9 to 5

As far as historical moments go, this was a particularly big one for Stratosphere Investments.

“Has anyone seen Williamson?” owner and CEO Peter Bosworth inquired about his top sales rep.

“I think I saw him drive off about ten minutes ago,” replied Lyle Ward, the newest member of the team.

“Drive off?” a perplexed Peter then said.  “As in, to a meeting with a client?”

“Actually, I believe he was heading home.  He mentioned something about needing to pick up his son for soccer practise.”

You know how eerily quiet it gets right before a tornado blows through town and destroys everything in its path?  That’s how quiet Peter got after Lyle had said what he said.  Peter was so stunned, it took everything he had just to formulate the following thoughts in his head: Did I just hear what I think I heard?  That Trevor Williamson has already left the office for the day?  

Trevor’s boss couldn’t wrap  his head around the concept.  It was only ten past five in the afternoon.  If Lyle had seen him pull out of the parking lot ten minutes ago then that would mean Trevor had left work right at five.  No one at Stratosphere Investments ever left at five p.m., at least not those who valued their career.  You might be able to get away with seven p.m. if something truly big was going on in your life – like your heart had just exploded and there weren’t any spare ones around because all of the people who had signed their organ donor cards were being selfish bastards and refusing to give up their life for yours.  Other than that, you were expected to work around the clock.  Come in early, stay late, work weekends, skip vacations, check your smartphone every five minutes for texts and emails from clients…that’s what Peter’s favourites did.  There was money to be made, and if you weren’t willing to make it for Peter Bosworth then he’d find someone who’d gladly sign up for the job.

Walter Finnigan did just that thirty years ago, and up until two weeks ago he was the top sales rep.  He would still hold the title, too if  those selfish bastards who had pledged to donate their organs had the decency to die shortly before Walter’s heart exploded.

It was Walter’s death the triggered the change in Trevor.  He had seen his predecessor do exactly what Peter demanded of him and it cost him everything: three marriages, a relationship with his kids, and his life at fifty-two years of age.  And for what?  Stratosphere Investments didn’t even have enough respect for him to close the office so his coworkers could attend his funeral.

Trevor knew that Peter expected him to pick up right where Walter left off.  He also knew that it would be easy enough for him to do so, but he decided to put his family first.  Technically, his contract stated that office hours were from 9 to 5, so they were the hours he was going to work going forward.

“There are a lot of irreplaceable people in the cemetery,” Trevor’s mom was fond of saying.  Walter Finnigan saw himself as one of them, and yet the world keeps on spinning.




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