Ray Sullivan publishes science based fiction adventures on Amazon, Smashwords, Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Sony, WH Smith and other good eBook retailers as e-books. Additionally all of his books are available in paperback on Amazon. He also muses on technology, posts comedic books in serial format and discusses the world of self publishing.
Books written by Ray Sullivan
Friday, 7 December 2012
Parallel Lives chapter 29
Jack was unavailable, but to call it a conference was
stretching reality to breaking point. He was stood on the same spot in the
managing director’s office that he had commandeered for three quarters of an
hour. The MD was, of course, sitting and he had deliberately failed to invite
Jack to be seated. This wasn’t the first bollocking Jack had had in his
professional career, but it was one of the biggest.
It had been pointed out, several times, that Jack was
considered to be the man responsible for the whole accident, it was his
negligence that had caused the bad design to be missed and by God he would be
the one in the dock if the case went to court. He wasn’t interested that Jack
thought the accident report was likely to be favourable, or that the dead
employee’s family’s compensation claim was predictable and covered by
insurance, he was only interested in ensuring that if anybody had to take the
blame it would be Jack.
Jack tried to give the appearance that he was listening and
learning, but he found it increasingly difficult when the MD started to repeat
all of his points for the third time. His mind wandered back to his days as a
junior soldier, when one of the old hands had offered some sage advice.
‘If you’re being bollocked say nothing, except maybe
“sorry”, just stand there and let them get it off their chest. But don’t stand
too long, lad, ‘cause they’ll probably start all over again.’ This advice had
stood Jack in good stead throughout his career, but it was useless at present
as the MD wasn’t leaving any breaks in his tirade. Just as Jack was truly
sinking into an abstract reverie he realised he was being dismissed. Whether
the MD has seen the vacant look on his face or whether he had realised he had
other, better things to be getting on with Jack knew not. But the thoughts of
twenty years earlier had resulted in him almost missing his get-out clause.
On his return to his office Jack sat for a few minutes,
trying to work out whether the one way conversation was ‘it’, or whether it was
a warning shot. He was certain the MD felt better for it, though, even if he
didn’t. Quelling feelings of unfairness and bitterness Jack rummaged through
the pile of post-it notes strewn across his desk, some dating back almost a week.
There was only the one new message, left by his secretary just before leaving
the office for an early lunch, informing him that Karen had tried several times
to contact him. Picking up the phone Jack started to dial.