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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Joe's Diner - Chapter 11


When Something Goes Wrong - Fix It !
 
I was beginning to feel like a married man again. I’m not sure exactly what that feeling is like; all I know it is here and growing. It kinda makes a man feel completed. There is no guarantee that feeling will come with saying I do.

Marriage it is more like a warrantee where when something goes wrong you just fix it. This is a lifetime warrantee for those who stand fast and the marriage will serve the partners for a life time.

Unfortunately some are not cooperative and their conduct voids the warrantee and the marriage is over.  I also know what that is all about from experience and want to make sure it never happens again.

We were so glad to have Aunt Betty back again. She does so much around the place. I wanted to hire a cook but she loves to cook and with me and Lacy pitching in we should get by with no trouble at all.

My boss, Mr. Hudson was anxious to for me to return to work so he could leave for the coming vacation he had planned.  His holiday was to be at least for a year and I was somehow to be involved.

He asked me to come to his house for he wanted to talk to me. I told Lacy I didn’t know if I would be looking for a new job or what he had in mind.

She said, “Don’t worry it’ll work out alright.”

For some reason I was a little apprehensive. I suppose that is to be expected when you don’t know what you future is going to be.

As I pulled up to Mr. Hudson’s mansion I composed myself and pulled my shoulders back and rang the doorbell.  A tall austere gentleman opened the door and asked my name. He already knew who I was so I thought it strange for him to ask that.

Then I realized that was part of his butler instructions in doing his job. He escorted me into what appeared to be a den and asked me to be seated, Mr. Hudson would be in shortly he said and left.

This was a large property and the house was very elegant. There was no way you could compare my house to this.
 
While waiting two young girls came in and started at me and said; “Are you the one who is going to be fired?”

I just sat there with my mouth open and really didn’t have a comeback for those remarks.

Then they ran out giggling and Mr. Hudson yelled a few threatening words at them as he came in.

He said, ‘Those darn kids. They are always doing something stupid. They must take after my wife’s side of the family, because they always try to make people uncomfortable.  What did they say to you?”

I said, ‘Nothing of any importance, but why am I here?”

“You have been doing a great job with the company you are running.”

I said, ‘Thank you it is coming alone pretty well but it will get better.”

He went on; “Yes it is doing well, so well it makes me wonder why my other companies aren’t doing as well.  Are you familiar with my other companies?”

I said, “Yes very familiar.”

“Do you have any idea as to what is wrong with them?”

I said, “Perhaps but I’d rather not say for it would only reflect on the mangers and they are doing the best they can under the guide lines laid out for them.”

“Are you saying I’m the problem?”

“No, I can’t say that because you are making money and that is the name of the game.”

“Do you think you could do a better job than I am doing?”

I said, “You don’t want me to answer that do you?  No matter what I say it isn’t going to sound right. Actually I don’t know what you are dealing with so it would be impossible for me to know if I could do as well as you are doing.  Perhaps I should resign and that will put us both at ease.

In my mind was the words the children said; “Are you the one who is going to be fired”?

He went on and said; “Enough of this bantering back and forth. You know I’m going to take a year off and take a vacation and I need someone to oversee all of the businesses while I’m gone.”

I said, “Yes I know.”

He said, “Who do you think I should entrust the job to?”

“I haven’t given it much thought, I assumed it would be one of the vice presidents.”

He said, “I wouldn’t trust anything to those idiots. The only reason they have their positions is because they are my wife’s relatives.  I need someone who understands business and is successful in doing it. Would you be able to handle this job?”

I answered, “Yes if I had the authority to do what was needed to be done without interference from the members of the board.  I couldn’t be controlled by those (using your words, ‘idiots’,) and still do the job as it should be done.”

He said, “Okay I guess you’ll do.”

“This means I’m in full control over all the businesses and how they are run. With power to hire and fire if I want to and make any necessary changes I deem necessary?”

He said, “Yes but don’t go crazy and ruin my businesses.”

I said, “Of course not. I said there is one thing we haven’t discussed and that is salary.”

He said, “I thought you would continue at the same salary you’ve been getting.”

I asked, ‘Would you do the job for what I make?”

He said, “Of course not.”

“Then it stands to reason that I can set my own salary commensurate with others in my position.”

He said, “Yes I guess so but again don’t go crazy.”

I said, “Fine, I assume you will deal with the board and tell them I only answer to you and not to any of them.”

He said, “Yes that is the deal and I will take care of it.  Come in to the office tomorrow and we will go over everything you need to know about the businesses. I’m not leaving for three weeks and by then you should have everything under control.”

I asked, ‘Should I replace my position in my company with someone.”

“Yes go ahead and do that, someone you can trust and knows how the company is running.”

“Consider it done I said.” On the way out his kids came up to me and said, “Are you canned?”

I smiled and said; “Beat it brats,” and they ran off laughing.

 

To be Continued

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