CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and SIXTEEN
Tuesday morning — 7:08 a.m. MT
“You’re sure about this mask thing,” Honey Lipson-Scully, now a junior site manager, said.
“Yes,” Jacob said. “We wear masks and socially distance. That’s a mandate from the state. But more than that, that’s got to be our rule. We need to try to keep our people safe from this thing. We’ve always been a safety first company, regardless of the cost. We need to continue in that tradition.”
“It’s not going to be popular,” Rodney Smith said.
“I don’t care,” Aden said. “If people don’t want to wear a mask and socially distance then they can get another job.”
“Why are you so firm on this?” Bambi, the six foot tall, assistant to Aden asked.
“What did Delph-I say?” Jerry Siegle asked.
The site managers fell silent. They were talking via video conference.
“First, it’s an insurance thing,” Jacob said. “Right now, these masks are the only thing we have to prevent people from getting sick. The insurance company doesn’t want all of us coming down with this new virus.”
“And second?” one of the longest term site managers asked.
“Delphie says that the virus will run through our company and our families — unchecked — unless we wear our masks,” Jacob said. “We can’t have the N-95s because they are rightly reserved for the doctors and medical personnel. We just have these cloth ones. According to Delphie, they will not only protect other people but us too.”
“Don’t you think they make us look a little…” Mark Mc Daniels, a site manager with a thick New York accent asked. He shrugged. “You know, girly. Weak. We’ve got all these tough guys on our teams. Real men. Guys guys.”
“Hey,” Bambi said.
“And women,” Mark said. “Tough broads. You know, what I mean Bambi?”
“Our employees aren’t morons, Mark,” Bambi said. “You can be tough and still be careful. That is the Lipson tradition.”
Everyone started talking at once.
“It seems kind of weak to me to not take precautions,” Rodney said, his deep voice breaking into the general noise. “This disease is killing people all over the world. It’s only a matter of time before it’s here at Lipson, if it’s not here already. We’re smart to take precautions. That’s just smart.”
“I agree with Rodney,” the notorious hothead, Jasper Jacobs, said. “I’d rather look smart than worry about someone else thinking I’m weak. My kid has asthma. According to the docs, he’s at risk of dying if he gets this thing. If I get it and give it to him, it won’t matter how tough I am, he will die.”
“But what will people think?” Mark asked.
“I don’t give a rat’s ass about what anyone else thinks,” Jasper Jacobs said. “Your wife had cancer, Mark. She’s at risk too. Don’t be an asshole.”
“I am what I am,” Mark said.
Everyone laughed. Jacob nodded to Aden. They were making some progress.
“Sandy’s setting up a list of people who are okay with making masks,” Aden said. “We’re asking for help from anyone who has a sewing machine and some fabric.”
“These will be washable,” Blane said. “They should be comfortable enough.”
“The cloth masks will tide us over until we can buy something for the company,” Jacob said.
“Something manly,” Blane said. “For Mark.”
Everyone laughed uproariously. Mark, who never minded being the butt of jokes, laughed along.
“Okay, review the list,” Tres Sierra said when the laughter died down. “I need your changes tonight. We will post the list tonight. Be back to work tomorrow. Any delay on your part means your team won’t work. Got it.”
When everyone nodded, Aden, Blane, Tres, and Jacob said their good byes.
“That went well,” Sam said.
“Let’s see if they turn in their lists,” Tres said.
“Good point,” Sam said. “Can we go fishing now?”
“Why not?” Jacob asked.
The men gathered their gear, said goodbye to their families, and headed out into the mountains.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
This work, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.