Disclaimer: Any resemblances here to real people, places, institutions or events are purely coincidental. This is a work of fiction.
Chapter 19, "Pulp Rats...an Unpleasant Story"
The Great Mother called us together. Differently from other years, our gathering this year had quite a gap in the middle. The Cadre had thought it good for us rats to spend some time in recreation. That worked out, for it gave us a chance to talk informally about stories such as the one I related in Chapter 18.
Great Mother spoke: "We are called to order. Hope you enjoyed the mid conference hiatus. Time to get back to work. What do we have to talk about today?"
Uth spoke up, "I have a case to tell."
"Well, let's hear it, then."
"There was once a Big Thing, well known in the industry, whom everyone saw as a pillar of the community. Except he wasn't."
Great Mother, "Yes, go on..."
"This Big Thing committed a crime against one of his own family members."
"What was it?"
"Well, that makes no difference, what he did next is more important."
Join us in Guatemala next summer for the 3rd Paperitalo Papermakers' Mission Trip
Everyone leaned forward; Uth's story sounded interesting.
"The Big Thing managed to cover up the crime. Don't get me wrong, he was prosecuted and convicted, he just managed to keep it all hushed up, so to speak. Except that was not the end of it, for one of his family members told a close friend about it."
Great Mother said, "We're waiting for the punch line."
"Well, this close friend happened to be the child of an employee over whom the first Big Thing had hiring and firing authority. The first Big Thing did not know if the child had told the second Big Thing about the matter."
"So, what did the first Big Thing do?"
"He couldn't fire the second Big Thing outright; he did not have a good reason to do that. So, he reassigned him and ultimately pushed him out of the company."
"What did the second Big Thing do about that?"
"He was a gentleman and let it go. It was near the end of his career, so he found some related consulting he could do for a few years and then he retired. He passed away a few years ago."
Great Mother said, "The second Big Thing sounds like a real gentleman."