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idioms...sayings understood by native speakers part sixteen
The head of the Matthews family held a dosier in front of him.
Lynn Marie Johnson.
Parents: Mary Jo Johnson, deceased. Died in a car accident 2007. Thomas Aaron Johnson, deceased, died in Gulf War.
Has one brother, Charles Aaron Johnson, handicapped, whom she is legal guardian.
Education: Attended Decatur Highschool, salutorian of graduating class. Attended State University on scholarship, with a degree in business, minor in library science and psychology..
Work History: odd jobs thru highschool and college. Hired by Matthews Toy company in the personal assistant pool in 2003,
Criminal record: One altercation at age thirteen. No charges.
Associates: Other than work related, has one friend, Jennifer Anne Lundstrom.
Not much there... except that altercation? But the brother might come in handy. Everyone has a price.... thought the old man. Absolutely no econonmic worth, with a common education. Looking at the picture of Lynn more closely, I guess she is kinda pretty, like a teacher.
Picking up the next one, he arched his eyebrow. he was impressed bu the picture. Carl always liked the pretty ones.
Jennifer Anne Lundstrom.
Parents: Barbara Rose Lundstrom Wilson, deceased, Died of complications r/t alcoholism. Samuel Michael Lundstrom, deceased. Died in prison, complications of diabetes.
Joseph Wilson, second husband, deceased. Died of self inflicted GSW to the head after a drinking binge.
Has a half brother, Lawrence Harrison Wilson, age 21. Troubled teenager. Was removed out of foster care at age fourteen by his sister who became his legal guardian at age 21. Currently living with sister. Has a GED. Trained as a licensed bartender, first in class.
Employment HIstory: Currently a freelance market analyst. Co owner of "The Watering Hole" pub, with her brother.
Education: Validictorian at Decatur High School. Attended State University on Scholarship. Degree in Marketing, and business. Minor in Psychology. Holds Black belt in Karate.
Criminal history: Several run ins with police as a child. Arrested as a runaway and placed in foster care at age twelve.
The old man's eyes widened and smiled to himself. Ah, now that is interesting... she should fall like a house of cards. Thought the old man as he closed the file.
Lynn answered the door quickly.
"Ah, Mrs. Allen. I am soooo glad. I got your message last night, but it was too late to..."
A young woman, with mousey brown hair and glasses, stood behind Mrs. Allen.
"Is this the woman you told me about?"
'Yes. This is my niece, Jan Pierce. She is currently amongst the many unemployed teachers due to the economy." Mrs. Allen paused, "And, well, since she has nothing better to do but sit at home and eat bonbons that she can't afford. I brought her along to help with Charlie."
"Um, Come in. Make yourself at home."
"Um, Miss Pierce, what is your degree in?"
"Oh, Elementary Education with a minor is Special Education."
Lynn nodded, "So, you are able to help your Aunt here take care of Charlie?"
"No problem. My aunt has informed me of his special makeup."
"Yes. Sight mental retardation, with auditory/tactile sensitivity, and autism behaviors of rocking when overstimulated or becoming overly tired."
Lynn glanced over to Mrs. Allen. "I know you feel this is okay. But I don't think I can afford such a person."
"No worries. Like I said, she is unemployed right now. She should be grateful for what she gets."
Jan giggled. "Besides, Miss Johnson...for me to pursue my master's. I need someone like Charlie."
"Ah, research. I have an idea that might set the world on fire for these people with mixed diagnoses. Currently, educational plans for special need children can only reflect one diagnosis to get money from the government. If I can prove a multidiagnoses approach is warranted to improve educational outcomes, I might be able to convince the government to pay more and salvage these people."
"Okay..... But Charlie is not a lab rat."
"Oh, no worries."
"What is your experience?"
"Oh, I am substitute teaching right now. But on days when I am not needed, I would like to come with my aunt."
"So, you don't expect to get paid?"
"Not really." She paused as if thinking very hard. "From what my aunt tells me, Charlie has great potential."
Lynn jumped when another knock came to the door.
"I am sorry that should be my ride." She turned to Mrs. Allen. "I am going to have to trust that Charlie won't get hurt by any of this. He really is worn out from last night. He is still asleep."
"No worries, Lynn.."
Lynn opened the door, seeing Rick, she smiled. "Just let me grab my jacket."
Rick entered as Lynn ran to her room.
"Mr. Rick?" Mrs. Allen whispered.
He raised his hand to quiet her. "It's okay. How'd it go?"
"Fine. So far so good." Jan whispered.
Mrs. Allen frowned. She pulled her niece closer and quietly murmured, "Hush, girl."
"So, " as Rick turned on his left turn signal, "Have you eaten?"
"No." Lynn confessed. "I overslept."
He pulled into a McDonald's, "I haven't eaten either. Let's get some breakfast."
They headed down the familiar streets towards work.
"Rick? Are you okay?"
"Sales... that is a hard row to hoe."
"It will be a challenge, but I was pretty good back in my day."
Lynn giggled. "Back in your day?" she paused, "Just how old are you?"
"Hey, I am only thirty-five. Why do you ask?" He smirked. "Do you think of me as a cradle robber?"
"Ha, you are only six years older than me, give or take. Besides, it is not the years, it's the mileage."
"You got that right." as he parked the car. They sat and ate.
"Tell me about your friend, Jenny."
"Jenny?" Lynn spoke quietly.
"How'd you meet her?"
