I stir my drink, while absentmindedly watching the news behind the bar tender. The mayor is at the Colorado Neurological Institute, something about a clinical research on neurological disorders. My mother in law is undergoing neurotherapy at the CNI and so far the results have been promising. Her speech therapy did wonders for her.
Neurotherapy really does wonders.
But the news about the merger of our company came on next and I was jolted back to reality. It’s the reason why I’m having a drink at the bar and not home like I’m supposed to. We have concluded the merger and my boss is happy with the outcome. I am not. Somehow, it felt so heavy to think of how Mr. Connors, the CEO of the small chain of grocery stores in the state is losing his business to the bigger stores.
He will be compensated handsomely for it, but I could see in his eyes the pride he has over his business and how most of his people are like family to him. We promised him that everyone will be retained but I know from experience that, that’s not going to happen. Maybe not now, but a few months down the road. People who have been with him in the last twenty years will be forced to retire to be replaced by younger guys.
Now I understand that the bottom line is important. Six months from now, we’ll be automating most of the warehouse functions, so that means, over a hundred people will be losing their jobs. And by end of the year, half of the stores will be closed and the property to be used for something else. That means an additional 200 loyal employees will be out of a job. What a bleak Christmas.
I have always been proud to have become the first lawyer in the family, but it comes with a price. I am fast gaining a reputation for corporate take overs – that do not always end well. I know it is part of my job, but it does not make it easy for me. I come from a working class family, was raised and sent to school by one actually. And it was not without a lot of sacrifices.
My uncle who ran a shoe repair shop even contributed to my stipend. I was able to get a scholarship and I worked while I studied, but it was not enough as I could not work full time while in school. Another aunt provided for my books and another, my clothes. It was a collective effort to send me to university, being the first in the family to step into one.
I still remember how proud my parents were at my graduation and how the entire family, that even those living from out of town came, to celebrate my passing the bar examinations. It was like the lifelong dream of a generation. That was over ten years ago. Now with this merger, I wonder if they would still be proud of me and of what I have become. I am not even sure of the answer.