Chapter 1– New Employees
The long dark hallway just inside the entrance to The Company was quiet at 7:59. As the seconds ticked by the darkness prepared for the new day.
8:00 began the workday. The clock struck 8:00. A large steel door opened and light illuminated the hallway in front of it. Seconds after, the florescence lights above the hallway lit up and the day was beginning.
Derrick Adams, Eric Hoyt, Dr. Daniel Stein, Nancy Smith and Andrea Alexander walked through the dark blue door and into the nondescript hallway. They stood together off to the left of the door.
“Did you notice no one walked to the left down this hallway?” Andrea Alexander said, as she watched 200 or so people walk to the right. Most of them walked a ways then turn left or right into their elected hallways. Andi, as she liked to be called, was a blond woman, taller then most, confidant and a newcomer to the nursing field. This was her first job.
Nancy Smith, stood beside Andi and look to the left down the hallway. She didn’t notice anything unusual down the hall. It was dark and a single door stood in the center of the hall. There was a small bulb lit above the door. a 40-year-old veteran nurse and mother of three, brushed back long brunette hair from her face and answered.
“I wouldn’t call it a strange thing,” she said.
The group looked to the left and gazed into the hallway till it disappeared into darkness.
“How’s it going?” Said a voice from behind them. A small Latino man dressed in a sharp black suit and light blue shirt approached the group smiling.
“Derrick Adams, Eric Hoyt, Dr. Stein, Nancy Smith and Andrea Alexander,” the man began as he read the groups names off a clipboard.
“I’m Dr. Ruiz and I’ll show you around,” he said, his voice broken with a hint of Mexico.
“Can you call me Andi?” Andrea Alexander asked then added. “Could you tell me what’s down that hallway? No one walked down that way.”
Dr. Ruiz hesitated slightly, “Sure, I’ll called you anything you like. He looked down the hallway and paused.
“There are some storage rooms and other rooms that aren’t used,” he said then turned.
“This is exciting,” said Derrick Adams, a 6-foot, twenty-some, IT specialist. He walked in front of Dr. Stein. Dr. Stein was the oldest of the group. He was dressed in a white hospital smock with the Kingsboro Mercy Hospital logo sewn onto the left breast.
Eric Hoyt was the last of the group. He was a large man with a square jaw and the posture of a ‘Last Action Hero’. He looked over his shoulder one last time before the group disappeared around a corner.
“Coming up is the Administration hall,” said Dr. Ruiz. “Human Resources, Finance, Research and Development and the Director’s office are in this hallway.”
The group passed the hallway. A thirty-year old man stood just outside a doorway watching the group passed. Derrick Adams threw up a hand and waved. The man returned the wave.
“You know him,” Hoyt asked. He was gruff. His statement was short and accusatory.
“He’s my cousin. He got me the job,” Derrick Adams said with a smile.
“Up next is the patient hallways,” Dr. Ruiz said. “The patients take up the majority of the room in the building. I think its 4 maybe 5 hallways. The conference room is in the last hallway all the way to the right. Walk down there and pick a chair. I’ll meet you in a few.”
Dr. Ruiz turned left and headed down one of patient halls. The group continued down the hallway and turned to the right.
The conference room was a large room, lit brightly, with four tables pushed together in the center of the room. Three black overstuffed chairs were pushed neatly under each table. Nancy Smith and Derrick Adams entered first and walked around the table. Nancy Smith sat on the left and Derrick Adams on the right. Andrea Alexander, Dr. Stein and Eric Hoyt came in last and sat closest to the door.
The group of five sat in the conference room quietly for several minutes. When it became unbearable the women began to talk.
“What brings you here, Andi?” Nancy Smith said smiling.
“A car and about 50 dollars in gas,” Andi said with a pleasant grin that showed a set of perfectly kept teeth.
“I hear you there,” Nancy Smith replied, “the price of gas is outrageous.”
“How about you guys?” She asks.
“Well Nancy,” Derrick Adams begins man full with confidence. “I just came from a technical college outside of Detroit. I finally got my degree. This is my first job outside college.”
“Good for you Derrick. How about anyone else?”
Dr. Stein stared at the table as if ignoring everyone else sitting in the conference room. Eric Hoyt just looked at Nancy and grumbled something unintelligible.
“Guess not,” Nancy said with some disappointment.
The room door opened and Dr. Ruiz stepped in. A beautiful woman, in her 30’s, followed him. She had red hair that fell over her shoulders and a slim manicured face.
Dr. Ruiz stood in front of a large white board and the woman stood confidently beside him. She was dressed in a mauve power suit. She held herself like a woman on a mission.
“This is Dr. Rebecca San Marino,” Dr. Ruiz began. “She is head of Research and Development and your introductory rules and procedure lecturer.”
Dr. San Marino, an accomplished woman, was single-minded in her endeavor to achieve ‘great things’. She pursued each project with the vigor of a lioness. She became head of Research and Development within 6 months of signing her application. She secured her reputation with the Department of Defense assignment. The assignment will net The Company up to 25 million dollars if successful.
“Welcome,” Dr. San Marino began with a pleasant smile, “The Company is a multibillion dollar research facility. We research experimental drugs for private enterprise and for the military. There are several procedures that must be adhered to. If not it will result in immediate termination or worse, criminal prosecution.”
Dr. San Marino emphasized the last two words, obviously attempting to make a point or a threat. The group responded with little interest. Dr. Stein looked forward but seemed lost in thought. Eric Hoyt seemed uninterested and the other three were in various stages of boredom.
“First procedure is patient care,” Dr. San Marino began.
“The patients within these walls,” she said this as she spread her thin, tan arms outward, “are in the process of a medical study for Cancer. These patients are accessible and will be your main focus. Each one of you has their own job in regards to these patients.” She placed her arm back to her sides and began to walk from the front of the room toward the door.
“Patient care is our number one concern. The other concerns are employee attendance and ability to do your jobs,” she said this, accentuating her words venomously, as she passed by Eric Hoyt and Dr. Stein. Both men sat up a little straighter and stared forward. As Dr. San Marino walked slowed around the table and toward Derrick Adams the men followed her with their eyes. With Eric Hoyt and Dr. Stein paying attention, Dr. San Marino explained the attendance procedures, pay schedule and hours. After this she dismissed the group and they filed out into the hallway.
“She’s a ball-buster, ain’t she?” Derrick Adams said to Eric Hoyt with a slight smile.
“She’s a tough woman,” Eric Hoyt replied then added, “I’ve met my share of tough women.”
“I bet you have,” Derrick Adams stated, “Uhm, what are you doing here? What’s your job?”
“Security,” Eric Hoyt said.
“Oh, well sure. I should of know that,” said Derrick Adams.
Eric Hoyt smiled. It was a warm smile that indicated there was more to him then what he seemed to put on.
The group began to disappear throughout the building, each person going to his, or her, superior. Derrick Adams stayed next to the door of the conference room. He had not been told who to contact and where to go. Dr. San Marino and Dr. Ruiz were inside the room discussing rumors about some project.
“How could you accept a project like that?” Dr. Ruiz asked.
“How could I not,” Dr. San Marino replied.