Then he went on: ‘Tell me Jack, do you have any problem with the project Lorka? Is there anything that I should know about?

Jack started thinking. There were some little problems, that was true, but those were not serious problems. Jack was sure that he could take care of them. But now, his boss was asking about the project and Jack had a very bad feeling about it. But he said nothing.

‘OK Jack, I will tell you how things stand. We have a problem,’ said the boss and after a few seconds he continued. ‘What I am trying to say is that we have a really big problem.’

Jack didn’t move. He even stopped breathing.

‘Last Friday at 7 o’clock in the evening, we tried to call you, but we could not reach you, Jack. You didn’t turn your mobile phone off, did you?’

Jack was quiet.

‘Look at me Jack,’ said the boss and repeated his question: ‘You did not turn your mobile off, did you?’

‘Maybe there was no signal, sir,’ Jack said quietly. He was looking at his boss and was really worried now.

‘No signal,’ repeated his boss. ‘OK, But we tried to call you at 7.30. And then at 8.15. We also called at 10pm. No signal? No problem! We called on Saturday. We called on Sunday. We called twenty times a day, and there was no signal? Are you living in a tunnel, Jack? Or in a cave?’

Jack was looking straight into his eyes now. He was getting angry. ‘I turned it off, if you want to know,’ he said. ‘You see, I am not a slave. I work for this company a lot, but not at weekends. It is not in my contract to take calls after my working hours. I don’t want anybody to call me on Saturday or Sunday about work. That’s the reason why I turned my mobile off. I don’t work at weekends. Is it so difficult to understand?’

Jack was red in face, when he had finished talking.

‘No, no, not at all. Now, when you have said that you turned your mobile off, it is all clear to me. I can understand completely. Really! You are not a slave and you don’t work at weekends. Weekends are all yours! I understand that perfectly,’ said the boss calmly.

‘But tell me Jack, how many times have we called you during weekend since you started working for us? Do we call you every Saturday? Or every other Saturday? Or every third? Every fourth, maybe?’

Jack was quiet. He knew that they had called him only once. It happened last year, and it was very urgent.

‘Do you know Jack, what our problem is with Lorka?’ his boss continued calmly. ‘There is no problem, Jack.’

Jack looked at him, surprised.

‘Really. There’s no problem at all, Jack,’ said the boss and waited a little. Then he went on: ‘And do you want to know why? Do you want to know why there is no problem with Lorka? Do you?’

Jack was looking at him, completely confused.

‘There is no problem with Lorka, Jack, because,’ and here, the boss knocked on the desk with every pronounced word ‘Lorka-is-dead.’

Jack was quiet. Everything was quiet.

‘Project Lorka is dead, Jack. We lost our customer during the weekend, because we could not help him without you. We lost the customer because we couldn’t reach you.’ The boss was speaking quietly and calmly. ‘And please, don’t worry about the loss for our company. After all, it’s only money, isn’t it? Isn’t it, Jack?’

Jack did not speak.

‘We lost half a million during the weekend because you had turned your mobile off. Half a mil. Yes, I know. You are not a slave,’ said the boss and he took a deep breath. Then he continued: ‘Well, what is done, is done. We cannot change what happened. There’s nothing we can do about it now.’

Jack was looking at his shoes. He really felt like crying. His boss was sitting quietly and he was thinking. After a short while, he spoke again.

‘But I didn’t call you to talk only about Lorka. I asked you to come because I want to tell you something far more important. I want to tell you that,’ and here Jack’s boss stood up, put both his hands on his desk and screamed at the top of his lungs: ‘YOU’RE FIRED!’

What I am trying to say is that… – Čo sa snažím povedať, je, že…

every other – každú druhú

After all – koniec koncov, ostatne

There’s nothing we can do about it now – už sa s tým nedá nič robiť

far more important – oveľa dôležitejší

screamed at the top of his lungs – zreval na plné hrdlo