Well, let me rephrase that, he could smile, but only during the times he was absent from his companies office. He had been employed by Sheffield and Son ten years prior, and had managed to climb to super star status as lead sales man, but lately, things felt…well…dead. He was bored with his job. And to make it even worse, the new batch of office folk, got under his skin. He didn’t really know why these people annoyed him so much. It could have been that he was over a decade their senior, or maybe because they were just a bunch of paled faced, pencil pushing douche bags, that only trash talked about whom ever wasn’t in front of their computer that day.
More than likely it was both…
And on top of that, he knew his days of glory were eventually going to come to an end.
There would be a new hero, and what he saw these days, he wasn’t impressed. He couldn’t come to grips with being replaced with this new generation. Someone that was just mediocre. Someone that would eventually beat his numbers and be hailed around this office like a God, while he faded away in their memories.
And here he was, bright eyed and bushy tailed, waiting to be called into the boss’s office for his yearly review.
He sat there with his best smile, nodding “Good Morning” to the office people, as they scurried back and forth from their cubicles to the copy machine. Brian just sat there with a smirk on his face watching these huge assed twenty something year olds, squeeze pass each other, while wearing their best polite non offensive faces. “Douche bags.” He thought to himself.
“Oh..Hey! Hi Brian.”
It was Heather the secretary.
“Are you going on a trip?” she asked.
“Good morning Heather. Yea, something like that. I thought that it would be easier to bring my bag with me, so that I can drive straight to the airport.”
“That’s cool.” Heather said with a smile.
“Jeff should be ready for you soon.”
“Brian! Buddy! Get on in here!”
“And the head Douche callith…” slipped out from under Brians breath….
It was Jeff, the owners son. “Hey buddy! How’s my super star doing this lovely morning?”
“Good morning Jeff. I’m fine. How are you doing?”
“Winning buddy! Always winning. You know me.”
“That’s good to hear, Jeff.”
Jeff Sheffield had been running this office ever since his father died two years before. He was in his early thirties, aggressive, and still living in his college football glory days.
On the service, if you could get passed his frat boy personality, he wasn’t a bad guy, but he was still one of them. And he wasn’t just one of them, he was now, the head office douche in front of this loser parade. Brian never trusted him.
Something was off. These were strange days for Brian. His faith in the human race had been on a nose dive recently, so anyone that was remotely friendly, made him go into defense mode with a returned smile, in crocodile form
Was he just simply burned out?
This question always kept him up every night, while he prepared for the following work day, and last night wasn’t any different. He was ready. Today would be is blaze of glory. He was tired of being tired.
“So…Brian. You know why you are here, right? It’s that time of year when I have to give you some more bad news.”
“Bad news?” Brian retorted.
Jeff sat down on his leather couch, sighed, and made a look on his face like he was about to tell him that the world was coming to an end.
“Yeah… I’m sorry to say buddy…YOU ARE STILL A BETTER SALESMAN THAN ME!”
“Ha! I got you didn’t I?” Jeff put his hands behind his head and grinned ear to ear.
“Yea, you got me Jeff. So, can we get this over with because I have some potential new clients I want to get a hold of.”
“Relax buddy. They can wait. I know you hate doing these things but you know “Company Policy”. Here. You know what you have to do. Read the form and sign at the bottom.”
Brian took the form from Jeff and just went straight to the signing part, and handed it back to his younger boss.
“Are you okay, Brian? Lately, you seem to be upset about something. What’s wrong buddy?”
“Nothing’s wrong. You know me. I just have to keep moving.”
“You’re preaching to the choir, Bri! You’re a shark! We both are. There’s blood in the water, so you better get out of here before you lose the scent…KILLER!” And when Jeff said this with his fake smile and infamous wink, Brian was halfway out the door.
Jeff sat back on the couch and muttered, “Jerk.”
He missed his father. He missed the talks they had. He missed his fathers’ advice about dealing with problem employees, especially in how to get rid of the older ones.
“Fuck em.” Is father would always say.
“Just kiss their ass until their numbers drop. And then, put em out to pasture and find a new one that will work for less.”
“I miss you pop.”
Jeff sat there in silence and began to day dream about the times in his life when scoring touchdowns and new girlfriends was all that had mattered. But, it was time to get back to work, so after a quick stretch, he picked up Brians form.
It had appeared that Brians new John Hancock was simply…”FUCK YOU JEFF!”
Right then, the intercom on Heathers desk clicked on.
Jeffs voice- “Heather. Is Brian out there?”
“Um…no. He just walked out. His bag is still here though, so he’s probably close. Do you want me to look for him?”
Jeff voice- (sounding more irritated) “Don’t worry about it. But, if he comes back, send him in here.”
“Okay. Oh…wait…I hear his phone in his bag. I wi…”
The ringing was what set off the C-4 that Brian had prepared the night before.
And right after Brian made the call from the mens toilet, the entire building came down.