"It is a tremendous pleasure for me to present to you our new Asssistant Vice-President in charge of Operations, but before I do, let me share with you some of his rather incredible accomplishments. . . "
Harry drummed his fingers nervously on the linen tablecloth, anxiously listening to Jacob Blakely (of Ransett, Bower, and Blakely, Inc.) tout his professional achievements. Thats you, Harry, he thought numbly. Youve made it. And in six months more youll make it again. God knows why, but you might even be a headliner like Blakely someday. The corporate game is in the bag, Harry. Not even you could blow it.
" . . . worked his way through the operations department by creatively designing and implementing some highly innovative and cost-efficient programs. . . "
Oh big deal, Harry said to himself, swallowing the last of his scotch and soda, anybody with half a brain could do that. Look at Madsen - why, hes young, bright, and a quick learner. But then again, who did he learn it all from? You, Harry, just you. And anyway, why would all the guys from Rowen and Carson come to you for consultation if you werent good? Still, Blakelys blowing it way out of proportion; what if . . . what did he call it? this "fountain of ideas" dries up? Could happen, you know.
Harry reached for his drink, forgetting he had already finished it. He took
out his cigarettes and lit one, only to put it out again a moment later.
" . . . a strong characteristic of his is his desire to do whats right. Together
with his wife and two children, he leads an exemplary personal life . . . "
Harry glanced over at Joanne, listening so attentively to Jacob Blakely. What about Joanne, anyway? Their homelife was far from the bliss Blakely was describing; oh no, you and Joanne have gone up and down more than once, havent you Harry? They say marital conflict is healthy and normal, but if Joanne wasnt so critical, why, youd have a perfect marriage! The kids are growing up okay; Lindys years ahead of her class, and Joey, well, Joeys going to be a pretty fine athlete someday. If he can get those baseball skills down he might even make all-American. But you can afford the coaching, Harry. Youre making it big, remember? He reached across the table for Joannes untouched drink.
" . . . active in the Rotary Club, Boy Scouts of America, his church, and the United Way, his dedication to community service is. . . "
Harry checked his watch and grimaced. Blakely ought to meet your mother, Harry; shes generally pretty overwhelming when youre the subject too. Hell, theres not that much to say!
He stretched his neck to relieve some of the tension and recrossed his legs for the umpteenth time. Come on, Harry, dont be so restless. Ransett, Bower, and Blakely, Inc. is an old firm and if they think youve got it, you must have it! After all, companies like this just dont make mistakes. Blakelys right; youre smart, youve got a great family, and a future that wont quit. If youve made it this far, its going to last, right? Yeah, sure. He finished Joannes drink and turned his attention back to Jacob Blakely.
" . . . a warm round of applause for Harry Brown, our new Assistant
Vice-President in charge of Operations!"
Harrys smile flashed brightly as he rose from the table, walking quickly
towards Jacob Blakelys outstretched hand.