The Three O'clock Fugue
Three o’clock in the afternoon is always a strained part of the work day and today was turning out to be proof of that reality. In his position of Regional Services Administrator Jon was sure that little good arrived at that hour and that hour on Fridays was the worst of the week. It was at that time on a that day that unresolved problems became unbearable in the face of a weekend containing no chance of help.
The tension in the office became palpable to those who were unfortunate enough to be at their desks, available to face the avalanche of problems the often occurred at that time. Which is why almost every Friday afternoon all the case workers were out on calls.
Jon and the three secretaries were the only ones in the office after the post lunch evacuation of the rest of the staff. The feeling of impending doom settled like a shroud on these remaining victims of circumstance.
Jon, for his part, closed the door to his office , put his feet up on his desk and picked up the phone. He had to call his boss, the commissioner of the department, to discuss the events of two days ago that created a great stinking mess in his region. Even though he had not personally caused the incident, Jon knew he was responsible for it. Like the captain of a ship, it was his command and no matter ‘who did what’ it was him that was held to blame.
As he buzzed his secretary to instruct her to place the call for him he took a deep breath and held out the hope that the commissioner had left for the week. It was a vain hope as his secretary connected with the commissioner’s. Oh yes, the commissioner was in and not only that he was anxious to talk with him, he was informed.
“Hi Jon.” Tom the commissioner said in a neutral tone. “I hear that you’ve had some very rough days and we both know that no matter what it will end up on your desk.”
“You know I had nothing to do with the decision to let him out?’ said Jon.
“Oh I know but the press will not see it that way. The need someone to blame and You will be it.” The commissioner went on. “You know, the captain of the ship and all that.”
“I know, I know” said Jon “Could you hold a minute, my secretary is buzzing me?”
“Sure” said Tom
“What is it Jan?” said Jon with a slight edge in his voice.
“I thought you would like to know that Morley Schaefer is here with the camera crew from 60 minutes. They would like to interview you.”
There was a pause then Jon said, “ Please offer them coffee and ask them to take a seat. I’ll be out soon.”
“Tom, I have Morley Schaefer and the 60 minute’s crew in my outer office.”
“Well, Jon it looks like you will have to talk with them. But look on the bright side.”
“And what would that be pray tell.” said Jon.
“Well, it could have been Mike Wallace. said Tom