Mandy was so frustrated by the lack of productivity in her morning that she decided to take
things into her own hands. It was important that this intranet site get up and running so that the
sales people had a central spot to locate information. It would also help reduce the amount of
paper her team alone generated each month. And it might score some brownie points for her
with Lulu. Not that she thought she really needed them, but one never knows. She sent a
meeting notice to Paul Brown, asking to talk with him directly about it.
He replied almost immediately. "Ookinglay orwardfay otay itway."
"Whatever that means. I guess I'll have to look for that dictionary when I get home."
Ten o'clock the next morning arrived, and it was time for the meeting with Paul Brown.
Mandy had reviewed in her head over and over what she was going to say. "This is an extremely
important project, with huge cost-saving benefits to the company. It needs to get going. The
stores are so desperate for this. How can we work as a team to get this off the ground in the next
two weeks? We need to put together our game plan now."
She arrived at Paul Brown's office on time. He wasn't there.
"Great. Here we go again."
She entered and took a seat, making herself at home. This man didn't understand good
manners, so why should she? If it were any- one else, Mandy would have waited politely outside
the door until the person arrived. She looked around the room. It looked like many of the other
offices, with awards and circus memorabilia all over. The walls were orange.
"I wonder what that means."
Her eyes came to something on the wall that looked out of place. It was tucked between a
1995 Information Technology Specialist of the Year award and a picture of Mt. Everest. It was a
diploma of some sort. Mandy got up out of her chair to get a closer look.
Dewitt Matchbook University
Hereby confers upon
Paul Juice Brown
The degree of
Bachelor of Science
For the timely and accurate completion of the matchbook correspondence course
This Fourth Day of June, Nineteen Hundred and Ninety
"What is that—a matchbook correspondence course? Where's that prestigious university
Violet was talking about?"
Paul entered the room to find Mandy examining his diploma. "Mandy, adglay ouyay areway
akingmay ourselfyay atway omehay."
"I was just admiring all the honors on your wall." "Atwhay idday ouyay antway otay eesay
emay aboutway?" "That's an unusual middle name—Juice. Is it a family name?"
"Ymay othermay asway away ugehay anfay ofway Anita Bryant. Iway avehay away istersay
amednay Florida andway anotherway oneway alledcay Orange. Incesay Iway asway away
oybay, eshay optedway otay ivegay emay Juice asway away iddlemay amenay. Ownay atwhay
idday ouyay antway otay eesay emay aboutway?"
If she had any free time, she would look up some of this in her dictionary when she got
back to her office. A few words were scribbled on her notebook so she wouldn't forget. But she
really didn't feel like playing into his arrogance right now. Mandy began to go through all the
lines she had rehearsed. Paul sat behind his desk nodding his head. When she had finished, she
sat back in the chair and waited for him to respond.
"Eway avehay oresstay? Interestingway. Isthay isway away iticalcray ojectpray—Iway
ancay eesay atthay. Iway avehay away eveloperday Iway ancay assignway otay ouyay ethay
eginningbay ofway extnay eekway. Ehay illway ebay inishedfay ithway ethay otherway
applicationway ybay enthay."
"When can someone start on this? It's a desperate situation out in the field. I need an answer
from you."
"Iway oldtay ouyay Mandy, ethay eginningbay ofway extnay eekway. Ishay amenay isway
Steve Stephens. Ouyay'llay ikelay orkingway ithway imhay."
There was a knock on the door. "Paul, you're late for the staff meeting."
Paul got up and gathered his papers.
"Orrysay, otgay otay ogay. Iway'llay avehay Steve allcay ouyay."
She stomped her feet in frustration. "Who does this man think he is? Shows up late, leaves
early, and talks over my head because he gets a kick out of it. What could he have learned in a
matchbook correspondence course that makes him think he can treat people this way? And talk
that way? I have got to find another job before this place falls into the ever-flushing toilet for
Mandy suddenly heard chatter roll through the cubicles outside her office.
"What could that be all about?" she wondered. A head popped in her doorway.
"Mandy, look at your e-mail. Quick, quick, quick." Cassie was very excited about
She opened the announcement addressed to all e-mail users.
To: All Corporate Employees
The Board of Directors is proud to announce a new employee recognition award. We know that our
company can not be successful without the hard work and dedication of our employees, who consistently
go above and beyond the call of duty.
Our new program is called "The Ringmaster Extraordinaire." Every employee in the company now
has the opportunity to recognize fellow workers who go the extra mile doing what is best for the
Every time one of you is nominated, you will be presented with a beautiful pin of recognition. These
pins will be distributed to managers beginning tomorrow. Complete the nomination form that you will
find on the intranet. Bring that form to your manager, who will give you the pin to personally present
to your coworker.
Please wear this pin proudly. Big Top would not be the successful company that it is without you.
You are all the Ringmaster Extraordinaire!
"Pretty cool, huh, Mandy?"
"Pretty cool, Cassie. Just don't all run in here at once with your nomination forms."
"Oh, you are so funny."
"Cassie, we have work to do around here. Go back out there and tell them that unless the
new training material on trapeze gear is done by tomorrow, there'll be no pins for any of them!"
she said, waving her out of the office. Mandy giggled to herself as she heard the rumblings after
Cassie delivered the announcement to the group.
The next morning, Ronnie, the mailroom man, showed up at Mandy's door, red faced and
out of breath.
"Mandy, these pin deliveries are killing me." She had never seen his mail cart overflowing
like it was today. "Here are yours." Ronnie dropped a huge white box on her desk.
It landed with a loud thud.
"This is full of Ringmaster pins?"
"You got that right. Twenty five pounds of pins for each manager. And I'm the lucky guy
making all the deliveries."
"How many pins equals twenty-five pounds? Five thousand?
"More like six or seven thousand, I think."