A New Job Promotion Twist Part 5

I am awake at 4:30 am. Quickly, I dress and shower and groom myself. By 5:30am I am out the door and down to the diner I eat at every year after New Associate Day. I eat oatmeal, fruit and drink a water. At 6:30am, I am making my way back to Fashionable. At Monday at 6:55 am, I am allowed in. By 7:30am I am sitting at a table with all those who had joined Fashionable fifteen years ago, except for Toni – she had died last year. Hannah Short, now President of Security briefs us. “Today, you will be following the first year associate you were assigned to. Make sure they obey the rules. Keep them out of harm and trouble. Your cars will be equipped with the ability to find their cars on GPS. File a report when they return, then you may go home.”

I can taste it when at 11am Nicole is set free on her car and her new world. I have seen her list, but no schedule has been forwarded to me. Most likely, she is going to go to the first name on the list. And she is off. I am right behind her. You can feel her buzz as she drives these busy roads wearing the cryx. It is truly a powerful feeling. We weave this way and that through traffic until we are on our way north out of Chicago and into Wisconsin, Kenosha in fact where I live at night.

She decides to skip a couple of places on the list and gets to the first place on her list that we run into. That does seem very organized. I wait on the back side of the building while she walks into the bar. I would guess that they might buy soda or pizza or even candy from us. She will try to sell him these things. After a certain amount of time is up, I rub the crystal of my cryx gently, and I feel myself fade from view. Then, I walk into the bar. I can feel her in the back of the room. I have extra hearing as I listen to them.”

“Our Fash Candy bars have a smooth nugget center. Here is a free sample.” I dare not go in, but I can imagine that she has touched him. She might be tempted to do more than that, but she would have been warned strongly against it. Of course under her influence he says, “The chocolate is pretty good. I am still under contract with Distributions for soda and pizza, but I might buy a shipment of these candy bars.” I can hear her relax. “That would be great Mr. Mandren. Please fill out this form.”

At this point, I walk out of the bar and back to my car. I wait maybe five minutes when she is sauntering back outside. I can see that he has walked her out and is watching her carefully as she gets in the car. She has given him no extra viewings. Then, she is speeding off to the next place. We hop from this place to the next place, each one in line rather than right down the list – makes sense. We made four stops all similar to that last one. But the last stop was really awkward for me.

It was approaching 2:30pm. I was getting nervous about going back to Chicago, but Nicole confidently walks into a gas station literally blocks from my home. I am about to walk in when my wife gets out of her car to fill up the car with gas. I have never seen her before in these eyes. Time has been well to her – myself too as a man, thanks to the influence Gary and his wife had on our diet and lifestyle. I want to look at her, but then I walk back in. I am listening at the door, invisible again as Nicole is giving the pitch. Yao, his name is, has been with our company for a long time, but does not want to sign an extension. He wants to switch to Distributions.

Nicole frantically says, “You can’t want their work. Our service is better, as are our prices.” I can sense the tricks she is using, but he is resolute and firm. There must be a reason – does he wear something that makes him immune to one of us? Finally, she sees the time and is forced to give up. She stalks out. Invisible I peek in on him. I can sense that I am right. I listen for a second as he talks to someone on the phone. “No, she did not try to force herself on me. Yes, she pushed, but not beyond the limits you had asked me to watch for. Thank you. We continue to appreciate our business with Fash. I appreciate the discount you are giving me for this next three months. Goodbye.”

I am trying to ponder the meaning of that when I run into of all people, my wife. “Excuse me, miss, she says.” I can feel her eyes on me, watching me trying to figure out what kind of woman I am as I walk out and back to my car. Then, I am speeding down the road. I am able to catch up with Nicole. I know the city and I know certain ways to escape attention and ways that are faster. By the time she hits the interstate going south I am right behind her again. There are no incidents as we make our way back to Chicago.

That night on the train back home I ponder everything I have learned about my company just three days after my promotion to security. We spy on new associates from the start. We have extra procedures to make sure they are following the rules. We attempt to trick them or steal their own cryxes from them. We will even work under the hand of our own security to do this. There were levels upon levels of plots and intrigues. I wonder about Nicole. She seems nice and straight laced. She broke no rules the whole time I was watching her. It seemed to me that Kelly would have been more apt to break rules. It has been a long weekend wearing the cryx, I am fast asleep with an hour of train to go.



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