ONE CLOWN SHORT, page-23

Mandy hadn't seen Violet in a couple days. They hadn't even spoken about her meeting
with Lulu. Mandy thought it best to leave her in the dark until the merger announcement came
out. Just then her e-mail alert dinged. "Here we go!"
To: All Big Top Employees
From: Executive Offices
As we make our way through the maize that is the circus, we are faced with many challenges every
day. Are drive and passions for the circus our stirred inside us. The prize in the Cracker Jack box for all
of us is the ten carrot diamond ring. Or for some of you, the brass ring on the marry go around.
However in this changing business economy we can't always fined the prize alone. Without help
and a strong team we will waist our energy. As of June 1st Three Ring Circus Equipment will acquire
Big Top Supplies. The employees of Three Ring are prose in there field. We welcome there advice and
expertise during this time of transition. The roll that each and every one of you will play is crucial to the
success of the merged company. As we make our way through the merger maize let's keep our I on the
prize, that gorgeous 10 carrot ring. We will emerge stronger and will awl be rewarded handsomely.
The rode may be long but the rewards are meny. The following organizational changes are being made
to assist with the merger. Mandy Maloney has been promoted to Director of Accounting Services. She
has responsibility for developing and executing our quality control.
Gary Blissler will now assume Mandy's responsibilities for sales training and documentation in
addition to are ecommerce sites. He has been promoted to Director of Everything Sales Related Support.
Violet Smith has been promoted to Director of Public Relations and Communication Liaison. They
all report to Butane Bob until there jobs are eliminated by Three Ring. Let's not loose site of the
contributions they have all made to Big Top Supplies. We which them well in there new positions. To
remind us dayly of are future success, click the attached link for the new Three Ring wallpaper and
screen saver for your pea sea. Enjoy and stay tuned for more information on our celebration party event
coming soon.
62"
"Who wrote that?" Mandy was appalled. Spell-check wouldn't pick up most of these errors,
but hadn't someone at least proofread the thing before hitting that send button? Violet would
never have turned out something like this. Suddenly she felt sick to her stomach. It was time to
panic. "Violet and Gary haven't been told. This is how they heard about their own promotions.
This is bad, very bad. I'm really in no mood for what I know must be waiting outside my door."
The phone began to ring over and over and over again. Her voice mail light was blinking
incessantly. "Putting this off will only make it worse. I need a drink. Or some drugs. Or
something." Her heart was sinking and her faith that anything positive would come to pass was
nonexistent.
She very carefully opened the door and peeked out. She should have known—Cassie, the
team spokesperson, was first in line. There were about ten others behind her. She heard from the
back of the crowd, "Oh, thank God, she wasn't fired!" It was Gary breathing a sigh of relief.
Upon hearing that, the crowd sharply turned to see who had said it. They stood dumbstruck
when they realized it was Gary. Violet was pushing her way through the crowd. A look of
outright fear was on her face.
"Mandy! What is going on? What do you know that the rest of us don't?" She was
screaming at the top of her lungs.
Cassie piped in. "Mandy, why are we being taken over by a vegetable company? All that
talk about corn and carrots and peas. It just didn't make any sense."
"Violet, Cassie, Gary—please calm down." Mandy looked around at the group. "I know you
all want to talk with me. And I want to talk with you. I will share with you what I know, but
believe me, it's not much. Let me see if I can find a conference room so we can all sit down and
talk comfortably." As she said that, she saw red coming toward her out of the corner of her eye.
"Mandy! Violet! Gary! I need to see you right away." It was Butane Bob. "Right now, in
the firehouse. Hurry! This place is out of control!"
"No shit, Sherlock!" said a voice from the dispersing crowd. Mandy had always heard that
his office was called the firehouse, but she thought it was just another way to make fun of him.
She had never heard Butane Bob call it a firehouse before. As the crowd thinned, Mandy
mouthed to Gary and Violet, "Weren't you told?" She got a silent but very angry "No!" in return.
They took their appointed chairs in the firehouse. All that red was giving Mandy an instant
headache—as if she weren't seeing enough of it already, without coming in here.
"I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to speak with all of you before that announcement came
out. I was disabling the fire siren doorbell.
This place is in such an uproar already, it doesn't need a fire alarm to get the masses riled up
any more than they already are. First, I want to apologize to all of you. Reading that
announcement was scary enough in its own right." He paused for a moment. "Who wrote that,
anyway?" He was shaking his head in wonder.
63"
"Butane Bob, that was a horrible communication." Mandy had to speak up. "How am I
supposed to set an example for my team, whose job depends on their ability to write in a clear
and understandable way, when trash like that comes from the ‘executive office?'" She made little
quote signs with her fingers.
"Pretty pathetic, isn't it? I can't get a hold of Lulu to find out what's going on. Anyway, for
all of you, you have new jobs starting immediately. Your pay raise is twenty-five big ones.
Mandy, take some time to get Gary up to speed. Violet, you can move to Mandy's office, since
she will be moving over closer to accounting."
"Do I get to pick another color for my walls?" Mandy joked, trying to lighten up the mood
in the room.
"Already been done for you by the random paint selector application. Green, the color of
money, I believe is what was chosen for you. It's amazing what we pay Paul Brown good money
to do for us, and yet we can't even understand a word he says."
Mandy rolled her eyes again.
Gary and Violet both sat stiffly with clenched jaws, gritting their teeth
"Again, I'm sorry for the way this happened. I really do appreciate your contributions to the
company. This place would have tanked long ago without all of you. Gary, Violet, I know you
will roll with the punches as always. We need more like you around here."
Gary and Violet sat in silence. They were both angry and really wanted to have at it with
Mandy for not telling them about the merger. Butane Bob's compliments rang hollow. They both
thought they had a pact with Mandy to share all information, no matter how top-secret it was.
They felt betrayed.
"Thank you for the vote of confidence. But what does this mean, this merger?" asked Gary.
"Don't know. It's even news to me. I was called in for a seven a.m emergency meeting. Lulu
wasn't even there. Louis Everly made the announcement. Strange stuff, that's for sure."
"Who's he?" they asked all at once.
"He's a board member. Biglar left him in charge. They were college roommates and best f
riends."
"What do you mean, left him in charge? Who is it that is giving the earnings reports?"
"Well, I'm told it's Biglar, but I've known Biglar for many years and it sure doesn't sound
like him."
"What do you mean, it doesn't sound like him?" Violet's voice cracked.
"No one has seen Biglar in several years. He was having a mid- life crisis of sorts and went
off to find himself. This is his family's company. He lived and breathed the circus since he was a
baby. He needed a break. He left Louis in charge. They are very old and dear f riends. I have to
assume that Biglar is in contact with the board."
"Now I'm really getting nervous." Gary fidgeted in his seat and tried to casually wipe his
sweaty palms on his pants.