"Oh. Jenny and I went to the same middle school. She was really pretty then, too. But quiet, smart. She would have her head down in class. When the teacher would ask her to repeat what was said, she would. Verbatim. Once the math teacher put an extremely hard question on the board that no one could answer, Jenny started to snore. He slammed a book on her desk and she did not even flinch. When she finally looked up and acknowledged him, he told her to go the board and answer the question. She did. I was in awe. But she did not talk to us... I noticed her clothes were worn, and she never seemed to eat lunch. I told my mom. She would pack double for me. When I offered it to Jenny, she looked through me and said, she did not need charity. So every morning I would get there before her and place an apple, or a banana on her desk."
"She sounds like she was pretty tough."
"She is. Anyway, one day I went to pick up Charlie from the elementary school. He was sitting in the nurse's office, battered and bruised. I was told that he fell on the playground. Charlie really did not talk much then. He was forced to go to regular classes because his IQ was too high, and they said, he had to learn social skills." She paused, remembering.
"Oh, sorry." She sighed. "Anyway, I was takihg Charlie home when four big fifth grade boys stood in front of us. Charlie was only in third grade... but when he saw them, he ducked behind me. They called him some names and then said, it was time to get beaten again. I ... got... mad..."
Rick gave a gentle laugh. "You got mad?"
Lynn gave him a rueful smile. "Wisdom and intelligence tend to get ignored when I get angry..."
Rick smirked, remembering her meeting with his father.
Lynn cleared her throat, "Anyway, I got mad. I head butted the biggest one and started to flail on him. and then the other three pulled me off. Charlie ran and hid. As the big one swung to hit me, a big stick came down across his arm and then the other three dropped me. All I saw was this tall blond hair girl waving bid stick and chasing after them. It was Jenny. She helped me find Charlie and we walked him home."
"Wow. That is some story."
"My mom saw us and took care of all our scrapes and bruises and then the police showed up."
"Yeah, apparently the one had gotten his arm hurt. His parents filed charges."
"Oh, my mom gave them a what for."
Rick thought carefully. "So, you get your anger honestly?"
"Yeah. I can't stand to see injustice being done to those I love." she sighed, "Just like my mom."
"So when you came to my defense?"
Lynn blushed from ear to ear. "Oh, my. Look at the time. We really have to go."
Rick's phone vibrated. He read the emergency memo in regards to his demotionn.
"Time to face the music."
Rick hit the numbers 3 and 5 in the elevator. Lynn glanced up at the number ten. the one where Rick had lived for the last eight years. As the doors opened on three, she gently squeezed his hand and left without saying a word, for the elevator was filled with people. No one was speaking, after all, the CO was there. Two men got on at four, talking loudly amongst themselves.
"Did you read the memo?"
"Yeah. I wonder what he did to deserve that?
"Sales.... of all places. I wouldn't want to be in his...." the man turned pale as he finished with "shoes." Seeing Rick in the elevator.
The number five flashed and Rick exited. As the door closed, Rick just shook he head, knowing that by the time that elevator had delivered everyone, the entire company would be buzzing. He strolled towards the phone and clocked in, then headed to the old office of Steve Hauser.
Steve had a box on his desk cleaning it out.
"Rick?" He stopped what he was doing and grabbed the younger man's hand shaking if furiously. "thankyou for what you did."
"Steve, aren't you upset for being demoted?"
"Naw. You saved my job. I will never forget that, besides, this place can take a toll. I am looking forward to the research and development team."
"Steve, remember. Two days here and three downstairs. HR pulled some strings and you are filling two part time positions." Looking at the box, "I just hate that you have to leave here. You are best man for this job."
Steve laughed. "I remember you were pretty good at it."
"Only because I had you as my teacher." He grinned. Steve heard a noise. As he turned, he saw Mrs. Smith carrying a box and a man from janitorial pushing a dolly, loaded with a file cabinet.
As she entered into the former office of Steve Hauser, she saw her boss and nodded. Directing the help, she set things up. Right down to producing a hammer and nail to tac up his Big Mouth bass he had caught in the Rockies and had had mounted. She dismissed the hellp and turned to Rick.
"Mr. Matthews, I don't know what to say."
"Don't worry, Mrs. Smith. I am only an interim manager."
She glanced up. "Well, whatever you have to prove, hurry it up. I don't think I can work for your father very long. I barely survived the my first five years with him." she lowered her voice. "I changed the passwords on all your files in your computer upstairs." Handing him a piece of paper, "And this file cabinet is the one you kept your special projects in. I see no reason for the elder Mr. Matthews to have access to that."
Rick was amazed.
"Now, excuse me. I have a meeting with HR to see if there might be a transfer available to the sales department." She breezed out as quickly as she came.
Steve finishing with his packing, laughed. "That woman is a force to be reckoned with."
"She sure is."
Carl came out of his office as Lynn clocked in.
"Where have you been?"
"Um, I clock in at nine." Lynn said gently.
"From now on I expect you to get here by Seven, got it?" he headed to leave the area. "Oh, and call an emergency meeting of the team for um, eight thirty. I have to go and talk to a salesman."
Carl entered the sales floor. Ten men in ten cubicles were all readin their memos, with various whispers to each other. He saw a man scraping off Steve Hauser's name. As he entered the office, Rick and Steve were shaking hands.
"Steve. I hear you work for me now."
"yes. But only three days a week."
"Fine. So I own you for twenty four hours. Come on. I need to introduce you to my team." He then went up to Steve. "Thirty days." He handed him a bag and walked out of the office turning expectantly to Steve, who muttered, "And so it begins."
Rick reached into the bag and pulled out a large pad of paper as he opened it up, he shook his head. Laughing, he threw it on his desk as he went out to the team leader at the first cubicle. "Emergency meeting in fifteen minutes. Gather everyone and have them come to the office." He removed his trophy off of the wall and in its place, he hung the pad up with a big number thirty on it.
to be continued....