“Christmastime Again” Chapter V

“I will need to get a little rest tonight, because in a few hours, I will be in for a fight with my family.” Having spoken his thoughts aloud, Robert sighed, parked his car in the garage, and went into his home for the much-needed four hours rest.

“Good Morning, Mercy and Merry Christmas, I would appreciate if you would make a cup of coffee for me and come into my office, we have some important things to do today, before the party. Oh yes, bring your coffee with you, because we will be some time figuring out all that needs to be done, and bring your pen and notebook.

I almost forgot, ask Jake Banner and Susan Williams to come to my office also, have them bring all the stats on the layoff with them, on paper, I want a paper copy of before and after the layoff. I need the best number cruncher and stats person we have in the firm. We have the sale of a lifetime to push past my Grandfather and father today at eleven o’clock,” Robert said as he walked into his office.

Hi-fiving some unseen person, Mercy danced her way over to her desk, “Now we’re talking earth-mover, Robert is not a garden spade anymore, yes, she almost shouted and quickly covered her mouth, with her hand. After making the calls, she filled two cups with coffee and headed for Roberts office. As she started to open Robert’s door, Jake and Susan walked into her office with stacks of printouts in their arms.

“Just in time, come on in and let’s see what the boss is up to,” Mercy told them as she opened the door to Robert’s office. Jake and Susan followed her into the room. Within a few minutes, all four heads were bent down over Robert’s desk, While Mercy took notes Robert fired questions one after another, to Jake and Susan. He wanted to know all there was to know about the layoff and the profit and loss of the company. Robert was after all going up against the odds, when he had to stand against his father and grandfather.

At precisely eleven o’clock, Robert Thorsten Windermere the second and Jeffery Alexander Tate  walked into the front office. Greeting Mercy with “Merry Christmas,” then walking into Robert’s office, unannounced.

Mercy bowed her head and said a small prayer for Robert and this wonderful crusade he had set upon himself. She then went back to work. Every so often she would hear raised voices come from her boss’s office, then just as quickly it would become quiet again. At precisely eleven-fifty-five, Mr. Windermere and Mr. Tate opened the door and walked out of Robert’s office.

“Robert, I have changed my mind, I will be at this year’s Christmas party and your father will be with me. We will see you there in ten minutes,” smiling at Mercy, then leaning over he whispered something into her ear. Standing up and moving away from the desk, he gave her a wink and said, “I imagine we will see you there within an hour?”

“Yes sir, wild horses could not keep me away from this one,” Mercy said. Both men left in a hurry.

Robert walked out of his office and using his fingers, he combed them through his hair. Get on the pipe line, Mercy. I want everyone who works on this floor making the calls. Tell them we did it, we win.” Laughing he picked up his slightly plump, short and very grandmotherly secretary  and swung her around, kissing her on the cheek, as he sat her down.

Joining in on the laughter, Mercy slapped at his hands and said, “If you will let go of me, I will see to the phone calls right this minute.”

Straightening her glasses on her face, Mercy grabbed the phone and started calling the ten people on her list.

Within five minutes, each of the ten people she called had called ten people each and each of those ten people called ten more that was one their list. Within fifteen minutes, everyone, including the newspaper, knew what was going on at Windermere and Tate’s software firm.

The lobby of the Windermere and Tate building in downtown Ft. Worth decorated from top to bottom, filling the eyes and ears with the wonderful feel of Christmas.

Employees were walking around, eating, talking with friends or admiring the twenty-foot Christmas tree, which was, decorated in beautiful holiday colors of blue and gold ornaments. There were red bows tied on the limbs of the tree. Along the walls, tables overflowing with finger foods, of every kind imaginable.

Robert and Mercy stepped out of the elevator into the lobby at one-thirty. Everyone in the room was in a festive mood Christmastime was here once again. Shouts of Merry Christmas were freely given and received, throughout the room.

Robert looked at Mercy and smiled. Smiling in return, Mercy asked, Robert, do you see them?

Looking all around, Robert started to say no, when he heard a small boy’s voice yell his name. “I do now,” he said, as he started walking quickly across the lobby.

“Robert, here we are,” Tina yelled as she saw Robert and Mercy walking across the room.

“I see you made it just in time,” Robert said as he bent down to give Tina a hug and she threw her arms around his neck. Picking her up as if it was the most natural thing for him to do, he reached over and hugged Daniel.

“What do you two think of this party,” he asked them.

“I like the cookies, and the Christmas tree,” Tina answered.

“I like everything, but is Santa going to be here today,” Daniel asked him.

“No, I think Santa is a bit too busy today. I am sure he is getting everything ready for tonight. You know he has a lot of present’s he has to be delivering, to children and he might even be taking a nap just so that he can stay up all night tonight.”

Daniel and Tina agreed with him. Robert said hello to David and Beverly Jenkins and then asked if Joy was with them.

