“They really shouldn’t keep these things lying around like this.” John, a stickler for orderliness, said to himself, looking at the pile of papers as he went about cleaning the empty cubicles and dusting the tables and monitors.
It was past 6 PM on a warmer than usual November evening in Houston. One of the victims of the economic downturn of 2001, John had lost his job and much of his savings in the free-falling stock market, and had been relegated to taking up a temporary job with a cleaning services company to make ends meet.
The cleaning crew was in, and most employees had left for the day. There were still a few of them hunched in their cubicles, some working late, and some just killing time, browsing, chatting or emailing.
“Get a life, guys!” he wanted to say.
No one had bothered to give him a second look as he meticulously went around vacuuming the floor. He had been passing by people in suits talking in hushed tones in the hallways and outside meeting rooms. He had recently overheard conversations about selling all the company shares and shredding the documents before the auditors got in. No one thought he knew enough to understand what they were talking about.
The recycle bin was stacked, and the shredder was overflowing as well. Some papers were left carelessly in one of the cubicles. He looked around carefully and glanced at them - balance sheets and documents. He could sense that something fishy had been going on.
They ought to have been more careful. They really shouldn’t have kept these things lying around like this, but he didn’t mind as he stashed the loosely scattered papers, memos and balance sheets safely.
“Enron would soon have some answering to do” thought the former investor who had recently lost a fortune, contemplating the next course of action with his newly acquired evidence of the company’s wrong-doings.