It was exactly noon when Thomas Lelland, a graying fifty-year-old man with a receding hairline, savored the very first bite of his salami mayonnaise sandwich prepared that morning around 7:35 am. While many would have preferred to reserve ten more minutes in bed to prepare their still-sleepy minds for the day, he chose to sacrifice this precious moment for the freshness of a salami from the deli cut that very morning.What a genius, a legend I might even say ! After a few hours at room temperature, it was perfect. The meat, which held its shape very well, giving it an appetizing appearance, was still tender enough for a single bite to cut it completely. Today, once again, the man looked at his sandwich with a satisfied expression.
Indeed, these were the small moments of daily glory that punctuated his day. However, one should not assume that Lelland had such a sad life that he had to confine himself to these victories (which many struggled to qualify as such, by the way). In reality, they were only echoes of a life with a perfectly controlled course, like a well-oiled mechanism, further proof of the excellent production coordinator he embodied here, in this pharmaceutical production facility.
He heard someone knock on the door of his office. He suppressed the feeling of annoyance that made him sigh briefly and just displayed a friendly expression, reluctantly setting aside his delicious meal. A man stuck his head in the doorway. Rather tall, with features marked by fatigue and a voice worsened by years of smoking cheap, filterless cigarettes, he briefly glanced at the sandwich on the table before saying gruffly:
"Sorry to bother you, but we have kind of an issue with the dispenser."
Thomas stood up and followed the worker, puffing up his chest with importance. It was his role to intervene in such situations, and the colossal figures his team had achieved in the first five months of his employment in this structure were enough to convince his boss of his effectiveness. They walked among the large alloy product tanks, a gigantic star-shaped logo with “Stardis Pharmaceuticals” embedded in the enormous container. They finally arrived in front of a group of workers busy in front of one of them. Upon the coordinator's arrival, they all stepped aside, hands on their hips, waiting for instructions. Thomas, who looked important, examined the gigantic machine meticulously. The tank, from which a gigantic mechanical arm emptied the contents into a larger one, swayed dangerously. A glance was enough to see that one of the two hooks supporting the tank had given way under the weight of the thick whitish liquid emitting thick toxic smoke and a sulfur smell. It was not repairable, at least not without the intervention of a true professional. These devices were solid and configured to handle a fixed mixture dose. Thomas saw only one explanation: in order to finish earlier, the workers had overloaded the mechanism, resulting in equipment failure. This was not good. After his performance in recent months, his boss had warmly rewarded him with a handshake and hinted that such skill might guarantee him a promotion. The coordinator had noted disgusted grimaces on the corners of some employees' mouths, but decided to ignore them. After all, he was the one they sought help from, when one of the gears of this gigantic organic machine that was this factory failed to perform its role. However, resentment was obviously more persistent than he expected. Not only had he not yet enjoyed his sandwich, whose salami was probably already starting to dry, but he was also sure to receive blame for the production slowdown. The bitterness he had restrained so far took over. With a serious expression, he turned to his employees, hands crossed behind his back.
"This is really not our day. I'm afraid the system is not repairable, at least not immediately. We'll have to ensure production differently."
"How are we supposed to do that? The tank weighs at least a hundred kilos...."
"I'm well aware of that, unfortunately, we have no choice. But I think with three or four of you working together, the matter should resolve itself."
He glanced at the digital clock, which now showed 12:07 pm.
"I'll let you take your break a little earlier to regain your strength."
With a big smile, he added cheerfully, encouraging those whose gaze had already dimmed.
"A little courage! It's just for this afternoon; I'll call my superiors the moment I get back to my office. The tank will be repaired by tomorrow!"
With these words, he turned away, ignoring disapproving murmurs to return to the tranquility of his office. Taking care to lock the door, he headed for his chair with long strides to continue his meal. As he had predicted, the salami's skin had dried out, making the tasting much less enjoyable. Well, he was having one of those days when fate was against him, that's how it was! Regaining his cheerful demeanor, he threw away the finally empty plastic film and dialed the number of the regional director's secretary. Like it was not enough, Thomas heard someone knocking at his door again. Fortunately for that person, he had just finished his meal. Keeping himself together, he smiled and opened the door.
“What is it this time ? Can I not simply enjoy my break ?”
A young lady,with long blond hair entered quickly in the room without asking for permission.
“Sorry mister, we just received these documents. Mister Ferrand asked me to give them to you asap.”
She put the pile of documents on the desk of the man and disappeared quickly. When Thomas tried to reach his coffee cup, he realized it was all spilled on his computer which stopped functioning. Apparently, but put the document’s pile, she knocked over the cup letting it fall sideways on the desk. It was really not a peaceful day for Thomas today.