Daniel wore khaki pants and white polo that hung loosely on his thin frame. The fifty year old bank manager sipped his red wine as he entered the kitchen which smelled like fresh rosemary and rich cream. His housemaid, Gerta, had bubbling pots ans sizzling frying pans on every element.
“Smells delicious in here, Gerta, just delicious.” He pecked his nose at the air like a bird pulling falling bread out of the air.
“Yes, Mr. Daniel,” said Gerta.
“We’re just about ready in there. Mr. Roberts and his wife arrived and look hungry so let’s make this thing perfect.”
“Yes, Mr. Daniel,” said Gerta
A cell phone rang. Gerta pulled it out of her apron and answered it. Daniel couldn’t understand what she was saying but she was upset. Something had happened, an accident. Gerta was nearly in tears as she tossed her apron on the counter and ran out. “My daughter! The hospital! So sorry!”
“Gerta! Wait, what about dinner?” Daniel surveyed the mess of the kitchen. “Hrm. Alright. Well. No problem, I’ll just delegate this to… to, uh, hm.” The boiling pots begged for attention.
“You there!” He pointed aggressively at the pots. “I don’t want to see you slacking! I need this dinner on my table ay 6:30! We run a tight ship here!” The pots bubbled.
“I can be your greatest friend or your worst enemy!” He sipped his wine. “Let’s get this money train moving!” He pumped his arm enthusiastically. The pan of onions squeaked in oil.
“I get you. You remind me a lot of myself at your age. If you become dinner I will make you regional manager. Oh, alright, Vice President of Development and that’s my final offer.” A ball of red sauce exploded onto the range.
“You’re going to make me get my hands dirty, huh? I’m no stranger to messy situations. You’ll regret this!” He rolled up his sleeves and picked up a wooden spoon with his free hand. He stirred daintily, going around the pot once and stopping. “That’s a thrashing you won’t forget!”
The apron caught fire. One of the ties fell too close to the heat and was burning. “Hostile takeover!” Daniel almost tossed his glass of wine at but decided against it, taking a sip instead. He found an oven mitt and just threw it at the flames. “Unstoppable,” he said.
“What’s going on in here?” Mr. Roberts had become peckish and bored and found his way into the kitchen. “Is dinner almost ready, Daniel?”
Daniel turned his eyes to the floor. “I’m very sorry, sir, but there will be no dinner tonight. My housekeeper ran out suddenly and I can’t get this operation producing again. I’ve tried everything! I tried motivating, I tried negotiating, I tried being aggressive, but nothing has worked. I hoped I would be able to impress you tonight, sir, but clearly I’ve failed.”
Roberts put a hand on his shoulder. “Being willing to fail is an important quality in an executive. I know you have a bright future ahead of you.”
Daniel brightened and eagerly grabbed Roberts hand. “Thank you, sir. Would you like to go outside and discuss some of my ideas?”
“Yes. This whole house is a lost cause.”
“That’s executive decision making!”
Daniel walked his boss out of the kitchen just as the oven mitt was just beginning to singe.