I started writing a new novel two years ago and then life got into the way. I have recently picked it back up and want to work on it. I have attached the first, short as it is, chapter to get feedback if you would. There is a racial slur contained in the first chapter that I heard in the military and to keep with plot feasibility it is in here.
The Cerebral Man
Chapter One – Stuck on a Broken Corporate Ladder
“Ship out all the existing stock to the stores with directions to have everything prominently displayed in the store fronts before the end of the week”, John hung up the phone. As he sat back in his corner office with a view of the warehouses this company owned, he pulled up the trend analysis on the 50 inch computer screen that was on the opposite wall while thumbing through the last three month’s sales reports. It was clear to him that there was going to be run on the company products due to the popularity among the Generation Y’ers. John thought to himself “those little self-centered pukes with their entitlement attitudes are no different than the assholes two floors up in the boardroom that would all be living under bridges right now if it had not been for his business acumen in regards to future trends. Yet, they all sit up there smoking their Cuban cigars, riding in chauffer driven limousines, often going to their secret lairs to meet their mistresses instead of home to their wives and families; while I drive my Ford Explorer back and forth to work, spend 80 hours a week here in this cage making them money hand over fist. “
Of course his present understanding of the GY crowd was assisted by his intimate relationship with the two income sucking life forms as he liked to half-jokingly introduce his teenage children to others. Yeah, he loved his kids and tried to raise them right to know the value of a good day’s work and that money and items not earned have no value, but it was difficult because all of their classmates and friends had parents who handed their children everything on a silver platter.
Looking at the production schedule now on the screen, John realized if he didn’t do something quick, the corporation would be caught with their shorts down and the finger pointing assholes upstairs would blame him. He picked up the phone and dialed a number.
“Jimmy!” he said sounding happy.
“Yeah John” the voice on the other end replied, “You’re not calling to cancel having a couple drinks to unwind after work are you?”
“Jimmy! Four years as roommates at Duke and another 20 working here together and you think I’d back out on teaching you how a man drinks?” The laugh that followed hinted of a sense of condescension.
“Teach me? You’re such a light weight I could beat you at drinking without even showing up!” Jimmy laughed, “What are you calling for and interrupting a busy guy like me for?”
“Brother, you need to get on the phone with the Nieces and tell them to triple production or we won’t have enough to meet the demand; and you know what the assholes will say if that happens.”
Jimmy knew all too well what would happen with the fat cats upstairs if the demand could not be met. The last time that happened was when John and he got promoted to their present positions 15 years ago. The two guys they replaced not only lost their jobs, but the board members put out the word that they were incompetent and they would not be able to get re-employed in the clothing industry anywhere. The guy John replaced came in to empty out his belongings, disabled the fire extinguishers in the office, threw all the reports and papers on the floor and then set them on fire. Once the office was in flames he pulled out a revolver and placed one round perfectly through is brain from one ear to the other. The fire was out before it could spread outside the office and it was strange how little blood there was. The detectives said that small caliber pistol made must have missed the major veins and without having to blow out skull fragments there was not a lot of spray.
It took the company three days to fix all they were going to fix before throwing John into the office and telling him to start producing. After 15 years Jimmy could still smell the smoke in John’s office, but John always claimed that was the smell of his desire to climb higher burning. But if you walked into John’s office and looked at the bookshelves to the right, there between the 2nd and 3rd shelves was a hole about the size of a pencil eraser that the board would not pay to have covered up.
At least the guy he replaced had carefully invested his money and had a wife who was from old money so he was able to make other plans. What was his name again? Frank, yeah it was Frank; the guy who opened up that chain of food trucks that deliver really nice meals at a reasonable price to business centers across America.
Shaking his head back to the present, Jimmy remembered John had advised him to call the Nieces. John had always called Asians “Nieces” and said that his father, a career Army man had called them that. Jimmy had a good working relationship with the overseas companies and had met several of the management on his trips to tour the factories. They had always treated him with congeniality if not respect. He thought it was really ignorant that John would call them names even though he didn’t know any of them; but he also understood that John was a product of his childhood environment.
He looked at the clock on his wall and could see that the “Japa-Nieces” were fourteen hours ahead of here and that put them at 1:00 AM. The “Chi-Nieces” were fifteen hours ahead and so were the “Vietnam-Nieces.” Calling now would be useless as there was no one in the plants at this hour. He would send out e-mails and then call the contacts in the morning to make sure they understood the severity of the situation and failure to meet the demands for tripling the output would result in the cancellation of the contract.
At exactly 5:02 PM, John on the 13th floor and Jimmy on the 12th, exited their offices and headed towards the elevators. When they left on time it was always at two minutes after five because some board members liked to try and catch employees leaving even a second early so they could dock their wages when the board members were in a good mood, or fire them when they were in bad moods.
As John arrived in the lobby, the express elevator from the 15th floor arrived with half a dozen board members. One looked at John and said “How much money are you going to make us this month?”
“The forecast shows our sales of the sporting line is going to triple over the next 60 days sir” John replied.
“That’s good Bob, keep up the good work.”
“Bob?” John thought, “I’ve been busting my hump for this company for 20 years and been the senior sales advisor for fifteen with all my reports going directly to the board and he does not even know my name?”
“Asshole!” he muttered under his breath.
“What was that?” a voice from behind him inquired.
Caught off guard John spun around expecting to see the face of another one of the assholes only to find Jimmy grinning from ear to ear behind him.
“Ready for a drink Bob?” Jimmy laughed.
“Yeah you SOB, I am. I’m ready for several in fact. Did you call the Nieces?”
“Wrong time, I sent emails and will follow up with phone calls in the morning when there is actually someone there.”
Together they walked out the revolving door that John was sure had a symbolic meaning but was not interested right now in what it could be; he’d figure that out some other time.