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Where are the Blueprints? (5)

Natalie:  I know what you mean, Cy. I don't like shopping in stores, I buy my clothes online. I guess people could call me "eccentric", too!

Steve:  (laughing) You two seem a lot alike.

Cy:  (grinning) I guess we do!

Steve:  Before I go to that meeting, I'd like to know a little more about the men who are running the company; what can you tell me about them?

Cy:  Well, Martin Webb is a widower, has three adult children, and lives alone. He likes to play golf, belongs to the country club, and he seems genuinely interested in the company. He's at work early and leaves late.

Steve:  You think he is all right financially?

Cy:  I think so, although his wife's lengthy illness was very expensive, even with insurance. But he was totally devoted to her and hired round-the- clock nurses. Though her death was expected, Martin was inconsolable for a long time. He really loved that woman. I doubt if he would ever remarry. According to Helga, there were women in the office that were really attracted to his 6 foot 2 frame, and especially to that silver hair. She called him the "silver fox." (laughing.)

Steve:  What about Turner?

Cy:  I don't like to repeat gossip, but the word is that Turner has a gambling problem. He's been divorced twice; recently married again. According to Helga, the new wife is 20 years younger than he is. Charles is 55, so that makes his wife 35. I also heard him say she likes expensive jewelry. After one of their frequent arguments, he bought her a $40,000 tennis bracelet as a "peace offering."

Steve:  (taking more notes) John Phillips?

Cy:  John is around 45, married his college sweetheart, likes gardening, fishing, twin sons in college. He seems to be an average guy who really enjoys his home.

Steve:  And Ron Johnson?

Cy:  That man is a little bit of a mystery; nobody knows much about him. He's quiet and rarely talks about his life. He's the youngest in the group, only 35 years old. Ron is from San Jose, California and left Hewitt-Packard when his boss was investigated in a spy probe.

Steve:  I read about that. His boss illegally obtained Social Security numbers and other personal information to snoop on people. Ron wasn't involved, though and cooperated with the Federal prosecutors in the investigation. He probably moved all the way across the country to escape the publicity.

Natalie:  That's quite a variety of men!

Cy:  And there are two more members on the board, but they are out of town at the moment. Do you want to know about them, too?

Steve:  Maybe later. Right now I'm going to make a sandwich and go to Omega. I'll call you later about your clothes. Natalie, make sure he gets some rest.

Steve calls the limo driver and goes to Omega for the meeting. In the board room, Phillips, Webb, Turner, and Johnson express their concerns about the company financial growth, stability. Almost as an afterthought, the men inquire about Dr. Krueger. Steve is finally able to go over the agenda. On the overhead projector, they examine the pie chart to compare the profit and loss statements in the last few years.

Steve:  Gentlemen, let's discuss what is affecting the change in the company profits. What do you see as the biggest problem?

Phillips:  One of the big problems is trying to keep employees.

Webb:  Another thing is, we are always concerned with the possibility of corporate spying; I don't know how we can prevent it.

Turner:  I see the cut in the advertising budget as a huge mistake.

Johnson:  Krueger's research budget is too high!

Steve:  All right, let's start on page one of the prospectuses and discuss what can be changed. How many employees are there in the company?

Phillips:  About 400.

Steve:  Does anyone know the exact number? (They all look at each other and shake their heads negatively.) How many departments are there?

Webb:  I'm not sure; let's see there's Quality Assurance, Regulatory Affairs, Design and Development Department, Marketing, Packaging, Research, …….
Author: Torsten Daerr