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There are no bodies buried between these walls

At one point, breathable, waterproof neon jackets with lots of pockets were all the rage. Farnham Fabrics congratulated themselves on securing a lucrative contract with Walmart that would guarantee the company’s financial well-being for at least five years.


            But a small fire in the packing area caused a hiccup that threatened to become a major obstacle.

            The executives at Farnham Fabrics were seated around the conference table in the boardroom, nervously waiting for the meeting to start. Normally they met twice a month. But this wasn’t a normal month because inventory intended for Walmart had gone up in flames.

            “Fortunately, no employees were injured in last week’s fire and there was minimal damage to the machinery. The floor had to be repaired and the wall needed replastering and painting, but all in all, we got lucky. Unfortunately, we had to discard the jackets intended for Walmart because the zippers melted in the heat,” said the director as he opened the meeting.

            He leaned toward the production manager. “How long do you think it’ll be before we’re operating at one hundred percent?”

            “We’re fully operational now. I have a crew working overtime and they understand the importance of making up the shortfall.”

            “We were very fortunate that Walmart was willing to accept an alternate product from us.”

            “Yes, but it was more expensive to produce, and that meant we shorted another client,” said the marketing manager.

            “We delayed delivery of the product to them,” corrected the director.

            “We’ll have their product ready in two days.”

            The door to the boardroom opened. A tall, balding woman bustled to a seat.

            “Just the person I wanted to see,” said the director.

            The woman opened a pink leather portfolio. “While there were no injuries in the fire, one of the workers was hurt when a heavy canister rolled onto his foot. Upon further investigation, it was discovered that he was smoking in the packaging area. He leaned back, lost his balance and the canister rolled over his foot. He dropped his cigarette onto the floor and it sparked a flame. The resulting smoke automatically triggered the overhead sprinkler system and the fire was quickly put out. The city fire department dispatched a truck onto the scene because our sprinkler system is tied into their surveillance system, but the fire was out before they got here.”

            “Was the employee terminated for causing the fire?”

            “Of course not,” responded the woman. “First, he was on break when he lit his cigarette. Second, we’re not that kind of company.”

            “Doesn’t he know he’s not supposed to smoke inside the warehouse?”

            “He most certainly does now.”

            She paused. “The greatest threat came from the fire inspector. He threatened to shut us down. He said the garment business is on its last legs, and the sooner the city steps in, the better.”

            The threat worried the company director.

            “You can relax. I took care of him. He’s never going to bother us again.”

            “Mom, what did you do,” asked the director. “Coming in this morning, I noticed two windows had been boarded over. You didn’t have him put between two walls, did you?”

            She laughed. “Sonny, what a thing to say! We’re not the Capone family and we live in New York, not Chicago.”

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