When’s the press conference?

I cannot believe that I’m concerned about beating out Marty for the Regional Manager position. I’ve got the education, years of service, company knowledge, product knowledge and experience in the department plus I’ve been told by a number of people who should know that I’ve got the inside track.

Marty? Really? Marty? The guy’s a worm. No way. Why am I even concerned?

But I am so as I get ready to head home after work on the one hand I’m glad it’s Friday but on the other hand I wish it was Monday so I could finally put this to rest.

Marty? Give me a break.

“Hello, oh hi, John, what’s up? Whoa, that’s great. How’d you come up with tickets? I can’t believe that you got tickets, the game’s been sold out for months.”

And so my concern about the promotion only consumed 90% of my time Friday night and Saturday and as Sunday dawned my first thought was about the promotion but then I started to get excited about the game. I still can’t believe John came up with tickets.

As John and I walked through the parking lot the crowd was roaring and I don’t think it was just the result of tailgating and a lot of cold ones. What a great day for a game.

Marty who? “Let’s go.”

The stadium looked great, it was warm, the crowd was huge, the beer was cold and everyone was ready for the one o’clock kickoff but then it was 1:15 and nobody was on the field. Fans who were screaming started a rhythmic clap but then it trailed off as everyone just sat there and stared at the empty field.

“May I have your attention, please, may I have your attention. The following announcement has been received from National Football League headquarters.”

“The National Football League has received information that the entire rosters of both teams have been accused of domestic violence. Although no evidence has been received by league headquarters that the accusations are true the league is following its zero tolerance policy for domestic violence and has no choice but to suspend all of the accused players effective immediately and cancel today’s game. An announcement will be made in the next few days about rescheduling the game and ticket refunds. We apologize for any inconvenience and ask for your understanding.”

The crowd was so stunned that it just stood there silently for a couple of minutes with only a few scattered boos and then began to slowly exit the stadium.

For most of the fans the ridiculous cancellation was all they could think about. For me? Sure, I was disappointed about the cancellation but also that I had lost the distraction that kept me from thinking about my promotion.

Monday morning on the way to work the game cancellation was the only subject on talk radio and when I walked into the office I could see that it was the only subject being discussed by everyone. Everyone but Marty who was busy emptying his desk into a large plastic storage tub.

Apparently Marty knew that he wasn’t getting the promotion and had decided to quit. What a weasel. He should have just buckled down and worked hard to get the chance that I was going to get. I looked at him and thought, there is something wrong with that clown. He didn’t get the promotion and now he doesn’t have a job and he’s sitting there smirking?

“Hey, do you have a minute” my boss said as he shook his head while looking at a copy of the sports pages sitting on the table outside his office.

“Sure. Can you believe that, Mr. Dugan? A game was cancelled based only on accusations. I know I can’t believe it.”

As I sat down in the chair in front of Mr. Dugan’s desk he said, “I don’t know if there’s going to be a season this year but I guess the NFL doesn’t really have a choice.” “Well, anyway”, he said as he realized that there really wasn’t anything that either of us could say about the NFL situation that hadn’t already been said, “I wanted to sit down with you early this morning to discuss the Regional Manager position. Ah, um, we’ve decided to offer the position to Marty. Now it’s not that we don’t think that you’re a great employee and that you deserve a chance to advance with the firm it’s just that, ah, um, ah, over the weekend it’s come to our attention that you’ve been accused of domestic violence.”

“What? Domestic violence? Says who? What? I’ve been divorced for over a year and I’m not even seeing anyone. What the…”

“I know, I know, it’s just an accusation but the company has established a zero tolerance policy for domestic violence, sexual abuse and sexual harrassment and my hands are tied. You will have to be suspended while this thing is sorted out and since we need someone right away in the Regional Manager position we have to go with Marty. I know this is not what you want to hear but be assured that when this is all sorted out you’ll be welcomed back to your old job or if that isn’t available we may be able to fit you in somewhere else in the company, maybe.”

As I sat there waiting for him to say, “we apologize for any inconvenience” I could see Marty walk by Mr. Dugan’s office door with his storage tub heading toward his new office. As he looked in and saw me sitting there he gave me a little smile and a wink.

“You know, Mr. Dugan, while I’m here I want to tell you that I have been made to feel uncomfortable by unwelcomed gestures made by Marty which I believe may fall under the category of sexual harassment.” Mr. Dugan groaned and then gave me a strange and angry look until he noticed that I was looking at his wife’s picture sitting on his desk.

“How’s the Mrs., Mr. Dugan? Gee, Mr. Dugan, is that eye makeup or a bruise? She looks a little bruised to me.”

“Well,” he said, ”let’s not get carried away. I’ll see what I can do about putting a hold on everything. No sense getting excited about all of this. Boy, can you believe this NFL thing? Isn’t that something?”

“It’s a new day, I guess”, Mr. Dugan.


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