Chapter 29

After Roger had gone, Yanni closed his office door and wept deeply.  He put on his favorite Andrea Bocelli cd and turned off the lights.

Yanni asked himself silently why he'dn't the courage to shout Roger out of the building once and for all.  In a world where things are called banes with distasteful regularity, Yanni felt compelled to dub Roger as such.  He digressed.

He called in his assistant Melinda.

She was disappointed to find Yanni sulking in the dark once again.  "Yanni, what are you doing?  You know this isn't good for you" she said knowingly.

Melinda had been Yanni's assistant for 3 years, ever since he had been promoted.  She knew him well and was a key player in at least one of his divorces.

"Melinda, come in and shut the door" Yanni instructed her with unusual boldness.  "Melinda, you're fired.  Pack up your things this afternoon and never come back."

"What?!" Melinda inquired.  "Did I do something wrong?"

Melinda wasn't entirely attracted to Yanni, per sé, but she was attracted to his position and his life.  She pitied him and knew that he was volatile and sometimes suffered from low self-esteem.  She thought he looked like Marco Antonio Solís and loved that most among his attributes.

"Just go, Melinda.  I don't need to explain -- I don't need your permission to fire you."

"Come on now, Yanni -- what's wrong?  Just yesterday you told me I deserved a raise and some day I might have your job.  These signals you transmit are mixed, to say the least."  Melinda perceived there might be something more to her firing than her work and results.

"Alright, fine.  Melinda, why can't I fire that asshole Roger Thomas.  He's a thorn in my side -- a thorn in my mighty lion paw!"  By now, the people whose desks were near Yanni's office were aware that he was having another emotional fit.  They were not distracted nor surprised.  "I have several well-documented reasons to cut him loose and yet, still, I cannot muster the gall to do it."

"Oh, Yanni."  Melinda's most prized workplace attribute was the ability calm and soothe Yanni's worries and she knew it.  "Roger is quite the malcontent.  He's a hideous creature and a horrible man.  But I think you and I both know that he's got the skills this company needs.  He's a wizard of the networks -- am I right?  You know I am.  It's not wrong to be ashamed -- you just can't bring yourself to do what you know on the inside is wrong.  You're such an awesome boss you can bring yourself to do no wrong."

Yanni looked up and saw Melinda's manipulative and somewhat-enamored gaze.  He wondered what he had done to deserve such fair counsel from an entry-level employee.

"Let's go get lunch" he said to her.