first proposal across his dull grey office.
John wasn’t sure what had happened to his career, but somewhere between year seven and year twelve, the long nights and pressure to cut corners for the sake of a profit had started to wear on him. Everyone had seen it. His boss, Perry McMillan, had pulled him aside a month ago to make it clear that he only had one shot to get his act together or he’d be without a job or a decent parting package to cushion his departure.
With a weary sigh and slumped shoulders John weighed his options as he rocked in his leather chair.
He wondered if he could try his hand at autoschediasm, like a magician with a deck of cards, or simply admit the truth, that he hadn’t been listening, didn’t really care about the conversation, and that he’d rather be anywhere else.
John thought of his mortgage, the twins, and his wife who liked nice things.
He cleared his throat.
“Well Perry,” John ventured, with all the bravado he could muster, “you make interesting points, but I’d say it’s hard for us to make a call until we hear what Lisa has to say.”
As the newest and hardest-working employee Lisa Kim, who was rarely asked to speak, chimed in without missing a beat.
John relaxed slightly, grabbing a dossier of Lisa’s notes. He was sure Perry must’ve picked up on the quick haphazard deflection, but at least he’d won himself a few more minutes to… he wasn’t sure what a few more minutes would do for him, but he’d take it, even if he was only postponing the inevitable.