Fly the Friendly Skies



by Keith G. Laufenberg

-1-

THE DECISION

Revenge is profitable, gratitude is expensive.

—Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Ch. 11.

 

David Thomas stared at the television screen and his eyebrows disappeared into his forehead—in amusement. The picture on the screen was from a surveillance tape, taken by a hidden camera, and showed one of Thomas’ customer service agents pilfering money from the flight cocktail sales. He knew who it was, Raymond ‘Ray-Jay’ Jackson, a thirty-five-year-old agent with fourteen years of service to Big Orange Airlines. Thomas had, at one time in the past, thought that Ray-Jay would be promoted to supervisor before he would, but then Thomas had a bachelor’s degree, something Big Orange’s CEO made mandatory for anyone entering management and Ray-Jay Jackson had only three years of college, although he was attending night school, being only twenty credits shy of getting the sheepskin, and this prompted Thomas to think that Jackson was gunning for his job. Thomas was the only one yet to have viewed the tape and realized that he could handle it any way that he chose to. He strolled to a large window and glanced down at the huge runway at Atlanta’s Hartsfield International Airport and speculated to himself how foolish Jackson had been, as there had been less than a hundred dollars in cocktail sales that day and it appeared as if Ray-Jay had only taken two bills out of all the funds available.

David Thomas removed the tape from the VCR and quickly made his decision—he would show the tape to his boss, that way he could reinforce his decision—which he already knew—and would suggest to his boss, to terminate Raymond James Jackson. He picked up the telephone on his desk and violently stabbed out three numbers. When it was picked up, on the second ring, Thomas’ lip curled upwards cruelly and he snarled, “Mr. Simons how are you sir?”

 

“I’m fine David, yourself?”





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