by Dominic Martia © 2002

Hal was stunned. The Big Man was standing over him telling him he had to leave. He couldn't understand.For twenty years he had slaved in a dingy office, bent over his books, making sure they came out in a way that made the Big Man look good. And now this.

"Hal, I'm disappointed," the Big man said. "I just don't understand how you could think I wanted you to distort the facts just to make our financial position look better. I'm truly sorry, but you'll have to go."

Hal sat silently. Doesn't understand, he thought. Like hell. He knew everything I was doing. Hal flushed as he remembered the Big Man bowing to accolades at Board meetings, after presenting the Board with Hal's reports, the reports he supposedly didn't know were not thoroughly factual. Hal was burning inside. He couldn't bear to sit any longer. He rose from his chair. "Don't worry, he said. "I'll be gone in an hour," and he walked out the door and straight to his office.

So the Big Man doesn't understand, Hal thought. He chuckled; I've got a drawer full of tapes that tell a different story. Oh the Big Man was too smart to put anything in writing, but Hal had the tapes that proved exactly what the Big Man knew about Hal's "creative accounting," which he had encouraged.

Hall unlocked the desk drawer, took out the tapes and dropped them into a mailing envelope he had already addressed to the Chairman of the Board. Then he wrote a very short note to the Big Man and sealed it in an envelope. On his way out, he left the envelope with his secretary and asked her to give it to the Big Man in an hour. On his way to the elevator, he dropped the mailing envelope into the mail drop. This was at 10:36 am.

At 11:39 am, the Big Man had just read a note that said, "You fraud, just wait." The Big Man shook his head, then read the note again, studying each word carefully, but still he did not understand.

x x x

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