- Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Gr
- Date: July 2000
From the book
SEATTLE (AT HOME)
CONSIDERING THE MERGER, I THOUGHT YOU SHOULD GET THIS AT HOME AND NOT THE OFFICE:
TWINKLE PRODUCTION LINES RUNNING AT 29% CAPACITY DESPITE ALL EFFORTS TO INCREASE. SPOT CHECKS ON DRIVES SHOW AVG SEEK TIMES IN 120–140 MILLISECOND RANGE WITH NO CLEAR INDICATION WHY WE ARE NOT STABLE AT SPECS. ALSO, WE STILL HAVE POWER FLICKER IN SCREENS WHICH APPEARS TO COME FROM HINGE DESIGN DESPITE IMPLEMENTATION OF DC/S FIX LAST WEEK. I DON'T THINK IT'S SOLVED YET.
HOW'S THE MERGER COMING? ARE WE GOING TO BE RICH AND FAMOUS?
CONGRATULATIONS IN ADVANCE ON YOUR PROMOTION.
Tom Sanders never intended to be late for work on Monday, June 15. At 7:30 in the morning, he stepped into the shower at his home on Bainbridge Island. He knew he had to shave, dress, and leave the house in ten minutes if he was to make the 7:50 ferry and arrive at work by 8:30, in time to go over the remaining points with Stephanie Kaplan before they went into the meeting with the lawyers from Conley-White. He already had a full day at work, and the fax he had just received from Malaysia made it worse.
Sanders was a division manager at Digital Communications Technology in Seattle. Events at work had been hectic for a week, because DigiCom was being acquired by Conley-White, a publishing conglomerate in New York. The merger would allow Conley to acquire technology important to publishing in the next century.
But this latest news from Malaysia was not good, and Arthur had been right to send it to him at home. He was going to have a problem explaining it to the Conley-White people because they just didn't—
"Tom? Where are you? Tom?"
His wife, Susan, was calling from the bedroom. He ducked his head out of the spray.
"I'm in the shower!"
She said something in reply, but he didn't hear it. He stepped out, reaching for a towel. "What?"
"I said, can you feed the kids?"
His wife was an attorney who worked four days a week at a downtown firm. She took Mondays off, to spend more time with the kids, but she was not good at managing the routine at home. As a result, there was often a crisis on Monday mornings.
"Tom? Can you feed them for me?"
"I can't, Sue," he called to her. The clock on the sink said 7:34. "I'm already late." He ran water in the basin to shave, and lathered his face. He was a handsome man, with the easy manner of an athlete. He touched the dark bruise on his side from the company touch football game on Saturday. Mark Lewyn had taken him down; Lewyn was fast but clumsy. And Sanders was getting too old for touch football. He was still in good shape—still within five pounds of his varsity weight—but as he ran his hand through his wet hair, he saw streaks of gray. It was time to admit his age, he thought, and switch to tennis.
Susan came into the room, still in her bathrobe. His wife always looked beautiful in the morning, right out of bed. She had the kind of fresh beauty that required no makeup. "Are you sure you can't feed them?" she said. "Oh, nice bruise. Very butch." She kissed him lightly, and pushed a fresh mug of coffee onto the counter for him. "I've got to get Matthew to the pediatrician by eight-fifteen, and neither one of them has eaten a thing, and I'm not dressed. Can't you please feed them? Pretty please?" Teasing, she ruffled his hair, and her bathrobe fell open. She left it open and smiled. "I'll owe you one . . ."
"Sue, I can't." He kissed her forehead distractedly. "I've got a meeting, I can't...