Sunday, January 22, 2017

A Darker Life

Elliott sat on the edge of his seat in his spartan office. He had only an old metal desk from this Olive Garden's previous manager, a bright fluorescent light in the corner, and a file cabinet filled with alarmingly large expense reports. Profits had not been abundant ever since Elliott took charge of the Olive Garden nearly two months ago, and he was cutting back costs any way he could. He was checking his watch and expectantly glancing toward the door every 20 seconds, waiting on a knock. "Is this really worth it?" What have I come to?" Elliott began realizing his doubts about this dubious plan when a weak knock sounded on the office door. "Come in," responded Elliott. A short man in worn, baggy blue jeans, and a white t-shirt with some stains came in and sat down on a cold aluminum folding chair across from Elliott. "I need your salt shakers." Elliott was blunt; there was no attempt at introductions or formalities. Guillermo was unsure how Elliott had come to know of these, but he had been getting the feeling that the law was not too far off his trail. He felt he had to lose them soon or else face some consequences. "How much" came Guillermo's response after several seconds of silence. "I'll give you 20 for 15 sets. I'll never talk about it again" said Elliott quickly. His blood was pumping.
"That's too low."
"I know you were never in it for the money."
"I need more, you know what would have happened if I'd been caught."
"Fine, 30 for 20 sets. I'm not giving any more."
"I can do that."
The deal was done. Guillermo stood up and walked away quickly. He'd work out the details later, but for now it was time to round up 20 salt and 20 pepper shakers.
Back in his office, Elliott still couldn't believe the lengths that he was going to to save money. Selling the $10 salt and pepper shakers on Ebay and replacing them with cheaper stolen ones? That was pathetic. It might provide an extra $100. But, that very well could end up being the difference between unlimited breadsticks and only a lot of breadsticks.