The Termination

By: Annette Mori

Codee is having a bad day and it’s only going to get worse. As she makes her way across the icy parking lot to a meeting, she falls, knocking herself out. Disorientated, she arrives at her meeting to facilitate a termination proceeding for Sawyer, a former employee of the month.

Sawyer, a compassionate young woman, is resigned to her fate. Her only question is what fate is that?

The termination Codee is asked to do, is so far from the norm, she shakes her head in wonder. Is she hallucinating after her fall? Has she fallen into an Alice type rabbit hole? The only thing she can think to do is to save Sawyer. They escape from the meeting and attempt to find answers to the dilemma, only to find more questions.

Enjoy this satirical romance, with all of its twists and turns, that just might make you go hmm...



Acknowledgments



A huge thank-you to all my beta readers, Gail Dodge, Cathie Williamson, Ameliah Faith, Carrie Camp, and my sister, who made great suggestions to improve the initial draft. Of course, once again I have to acknowledge Erin O’Reilly, who is a constant support and encouragement to me. I am honored to call her a friend and have her support me in my journey. I would also like to express my gratitude to Affinity Press and the wonderful trio (JM Dragon, Erin O’Reilly, and Nancy Kaufman) who continue to provide feedback to tighten up manuscripts that need assistance and publish my sometimes-unconventional work.

I am eternally grateful for the opportunities they give me to let my stories see the light of day. My other family members who are also very supportive include my nephew Aaron, his wife Chelsea, my little sister Kim, and my father, who struggles to read my books with one eye.

I always enjoy working with the beta editor, and Kay helped to improve my story. Thanks to JoSelle Vanderhooft for her magic as the final editor to tighten the story even further. Inevitably there are those pesky final errors that slip through, and I am thankful that the final proof editor, Alexis Smith, caught those before the book went to print. Nancy Kaufman is a rock star with her covers. Nancy is also a promoter extraordinaire.

A huge thanks to all the other readers and fellow writers who have sent personal emails, written reviews, and posted nice things on Facebook (you know who you are). The Affinity authors are an especially supportive group and often share posts or send words of encouragement. Finally, my wife, Jody, continues her support even when it interferes with our weekend time.





Dedication


To my father, who loves to talk politics and will definitely appreciate the satiric twist in this book. To my wife, who I love dearly for her patience and her ability to take care of me when I fail to do that myself. To Karen Davidson Boatman, who I hope is surrounded by books in heaven. She was a wonderfully supportive reader and will be dearly missed.







Chapter One


Codee sat behind her obnoxiously large desk. Her company contracted with a well-known office supply chain to provide all the furniture in the hospital. The salesman called it engineered wood and extoled its virtues as he proudly relayed the fact it was the greener choice. She would have preferred a smaller desk made of solid oak, but the design committee only played at asking her opinion.

Some days Codee really hated her job, and today was one of those days. At least it was Friday afternoon and she could leave after this last, distasteful task. She pinched the bridge of her nose and sighed as her employee relations coordinator, Sharlie, poked her head in the door.

“You almost ready?”

The levelheaded young woman was joining them for the meeting and she was thankful for that established protocol. Maybe she could talk some sense into Hilda, the admitting supervisor, who definitely fit her name. Whenever Codee heard Hilda’s name, she imagined a mean old witch, and the hard-edged leader could give the worst boss in the United States a run for his or her money. To date, the numerous coaching sessions hadn’t managed to change Hilda’s perspective on anything, because once she made up her mind, no one could sway her.

“Remind me again why we’re conducting a pre-termination proceeding on last month’s employee of the month. For God’s sake, the woman has more caring cards, star awards, and general accolades from patients, coworkers, and administration than any other employee in the brief time I’ve been here.” Codee took a sip from the water bottle on her desk.