Jeff noticed that Stan’s business was booming. And not just with production, but employees from his own shop. People that Jeff had bent over backwards for…given them everything. He couldn’t understand why they’d choose Stan over him. He offered the best retirement plan and a structured work environment. Stan’s benefits were temporary and Jeff knew that he was lying to people to get them on his payroll. He secretly admired Stan’s tenacity and his ability to lure people despite having an inferior product. Of course, he couldn’t let anyone know this..he had to maintain his public disdain for Stan. In fact, he had to ramp up his public campaign to thwart Stan’s efforts. He needed something to retain his top employees. Currently, when workers jumped ship for Stan’s, he immediately evicted them from their company houses in the highly sought after gated community, changing the security codes to ensure they wouldn’t have access. This didn’t seem to be doing the trick. People were still leaving regularly and Jeff was growing concerned. He couldn’t believe they were willing to give up order and structure for Stan’s progressive, party work atmosphere. He thought about threatening to murder anyone that left his shop for Stan…then he decided that was extreme. He’d been having these cracks in his composure lately.
Randy was Jeff’s top associate. Jeff loved how much attention Randy gave him. A day didn’t go by that Randy didn’t tell Jeff that he appreciated him and was grateful for everything he’d done for him and his family. After all, Jeff had moved Randy and his family into a house in the gated community he owned…the one that used to belong to Stan. Randy knew that Jeff was his ticket to paradise. He had given him so much and promised so much more if Randy kept up the good work.
Jeff was starting his monthly board meeting. Usually, they just went over how nice it was to be employed there and talked about ways to spruce up the place. They had only recently started to have actual meetings, since Stan presented legitimate competition for the first time in the company’s history. Jeff was nervous, but he didn't let anyone know his thoughts. His right hand man, Gabriel, had even asked him point blank and he denied it. He didn’t know why he was starting to have these character changes…he’d never lied before. He was known by everyone in the entire city to be the most honest person around. Gabriel was going over marketing strategies when a murmur started amongst the other board members. People started looking at the doorway in the corner and then over to Jeff. Stan strolled into the board room. Jeff quickly commanded that the lights be turned on. He demanded to know how Stan got into the room and security offered to remove him. Secretly, Jeff knew exactly how Stan had gotten in. He’d allowed him to keep his employee badge when he sent him packing. Deep down, he had a connection to Stan and he didn’t think it would ever go away. He wished that Stan would've backed down on his comments against Jeff and joined him again. He said Stan could stay and say his piece.
Stan walked into the boardroom and saw an unfamiliar sight, people actually doing work…coming up with ideas. He was impressed. He didn’t show it though, he was here on a mission. Stan had been able to take so many of Jeff’s employees that the tables had turned. Stan’s business was much larger now. Jeff’s protocols were so strict and he was overbearing. Stan knew this firsthand. He decided to make his shop more welcoming and allow people to express themselves more. He was here for Randy. He’d heard how great of a worker Randy was and knew that Jeff valued him more than anyone. He’d tried to lure him away before, but Randy was very loyal. Every time he talked with him, Randy reminded him how much better Jeff’s retirement plan was, how great the house in the gated community was and Randy enjoyed the overall structure of his environment..job security was important to him. To Stan, this was personal. If he could get Randy to leave Jeff, he knew Jeff would be devastated emotionally.
Jeff could see that Stan was up to something devious. He had that look about him. Jeff possessed the same mean streak, but he held his close to the vest. He envied the way Stan was so free with his comments and desires. Sometimes living up to people’s expectations got exhausting. Jeff longed to live like Stan..even lived vicariously through him at times. “What do you want?” Stan told him that he had a wager for him..Jeff was intrigued. He loved wagers. He told Stan to go on. Stan told him that he thought he actually had the more desirable workplace and that the only reason Randy stayed with Jeff was because of all the perks and the fear of change in his life. “I bet that if you stopped protecting him in that gated community and took away some of his benefits, he’d stopping singing your praises”, said Stan. Stan was again counting on Jeff’s ego here, Jeff couldn’t stand to lose or be embarrassed. Jeff knew that Randy loved working for him. Sure, it helped that he’d treated him so well, but Randy had earned it. It’s not like Jeff had a favorite employee from the beginning, he believed in earning what you had. Jeff was confident that no matter what Stan offered Randy, that Randy wouldn’t budge. After all, Jeff had the ace up his sleeve…retirement package. There wasn’t a better retirement plan in town. Jeff would take care of Randy for the rest of his life. He’d be safe in his mansion behind the compound walls and financially secure.