Business Games

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Jimmy's business was a game to him, until it wasn't.

Submitted: January 12, 2018

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Submitted: January 12, 2018



Candid, raw, 'colorful' feedback to please.

Jimmy walked into his private office and fell hard into his overstuffed chair.  He leaned it back as far as it would go and closed his eyes.  Things had happened so fast, that he needed to come up with a plan; just as fast.  He continued to lay there for thirty minutes, before opening his eyes, and smiling a cautious smile.  He had a little rubber ball in his right hand, that he let roll back and forth in his loose grip.  He leaned forward and began to write out his thoughts onto company stationary.  He, then, folded it up and put it into his breast pocket.

Things seemed a little brighter when he walked out of his office and into the reception area.  "Call the board together", he said as he breezed past his secretary.  After a quick call to check in with his wife, he asked that a sandwich and a beer be ordered from the deli down the street.  As he sat in his palatial office and ate, his plan became clearer and clearer in his mind.  His life would seem as if it was ruined, but he could see his comeback as clear as a 'bell' in his mind.  "Most of the board will be in place by three o'clock", the secretary reported as Jimmy wadded up the brown, waxed paper that his lunch came in.  He had a little basketball-type goal hovering over the trashcan and was delighted when he threw the 'ball' right through the hoop.

He sat silently, with his hands folded in front of him, for a moment before addressing the members of the board of directors.  "Later today, a bit of news will make it very hard for the board not to challenge my fitness to continue as chief executive officer of company.  Understand that, while my family's controlling interest here makes it impossible for you to challenge my authority, I will be agreeable to stepping down from my position; temporarily at least".  "Call it 'my firing' or whatever the in-house publicity guys suggests you call it...I don't care".  A collective gasp came from everyone in the room, followed by board members murmuring among themselves.  Everyone there, and most others in power, industry wide, knew about Jimmy's 'bad habit', and overlooked it until now.  One of the best kept 'secrets' in the business was finally going to come out.

After a few initial drafts of the press release, all who were involved agreed on the official 'position' the board would take, and to the wording of the statement that would be released.  All the while, during the deliberations, Jimmy dropped the tiny rubber ball onto the table over and over again.  He would sweep his hand from the side and catch it each time it bounced back up.  As each member of the 'farce', that was to take place, scurried out to position themselves for the first part of the plan, Jimmy, again, went over it all in his mind one more time.  He walked into his office and sat in his chair again.  His next step would involve talking to his long-suffering wife, but he purposely waited for the news media to break the story.  He hoped, with her connections and wide circle of friends, that she would already be 'in the know' when he arrived home later. 

He reached into his middle desk drawer and pulled out a little bag.  He opened it, and turned it upside down.  Out fell six, multi-colored 'jacks'.  Also, in the drawer, a deck of cards could be seen, as well as a checkerboard and packet of checkers.  He surveyed the jacks closely, before carefully bouncing the ball next to them and sweeping his hand to gather as many of them up as he could.  When he caught the ball, before it bounced again, he opened up his hand to reveal he had managed to grab all six jacks.  He closed his eyes and sighed at the tremendous feat he had just accomplished, and reveled in the powerful feeling it gave him.  He was truly invincible, and playing jacks, in his office, was just second nature to him; as he had been doing it for more than thirty years.  Normally, though, it would involve an up-and-coming youngster, who may or may not have wanted to participate.  He knew that he didn't leave these people much choice.  It was either play jacks with him, or risk being run out of the industry.

After playing several more rounds, by himself, he walked past the secretary.  He shook the jacks in his hand, like they were dice; making a distinctive noise that made her skin crawl.  His lawyer met him at his home, along with his wife.  It was tense, as the three of them sat there, discussing the day's events.  "I told you to play games all you wanted, but to NOT get caught!", his wife screamed at him as she cried.  "You could have went to one of hundreds of arcades in this city and played games like the rest of the unsatisfied businessmen in this town, but you had to do it at the office".  She was adamant that her 'looking the other way' was no excuse for him putting young people, in his business, in a 'play or be unemployed' position.  It was not only wrong, it could, and apparently did, mess up their long-standing 'arrangement'.

When the three finally got through 'discussing' what needed to be done, they had decided to immediately announce the couple's intentions to divorce; secretly hammering out a divorce agreement right away, that would protect as much of their assets as the system would allow.  They both knew there would be many lawsuits, and a few of them would probably result in large payouts.  The lawyer was dispatched to immediately begin filing paperwork to get the agreement 'set into stone'; and feel out what the 'right' judge might overlook.  Each of them would trade carefully choreographed 'charges' during the court 'battle'.

A few days later, Jimmy walked into a building and was immediately met by a man and a woman in white 'scrubs'.  They spent a few minutes 'combing' through his luggage and his pockets for contraband.  A group of photographers were 'accidentally' allowed to see through a crack in the door, while he was being searched.  After it was determined that he was 'game free', he was escorted to his room.  Rehab was the next step in his reformation.  A few weeks 'inside', of the fifth most reputable facility that treated 'game addiction', should just do the trick.  He knew better, as he settled into his room, but couldn't resist turning on the TV.  Story after story of his uninvited 'game playing', and the 'forced' game playing of many others, flooded the news cycle.  He sat back on his bed and watched, fueling great memories of the many games he had played with so many.

It was after dinner, and a 'group' session with other 'gamers', that Jimmy found himself, again, in his room lying on the bed.  He thought he heard a commotion out in the common area, and went out to investigate.  When he got there, he couldn't believe his eyes.  Most of the patrons of the facility were openly 'gaming' in front of each other and members of the place's staff.  Over the next few weeks, he found ample opportunity to 'game' with other 'patients' and a few 'hired wringers' that were brought in as well.  There was everything from Gin Rummy, to Poker, and of course, his first love; jacks.  What he thought was going to be a boring, but necessary step in cleaning up his tarnished image, was instead a never-ending party.

The whole scandal had blown up into a worldwide 'deal'.  Other business men and a few ladies were dropping like flies over their own 'gaming' habits.  This was the best of all worlds for Jimmy, whose gaming fiasco faded a bit, among the rash of some of the biggest businessmen in town falling out of favor.  He was so excited to see some of the attention taken off of himself.  It, actually, gave him a real chance to reflect on what he had done to so many new 'executives'.  It really made him wonder why, at least, one of his 'forced' gamers hadn't come forward and exposed him long ago.  There, of course, was the 'hit squad' he had assembled to make life in business really tough on someone who might 'rat' him out.  That explained the reluctance of many of his victims.  But, some of them became nearly untouchable in the world of business and could easily 'buy and sell' a guy like Jimmy.  While grateful to those few, whatever their reason for keeping silent, it was still something he would never understand.

Months later, with the 'ugly' divorce behind him, Jimmy was relieved that, at least, some of the family's assets would be safe from litigation.  His kids and former wife would be taken care of, and the bags of cash he had stashed all over the country, and the foreign accounts, would allow him to live like a king for the rest of his life.  It didn't look good for becoming CEO of his company again, but that was OK.  He had plenty of time to focus on planning whatever his next 'business' would be.  He would just wait it out, because people's attention spans nearly always betrayed their efforts to force any 'real' change in the 'business' world.  Then, he would have a whole new generation of those who would be forced to play his 'games' to get ahead in business.  Yup...he would just wait it out...

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