I’d almost finished approving this month’s invoices when my door flew open. Somebody had lost their mind. No surprise that Winston, Doug’s nephew, walked in.
He reached for my red folder. “You finish the invoices?”
I pulled it away. “Still working on them.”
“We’re not on C.P. time,” Winston said. “They’re due today.”
This lily-white boy didn’t know nothing about Colored People’s time, but he had a Ph.D. in working my reserve nerve. He also had this bad habit of forgetting I was his boss. “I’ve got the invoices covered. Where’s your market analysis? It’s a month late.”
Completely ignoring the question, Winston snatched the gift card off my rubber plant. A leaf fluttered to the floor. “Superior Printing congratulates you,” he read. “Suck-ups.”
The dropped card landed a few inches from the leaf. Winston glanced at his watch. “Gotta fly. Big meeting with Uncle Doug. Make sure you finish your work before you move on up to the big house. I want those invoices on my desk today.”
I wanted his head on my wall now and started counting before Winston’s shadow left the room. “Decem, noven, octo, septem.” Counting in Latin made me focus on the counting instead of its source. By the time I’d made it down to unus, the urge to smack Winston into next week had passed.
Besides, I should be glad, not mad. I’d kept my temper in check for the thousandth time. Hadn’t given Winston anything he could use against me, and it was almost over.
Instead of running to HR every time Winston messed up, I’d compiled an inch thick dossier. The market analysis underscored the whole thing. Because he hadn’t finished it on time, we’d missed some early media buys increasing our fourth-quarter ad costs by at least twenty-five percent.
Next week, I’d walk HR down the path of Winston’s incompetence. Although Doug wouldn’t fire him, I had enough to get him kicked out of my group. Let somebody else carry Winston. He’s too heavy, and he ain’t my brother.
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