Why did you miss the Wednesday afternoon management meeting?
by Herge Smith
There was a man who worked in an office.
He had grey hair, some of which protruded from his nose and ears.
As a younger man, he had many dreams and aspirations but these had been replaced by a mortgage he did not want, a wife he did not love and children he could not understand.
He had a reasonably important position in a big money company somewhere in the city.
His colleagues did not like him and treated him with barely restrained contempt, which he mistakenly interpreted as respect.
On an ordinary Wednesday morning following a heavy autumn shower the man, whilst sitting at his desk contemplating the coming management meeting, suddenly felt a tremendous pain in his chest.
Lydia, the PA to the MD was angry that the man was late for the management meeting, and had blatantly ignored both her emails and telephone calls. She herself had no power in the company; however, she frequently used the MD’s name as a means to vicariously assert an inappropriate and unearned level of authority throughout the company.
Today it would be the man that she would take down a peg or two, she thought as she walked to his office.
Lydia was confused by what she saw as she entered, the man slumped at his desk. She quickly called a paramedic for assistance, although this was a futile act, the man had been dead for many hours.
The company replaced the man within 6 weeks. His wife replaced him within a year.
The man’s eldest child with whom he’d never had a close relationship felt angry that his father had chosen his career over his family, leaving the child with ‘issues’ that would haunt him into his own adult life, whereas the youngest child quickly came to see her mothers new husband as her natural father, (which indeed he was).