“No, Joy had to go to work today. She also had some things she needed to do before work, so she left early today. She does not know you called and asked us to bring the children. What time would you like Beverly and I to come back and pick them up,” David asked.

“If you do not mind sir, I would love it if you and Mrs. Jenkins would please stay for the party. I think you will find it will be enjoyable and I am sure you have many friends here also.”

David looked at his wife and Beverly nodded her head in agreement.

“Well I guess it wouldn’t hurt to stay, and let the children enjoy the party for a while. I also would not mind talking to a few of my friends…” David Jenkins voice trailed off as a couple of his old coworkers walked past and said welcome back. David started to say that he was only there for the party, but was stopped by the sounds of a microphone as it was turned on.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, if I may have your attention for just a few moments, I have an announcement to make this evening.”

Turning to see who was speaking, David saw Robert walking towards the stairs. As he looked up the steps, he saw that Robert Thorsten Windermere the second and Jeffery Alexander Tate, were standing at the top of the first landing. Clearing his voice once again, Robert Windermere the second, raised the hand-held microphone up to make his announcement, as his son joined them.

“I hope everyone is enjoying the Christmas party.” When he said this, cheers went up in the lobby.

Raising his hand to quite the crowd, he continued, “I am sure you have noticed there are quite a few of your friends her today, who were recently laid off. We ask some of the office personnel to call and ask them to be here today for one reason. We want to ask them to please come back to work for us.”

Robert Windermere had to wait a few minutes to let the clapping and cheers die down before he could speak again. Holding his hand up once again, the crowd hushed.

“This morning, I received a phone call from my son; he informed me that we, at Windermere and Tate, had made a grave mistake in our decision to lay off some of our people. My father-in-law and I came in to see for ourselves. After going over the information my son provided us with, I am ashamed to say, he was right. We had made a grievous mistake. So today, many of our office personnel, worked together to call and ask everyone who was recently laid off, here today. At this time, we wish to formally apologies to them, and to ask them to come back to work for us.”

The applause was deafening. After it finally quieted down, Mr. Tate took the microphone. “Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to say, that we had acted prematurely and rashly in our decision to lay off personnel, we now realized that it was time we step down, and let Robert run the business. From now on, Robert will be in complete control of Windermere and Tate.  I am proud to say that all lost wages will be paid to you today, if you will just see my grandson’s secretary, Mercy Adams. She is at the table to the right of the front doors. You will receive this money due you, even if you decide to return to work or not. We owe it to you, and we are sorry for all the worry and problems this lay off may have caused you.”

David was stunned, and elated at the same time. He was just standing  there with a dazed look on his face, when Beverly grabbed his arm and pulled him close so that she could be heard over the applause and voices raise in the sheer happiness of everyone.

“Oh David, I cannot believe it, you have your job back.”

Pushing a few loose strands of gray hair out of Beverly’s face, he smiled and took his wife in his arms. “I cannot believe it, honey, but somehow we were granted a Christmas miracle. Not just us, but so many Christmas miracles at one time, what a wonderful Christmas this has turned out to be.”

Robert made his way back across the room to speak with David and Beverly.

“What do you think, was the trip here today worth it sir,” Robert asked David Jenkins.

Reaching out to clasp Robert’s hand, David said, “Son, I do not know how you made this happened, but what I do know is that I will be forever grateful and you have made an old man very happy. You see Robert; no one wants to hire someone my age, now days they only want to hire only young people.”

“That I find to be bad business sense. Laying off or retiring older personnel from their jobs, loses many years of knowledge and pride in and of the company. A company will only benefit from keeping those who have been with the company many years. That is what I discussed with my father and grandfather earlier today.”

“Mrs. Jenkins do you know where Daniel and Tina are, I do not see them anywhere,” Robert asked.

“As a matter of fact I do, and if I do not pull them away from the cookies soon, we will have a couple of tummy aches to deal with this afternoon,” Beverly said laughing.

Looking towards the tables with all the cookies and other holiday treats on them, they saw both children grabbing more of the colorfully festive cookies.

“I will go get them, if you do not mind. I have some last-minute shopping I need to do today and I would like to say goodbye before I go. If it is all right with you, I would like to bring some gifts over later, preferably after Daniel and Tina are asleep. I mean, if you or Joy will be awake and if it… I guess I am jabbering on here, aren’t I,” Robert said quickly.

“Of course you may come over tonight Robert. I believe the children should be asleep for nine o’clock tonight. We would be pleased to have you. Thank you Robert, thank you for everything,” David told him.

Robert walked over to Daniel and Tina and squatted down to talk to them for a few moments. After a while, he stood up and hugged both children and they started walking towards David and Beverly.

“You know honey,” David said, “I believe it will be a fine Christmas after all.”

To be continued…

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