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Secret CEO

funny short story: secret CEO

In this episode of Secret CEO, we watched John Whiteman, the CEO of the entire chain of McSpeedy’s Burgers fast food restaurants, go undercover as a fry cook at a restaurant in Waldorf, Maryland. He was impressed by the leadership shown by store manager, Steve, who reprimanded a custodian, Franklin, for arriving late to work last week. Franklin, who did not receive the criticism well, might miss more than his bus today.

Let’s watch…

Franklin bounced in the red pleather booth, tapping his fingers on the artificial marble tabletop with an intense but inconsistent beat like a novice jazz drummer. Anxiety rat-ti-tat-tated his stomach, alongside the grumbling.

Trying to look natural, Frank looked around aimlessly to see a world of moving silhouettes behind the blinding camera lights. Steve never did explain what kind of show they were on, and the waiver Steve forced him to sign didn’t reveal much either.

“1-2-3 ACTION!” said a mysterious shadow from the crowd behind the camera.

A double-breasted pin striped suit torpedoed from the kitchen, and sat himself across the booth from Franklin. The man leaned in, pounded his elbows on the table, rubbed his hands slowly, and peered into Franklin’s eyes.

“Do you know who I am?” the man said.

“Uh, you that fat fry cook wearin’ a nice suit,” Frank replied.

Mr. Whiteman chuckled to himself.

“That’s technically correct. But can you guess how I can afford this nice suit?” Mr. Whiteman said.

“What? You win the lottery or something?” Frank reasoned.

“Well,” Mr. White chuckled again for a moment, and then paused.

“No. I earned it. I worked my way up to become the CEO of McSpeedy’s Burgers,” said Mr. Whiteman defensively. “You know how, Franklin? Working hard. C’mon Franklin. Nobody ever got ahead by being late. It’s unacceptable. It’s…”

“Oh!” Franklin shouted, jumping from the booth. “So you that guy deciding it’s OK to pay us $7.25 per hour, huh?”

Mr. Whiteman jumped back in the booth.

“You realize the only reason I’m late is because I can’t afford to buy food,” exclaimed Franklin.
Franklin sat back down and collected himself.

“I…I don’t understand. How would food make you late?” puzzled Mr. Whiteman.

“You see. I don’t have the money to buy food all the time, thanks to you. So some days, I come early to grab some from the trash outside. But today, I had to look through like 10 trash cans. Took forever! I can’t do it after my shift of course. Too dark and too dangerous where I’m comin’ from.”

“I see…,” said Mr. Whiteman. “Well I can’t speak toward your situation, but it’s still unacceptable for you to be late.”

“Fine. Fire me. Can’t live on this salary anyway. At least when I’m unemployed, I’ll have all day to look for something to eat.”

Mr. Whiteman paused, and slowly turned to the camera people as if looking for someone to give him the right answer. Blinded by lights, he turned back to Franklin.

“Then you’re fired and you’re welcome, I guess?” said Mr. Whiteman.

“That’s right. I deserve a break today,” said Franklin.

This story was written by David Gregory, creator of this website. Comment with your thoughts below!
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