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Twists and Turns (1)

by Torsten Daerr

Finally, Martin Webb was able to get the attention of the shareholders again. They sat erect with hushed, excited faces beaming at him.

Webb:  After I conclude this meeting, please get a ballot on the tables by the three exit doors. You will be voting "yes" or "no" for the move to Mexico. There is also space for any available comments you might have. When you finish, place your ballot in the box slot. You will be notified by mail about the results. Thank you everyone for coming today. (Audience stands and claps wildly, then goes to tables for ballots, and then leaves the meeting room.)

Johnson:  Whew! That went a lot better than I thought it would.

Phillips:  Yes, I was really surprised! I thought we might be here for hours.

Cy:  I wasn't surprised at all.

Webb:  Really? Why was that?

Cy:  Did you notice how their attitude changed when you mentioned the shareholders could make a lot of money? Greed made them forget about the DEA, the arrests, and closing the building. They didn't ask about the employees or even care if they had jobs.

Webb:  I am going to give the employees the choice of moving with all expenses paid or give them a good severance pay packet.

Cy:  That's great! (Linda and Natalie approach the stage.)

Natalie:  I think you gentlemen made a lot of people happy today.

Linda:  Yes, we could hear several shareholders talking about what they were going to do with their new wealth.

Webb:  I did warn them that it might take a while to get a return on their money, but they all had "stars in their eyes" about getting rich.

Cy:  Well, I'm going to take these young ladies to the Art Institute now.

Webb:  All right, Dr. Krueger. I'll be in touch with you. Stay at the corporate apartment as long as you want.

Cy:  Thank you, but it might be time for me to go home. You have the numbers for both places, right? (They are all walking toward the tables.)

Webb:  Yes, goodbye. (Cy offers his arm to the women and they leave.)

While Cy, Linda and Natalie are touring the Art Institute, Steve is flying home. His plane was delayed a short time, but was finally in the air at 2:30. He dozes off, only to awaken as the plane is landing in St. Louis. Once on the ground, he calls Mr. Jameson.

Steve:  Mr. Jameson. It's Steve… I have a lay-over in St. Louis… What is happening there? Come to your house? Sure, I remember where you live… The plane is due in at 6:30 Pacific time. I'll come over right away… Good-bye. (He closes the cell phone.) Something is terribly wrong…

Steve grabs his suitcase from the carousel and hurries through the automatic doors. After paying the long term parking fee, he drives down the freeway to Mr. Jameson's home. In 45 minutes he is parking in front of a large white colonial house. Four pillars seem to stand guard on either side of the entry door. The front lawn is immaculate with perfectly manicured grass. Steve rings the doorbell. Mr. Jameson opens the door.

Mr. Jameson:  Steve! How good to see you! Come in. Let's go in the den. (He leads the way, then motions for Steve to sit in one of the leather chairs.) How about a drink? I'm having a glass of wine. (He hands a glass to Steve.) You're probably starved; here's a plate of hors d'oevures.

Steve:  Thank you. I had time to get a sandwich in St. Louis, but this looks good. (Takes cheese from tray.)

Mr. Jameson:  It sounded like you really had quite an adventure in Chicago!

Steve:  Yes, I'll tell you more details later, but tell me what's happening here?

Mr. Jameson:  (He sits down.) For the first time in… I don't know how many years, I'm out of a job.

Steve:  How can that be? You own the company.

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Cloze activity 10.

1. When we counted all of the ……………, there were fifty-two votes.

2. Let's go to the airport baggage claim and get our luggage from the &#
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1. Why does the attitude of the shareholders change?

2. If you were given a choice between all expenses paid to move or a severance paycheck, which would you choose?

3. What is your
ballots — formal paper for casting votes

severance pay — money given to employee as compensation for the end of job based on length of service.

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