“I’ve been at the Engineering Building since 7:15 this morning, Mr. Boyle, working. I’m not late ... and I know what the work hours are. How can I help you or did you climb those stairs just to chide me for being late?”
I took a deep breath. “Our department supplied them for the Women’s Expo on Saturday. Please don’t use that language with me, Mr. ... ”
“The university’s colors are red and black, not pink.”
“How many do you have?”
I looked at him hard, and just a little more than testily, said, “Well, I think we ordered a couple thousand, but we gave away about five hundred on Saturday. We have several opportunities this month to hand them out.”
“You keep forgetting I’m your direct supervisor and you answer to me. I said get rid of them. Throw them out. Don’t give any more away. WE DON’T DO PINK!”
“Good heavens,” Sharon said mockingly.
“Hey, boss,” he said as I passed him to take a seat closer to the front with Sharon.
“Hey, Charlie. What type of shots you planning?” I asked.
“Like the science projects Michael and Ben did throughout school?”
Jamie’s team came in third, but out of the thirty-six teams entered, third place was a remarkably good showing and could be proudly included on his résumé.
I had my own Rube Goldberg to deal with, but his name was Bennett Boyle. Funny, he really does make the simplest things extremely complicated.