Lloyd Peterson was crisp. His mind was as sharp as a tack, his $3,000.00 dollar suit was ironed to razor-sharpness, and his Type A personality allowed for no superfluous conversation; there had been times in the past where he used fewer than fifty words in the entire week. And as such, his employees all hated him. Not in the grumbling-around-the-water-cooler type of way that everybody hates their boss, but in a vicious , voodoo-needle-in-the-eye kind of way where his underlings routinely swore at him openly. He of course, took this as a compliment ("They're not supposed to like me," he once told his father, "but they'd better respect me."), and he walked through his workday life with the complete obliviousness of their gut searing, passionate hatred of him. Little did he know about the number of times his name appeared on the bathroom walls, usually in conjunction with his genitals getting repeatedly mangled through unlikely means.
He strolled through the maze of cubicles in the office and inspected the underlings while they worked, towering above them like an accountant god, a numbers-crunching deity of the highest order. He strode through the aisles with a well-honed serenity and ease of nature, barely making eye contact with those assembled calculator peons his father had hired. A gentle smirk touched Lloyd's lips, for he had fixed their wagon, just recently changing the work day start time from nine o'clock in the morning to a more respectable eight AM. There were no windows here, because Lloyd knew the outside world might prove distracting, and he required his underlings to focus no matter the harsh conditions thrust upon them. They were pros.
He nodded vaguely to a homely woman in the back, "Good morning, Bernice."
"My name's Lydia, douche."
He let that slight go; he could be magnanimous. They were still angry about the eight o'clock start time. Poor things were unable to watch American Idle because they had to go to bed early now. Didn't they know about Tivo? There were certain sacrifices one must make to be the best, and damn it, Lloyd was willing to allow his underlings to sacrifice whatever they could for the benefit of the business. Father would be so proud of him.
Lloyd's father never actually spoke to him. Instead, his personal secretary called or paged Lloyd for everything. Lloyd didn't mind, he just figured that was in keeping with his family's strong WASP-y heritage. Besides, Sheila was very pleasant toward him most days.
As he passed Bob's desk, a funny thing happened.
Bob wasn't at his desk. Not just slipped away to the bathroom or the water cooler, but actually absent from his locked work station. His computer wasn't even turned on. Lloyd paused and turned back to Bob's desk, wondering if Bob had gotten the memo about the eight o'clock start time. Had Bob been coming in at nine for the last three weeks while everyone else had been committed to the eight o'clock hour? Hmm, he'd have to check on that. Everyone had to pull their own weight, after all.
Suddenly, there was a ruckus reverberating down the hall, around the corner from the former break room. Lloyd looked up just in time to see Bob punching in for work.