"Hello, Malcolm." I said to my boss as I entered his office. "I have these papers done for you and..."
"Don't. Even. Think about it, Matt. No. Those papers were to be handed in yesterday. I am not going to go through the humiliation that is, of course, waiting me at Mr. Larson's office. This time, you are going to do it." he interrupted through gritted teeth.
"But… But…" I tried to think of a good excuse.
"Buts are for kicking. Do you want me to kick yours out of this office, or do you think you will be able to do it yourself?
"Yes, sir." I responded.
As I made my way out of the building, I noticed something going on outside. There was a new building coming up. An aquarium? Well, we did have a link to the ocean… Whatever. I never really liked fish anyway. So slimy and watery and… no brains at all. I didn't even know how to swim.
"Hello, sir. I am very sorry for bringing these papers in so late. I promise, it won't happen again." I said to Mr. Larson.
"Oh, really? Should I believe you, Matt? Should I? Every time your boss came here, it was a day late. Do you think I should consider your promise?" he questioned me.
"Yes, sir. I will do my best next time."
"Next time." He grumbled, hardly audible.
I left the papers on his desk and walked out of his office. I was almost at the elevator, when I heard Mr. Larson's voice, full with desperation.
"Matt! Wait! You have to help me!" he yelled."I need you to present our next product. Mr. Smith is out and it seems he is not getting back soon. Here, this is the list of what you need to talk about." He said, handing me some papers. "And… Good luck."
What? How was I supposed to do that? I mean, I have done this before, but those times I knew what I was talking about. I scanned the papers, but I couldn't read further more than the title. Motorcycle tires? This is going to be a disaster, I thought as I entered the conference room.
I was stunned. Completely stunned. Ten business men were sitting in shiny black chairs. I could see after their facial expression that they couldn't wait to get out of here. One man looked like he was sleeping, actually. Mr. Larson and his secretary were leaning against the doors.
"Hello, gentlemen!" I shouted. That seemed to wake the sleeping man up. I decided to go straight to the subject. "Have you ever ridden your motorcycle" this was sounding so bad," and, ohm, thought that your tires weren't… good enough?" I started sweating. Oh great. Mr. Larson slapped his forehead silently. "Well, we have what you need!" I tried to sound enthusiastic." The… Milly-billy Tires," Mr. Larson smiled, like that was such a great idea. I could just imagine those men walking down the street, seeing me, and then turning back. "have everything that you need. They are…" I thought quickly of some adjectives for motorcycle tires "really… black and… easy to…um…set up and really rubbery and… Milly-Billy good!" I forced a smile. A murmur of disapproval propagated through my audience. I felt like something could just swallow me. I started to make my way to the door, but Mr. Larson motioned to me to go back. This day couldn't get worse, could it?
"Ok gentlemen, let's just be honest. I have never, in my live, ridden a motorcycle, and I think it's just so stupid and useless. And I don't think any of you here has done so, either." The secretary blushed. "But think about your sons. And maybe even daughters. Don't you want them to be safe riding a motorcycle? Don't you want to take that thought of your head for a while? Well, now you can do both! I guarantee, I am not an expert in motorcycles. I barely know what the tire has in it! But, believe me, gentleman, Mr. Larson here does know what he is talking about. He is always making things safe. Don't you remember last summer's bicycle? How safe is that! How about the bungee-jumping cord? Never falling down, eh Mr. Burring?" I said, looking at a younger man sitting close to me. "Now, why wouldn't you trust him with the tires, also? After all, they are Milly-Billy good!" I exclaimed. A round of applause greeted me. I have never felt so relieved in my whole life.
"Good job for, uh, Matt here." Mr. Larson said grinning and patting my back." Any questions?"
Ten hands were raised in the air at once.
"Ok, um, how 'bout Mr. Crinkle right there?" I said, reading a name tag.
"Ok, so I wanna know, ya really serious 'bout that safety? Mean, how can a tire help a motorcycle be safe?" he said, in a New York accent.
"Well, this tire has a special mechanism that helps the bike keep its balance better." I forced a grin.
Fortunately, a bell rang. It was the lunch bell. I didn't really like that, it reminded me of school. But it was Mr. Larson's procedure, after all. And it got me out of that big, hot room.
Again, I was heading to the elevator when Mr. Larson shouted "Hey Matt, stay for lunch!"
Oh no. That just meant one thing. People would ask me more about motorcycles and things like that. But to my surprise, Mr. Larson led me to his office.
"Matt, sit down." He sounded serious. "Um, I didn't really like your little… thing out there. That wasn't very impressive. So, to keep you motivate, I'm gonna cut off your payment."
"What? But…but…How and… why… wait, what?!" I said, surprised. Why was he doing that? Did he lose his minds? I was great presenting his tires!
"Sorry Matt. That's it, you may leave."
I left his office furious, this time, heading for the stairs. I didn't want any more bad luck. It seemed that the elevator had something against me.
When I got out of the building, my fury was replaced with awe. The building was halfway done! It's been like, what, two hours?
I got straight into my car, without bothering to look back at the grey building that was coming on.