The Lost & Found Spirit 15

Scarlett reached the office with a rock solid determination to focus on the task on her hand. She was more than a little fuzzy in her head with that guy in the painting. That is Tristan. She swore that she saw more of his face, than before. Almost half of his face, the angle of his cheeks, half his eyes, and forehead. Scarlett was sure she did not see the forehead before. Dammit. And lips. She wouldnt have forgotten those lips. It was, yes a painting, yet those lips looked like he had just licked it wet with his tongue. Tongue?” Oh God! Oh God! Oh dear God! I think I have become Loony Scarlett.”

The Board had already decided on terminating Mathew Blackwood, one of the executive officers in charge of tech security for Cyberatics Software. She could neither believe nor forgive his callous attitude after his failure to attend the meeting, which could decide the future of the company. This was just one of the many incidents culminating in the termination. It would have been still okay if he had not over played and apologized for his mistake. But he had acted like he was doing the company a favour by working there and it was not really a big deal if they did not get through the meeting.

Scarlett had suspected something fishy and bigger undercurrents, months back. She somehow felt that Mathew was manipulating and delaying work so that Cyberactics lost the deal, which she was not going to allow. She will have to lead the negotiations again from the beginning, now that they have had a major set back. Her gut told her that Mathew had sold his loyalty to somebody else and is trying to sabotage the deal. But then again, it was just an instinct and she did not have any proof for that. Good that Mathew himself did not arrive at the meeting and fast forwarded his own ousting from the company.

As she entered the office,  her staff, a team of 12, skittered to get into their respective places and start the day’s drill. “I trully drive them mad. Maybe we all can go for lunch and let them have a reprieve from me….” She needed to see her appointments for today and make necessary arrangements.

At 11 am, Scarlett called Mathew to her cabin without enthusiasm. She already had the terminating letter on the table. He was not the one to go without a fight. So she nudged awake the dragon inside her, in case she needed its help.

Mathew knocked on the door and leaned in and said, “Goodmorning Scarlett. You had called?”

” Ah, yes Mathew. Please come in. ”

Mathew was in his forties. He was one of those kind of people who wanted success fast yet not ready to work for it. He was always careless, half committed, half dedicated and half completed his work. Why the company retained him till now was a  different question. But now the unpleasant task of telling him the news of termination was on her. “This is going to be downright bad. Maybe I’ll have to postpone the lunch to another day,” Scarlett thought rather bitterly.

“Mathew, I am afraid I do not have good news for you. We regret to inform you that in the light of your  recent poor performance  at work and irresponsibility in delivering  on your responsibilities, the Board has decided that your services are no longer required at Cyberatics. We are sorry but we are terminating your employement here.”

Mathew’s eyes grew wider and wider as Scarlett told in big huge words that he was fired. “What the hell Scarlett! You can’t fucking fire me like that. That’s just not done.” he shouted. Oh bother. Maybe she really needed to rouse the dragon. But not to attack, only to defend herself.

“Mathew… Language! We are not firing you outright. We have given you a buffer time of one month and it will be paid, so that you can search for other facilities that could use your skills and services.”

” Are you being sarcastic now? Or you mocking me Scarlett? Skills and services…? Really… Damn.”

Scarlett really tried to keep the intented meaning subtle. She couldn’t help it. “We are really sorry Mathew. You know, where things went wrong. You dont want me to repeat it.. And we are…”

“You can fucking recite the list or whatever…” Mathew was shouting now. Everyone in the office will have heard the racket he was creating. ” I am not leaving. Did you hear that? I’ll meet everyone of your little manipulating Board and tell them too. That I am not going to fucking leave this place.”

” Mathew. Mind your language. If you  were planning on staying here, you shouldnt have have slept half way across the globe on the most important deal. I will not let you sabotage the deal. Think very carefully how you have been behaving in the office for the past few months and you’ll have your answer. You should have treated your collegues with respect and not disdain. They are not slaves. They are also working here. Same as you. In fact better than you. Screaming will only get out of Cyberatics faster. If thats what you want… Go ahead and bellow all you want…”

Mathew was shaking with fury and unable to say anything. He trully did not have an argument.

Mathew seemed dangereous, ready to take revenge. His pride was hurt, his career was going downhill. But it was his own doing. Cyberatics did not have a history of firing people at the whims. He looked like a disturbed venomous snake or a wounded wild boar. Scarlett wondered whether she should call the security.

Mathew seethed before her. She slowly pushed the termination letter from her end of the table to the other and said in a quiet sound, “If you want to discuss anything more. Please talk to James or Kelly.”

“I ll see you later Scarlett. We are not done. Not even close.” Mathew snatched the letter from the table and left the room slamming the door. Thank sweet Jesus that the glass did not shatter under the impact.

What did he mean by we are not done?! “Should I be worried? Maybe not. This reaction was not really a surprise, still…” But the fear did not subside entirely. Something was not right, Scarlett knew it in her gut.

The Lost & Found Spirit 16


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