Snakes and Pills

042 - free rumor

"This whole thing could have probably gone down a lot smoother if I hadn't drooled all over him," Mitchell said in a hurried voice.

"Will you quit sweating that? How many times have I told you, it's no big deal. People make mistakes. No one intends to spit on a potential business partner, so I'm sure he is quite clear on the fact that the saliva that flew out of your mouth and happened to land on him accidentally was just that--an accident. Plus, you already apologized quite profusely about it when it happened, probably a little too much, to be honest. So just don't worry," Mike, his business partner, said reassuringly.

The two men, dressed in sharp business suits, hurried down a hallway that ended up in a large rotunda filled with several seats, tables, and a solitary door guarded by a receptionist's desk. Mike quickly glanced at his watch as he approached the desk.


"Hello," he said to the smiling receptionist. "We're the representatives from Ternco for a ten o'clock meeting with Mr. Walker," he announced.

"Very good," she cheerfully replied. "I'll let him know you have arrived. Please take a seat," she politely implored. "I will let you know when you can go in to see him."

Mike nodded and thanked her, and sat down next to Mitchell, who had already taken a seat directly after the receptionist had indicated that he should do so. Both men breathed in quietly for a moment.

Then, Mitchell broke the air. "You really think I apologized too much?" he asked, with concern.

"Oh, Jesus Christ, Mitchell," Mike said, resting his nose in his fingers. "I was just jok--" he began, but he was interrupted by the receptionist's cheery voice booming across the room.

"Gentlemen, Mr. Walker will see you now."

Their idle chatter stopped. The two men stood up, and even Mike looked a little nervous. They both nodded politely as they walked past the receptionist's desk and through the solitary door which was now open.

On the other side, waited a big conference room, with a big conference table placed within. At the far end of the table sat Mr. Walker, who was not all that big of a man, physically. But from inside his three piece suit, this man could project himself into something much larger.

Mike and Mitchell were both cognizant of this fact, and thus they both trembled slightly as they took their seats opposite the man.

"Thank you for coming today," Mr. Walker said. Mike began to find his confident stride that had always made him such an excellent salesman. "Thank you for having us here, sir, and let me just tell you what an honor it is--" he managed to get out, before he was cut off for the second time today.

Mr. Walker put his hand up calmly, to gesture to Mike that he could stop talking. "Please, let's just cut with all the bullshit formalities. We're here to talk business, are we not, boys?"

Mike and Mitchell both nodded silently. Mike's confidence had been cut back down after being interrupted, and Mitchell never had any to begin with.

"Good," Mr. Walker continued. "Then I'll be blunt with you. We've had a good look at your proposal for us to carry your brand of suitcases at our department stores. And I've just got to say, I don't see it happening. We've already got an exclusive deal with Hutchinsons, and it's not like suitcases are hot-selling commodities, notwithstanding the particular high tech nature of your line."

He paused. "And I should add, on a personal note, I would never do business with someone who essentially spit on me. Gentlemen, good day."

And with that, Mr. Walker stood up, and exited the room.

Mitchell began sobbing.


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