Dan arrived to work at precisely 9:02am. The results were predicted, but no less worrisome.
“Daniel! Get in my office!”
Dan set his bag down and walked, resigned, to his boss’s office. He closed the door just as Mark started.
“What the hell time is it, huh?”
“Nine o’clock, boss.”
“Nine-oh-two, smart guy. Nine-oh-three, now, because you wasted time putting your crap at your desk.”
“And you’re supposed to be here, ready to work, by nine o’clock on the dot. Not a second later. That’s what we pay you for.”
“I’ll stay until five-oh-two to make up for it, boss.”
“That’s not the point. You’re supposed to be here at nine, you get here at nine. Anything else is entirely unacceptable.” The vein in Mark’s forehead was sticking out, a zigzag across his temple, and pulsing with his heightened blood pressure.
“Boss, my watch is a little behind, so it couldn’t be helped. By the time I left my house, it was already too late.”
“Enough excuses, Daniel. You should have grabbed a cab to get here on time.”
“But the healthy living initiative is – ”
“Silence! I’ve had enough back talk from you, kid. We hired you on three months ago, thinking you’d be a good fit here. And I’ll admit, your numbers are up, and that idea of yours has saved us some money, but you need to get your crap in line, or I’ll invoke the six-month probation period and have you out of here, lickety-split.”
Dan sighed. “Sir, I think you should know that I had the higher-ups wave that and – ”
“No more! Get back to work, or you’re through.” Mark’s face was red, and Dan worried about the CEO’s warnings of Mark’s blood pressure.
“Yeah, sure, okay boss.” Dan stood. “Anything else?”
“No. Keep up your good work.” Mark turned to his computer, breathing heavily, and Dan left, hoping the man wouldn’t keel over.