Monday, April 4, 2011

Official Pressure

“Your assignment is garbage,” Mr. Brown growled after reviewing the numbers. He threw the paper down on the table and stared at Mr. Green until he looked away. Mr. Brown opened the bar fridge underneath his desk and took some ice that he broke into a highball glass. He opened his top right drawer and took out a chrome flask of Crown Royal and poured it until the ice floated. He swirled the drink clinking the ice against the side of the glass, smelled the liquor and gulped down half his poison.

“But sir, I tried to make it exactly as you wanted it,” Mr. Green begged. “I even smudged the accounts just as you like to make it seem like larger profits this past quarter,” he mumbled with his head down.

“I want it done again you incompetent son-of-a-bitch,” Mr. Brown took another swig. “The shareholders need to be pressured to buy and stick with their investment in our company. We don't want them selling because of some unfavorable news in this past quarter. Green, either make this perfect or you're out. I don't care if you're my son-in-law, you bastard. Favoritism does not rule this firm, money and profits do. Cold hard cash. Each employee is treated with the equal opportunity of success or failure,” Mr. Brown stared at the accountant with his brows furrowed and a burning look in his eyes. He gripped the highball until his knuckles whitened.

Mr. Green submitted and left his boss's room with the damned account. He sulked back to his cubicle across the office floor where he looked at the picture of his wife and son tacked on the cork board over his computer. After exhaling a sigh, he started clicking away at the keyboard. All day he fudged the numbers until time ran out and they were due.

Thirty minutes before the end of the day, Green stood staring at “Richard Brown, CEO” printed in white on the glass entrance door to his office. He cradled the manila folder enveloped around the warm, freshly printed assignment and greeted the young secretary. Because Mr. Brown expected this visit, she knocked on his closed office door and announced Green's arrival.

“Come in,” rumbled Brown's voice from behind the thick door. “What did this bastard bring, Cheryl?” Mr. Brown said to the secretary while looking at Green.

“The revised accounts, sir,” replied the girl.

“Cheryl, tell him to enter the room but only if he's prepared for his judgment.”

“Please go in Mr. Green. Mr. Brown is ready to receive you now.”

The door slammed shut onto Green's heels which jolted a shock through his tense body.

“Papers,” Brown growled. Mr. Green scampered to the large mahogany desk and set the folder down. Brown snatched them up immediately and looked at Green with his eye brows slanted and his nose wrinkled. Brown poured himself more liquor without the rocks from a large bottle of Crown Royal; the flask lay empty nearby capsized on the desk. He slammed the bottle down on the wood surface and then emptied the drink. He kept looking at Green as he hastily rifled through the papers.

After a few minutes of hasty review chock full of disgruntled grumbling, Brown put down the papers. He kept his gaze on the desk until sweat began to pop from the pores on Green's forehead.

“What did I tell you, son-a-bitch?” Brown slurred with violence. “You're fired. Tell your wife that I'll be over for dinner tonight and that I expect my steak rare. I better see you in the apron.”

1 comment:

  1. Two things that disrupted my read of this; the first was 'the damned account.' Is this a piece of narrative from Mr. Green's head? If so, it doesn't fit the structure of the rest of the narration. If not, using the word 'damned' when it is so recently used in dialogue creates tension.
    Second, 'thirty minutes before the end of the day' doesn't feel right to me. Not sure how to change it, but it dislodged me.
    Anyway, other than those two things, this piece is nice.