“Why are these people here?” I asked The Black Bigote.
“Why not, they’re buying company.”
The bankruptcy was inevitable. Two of the company’s biggest accounts had dropped leaving us on a dead zone. Nothing we could do would save the company. The only way for The Black Bigote to assure continuity was to sell it.
For awhile I did not even look at it this way. That The Black Bigote was trying to make ends meet for more than a year now. That when he asked me to change shifts without any increase, it was a move to save the company. How selfish of me. He tried as hard to keep everything together.
The new owners weren’t as wise as The Black Bigote, they came off more like descendants of the Queen; but not really.. they were canadian-french. And as they surveyed the company they took note of two who were to be kept – a female co-worker and I. The rest were either let go or forced to retire, including him.
I came in late to The Black Bigote’s farewell party coz I had to get a cake from one of the groceries. When I arrived, there were already more people than usual at the office. Like an execution, it was not the easiest day to get over. There were cheers and tears from the everyone. I tried as hard to keep a straight face from the day’s start.
“You’re late!” The Black Bigote said as I entered.
“I deliberately wanted to piss you off for the last time.” I said jokingly as I gave him the cake.
I do not know what it was about that line that made all the girls cry. I guess they would miss all the attraction he and I put together, or maybe it was a reminder of the good times. Even The Black Bigote’s smiles were obviously filled with sadness.
“Look on the bright side,” I told him. “you wont have to scold me tomorrow.”
This was supposed to be the redemption I wanted, the one I had been planning for the past year. How I have misjudged him – he was an admirable man. For all I knew he gave the new owners a good enough recommendation of me for them not to let me go.
It was not until another three months that I would leave the company. This time I was offered an increase but I was not happy with the job anymore. It took another two months for me to work again, this time in dead end job as a grocery store clerk. It would not work out as well for I had already become that sarcastic sonovabitch… thanks to my evil mentor.
As he went past the exit door on his final day. The Black Bigote astonishingly mentions words that would connect to what he had said more than a year before. It proved to me that he was still sharp, that no type of goodness would make him change, and that he wasn’t the asshole I thought of him.
“Tyranny always fails, Paolo. Democracy is the better way.”
(you will have to read part 2 to understand what it meant)