“A Deadly Deal–Part 1”

“A Deadly Deal–Part 1”


A subculture of scoundrels may flourish for years without a company's knowledge.  They strike deals, commit illegal acts, and profit without regard for laws or mores.  Some of these rogues will go to any extreme to settle a grudge or obtain satisfaction.  Usually, we don't find out about their plans until one of their schemes backfires.  And then, whether we like it or not, we're fully immersed!  The scariest part is that we have no way to predict what, where, or when things will explode or who will get hurt.  Our best defense is to develop good, solid detective skills:  observe carefully, listen closely, and trust your instincts.


HitmanMandy fidgeted with her key ring while she waited for Rex Hartly, the director of security, to arrive.  When Rex walked in the reception area, Mandy leapt from her seat and blocked his path.  "Mr. Hartly, Mr. Hartly, can I see you?  Please, I know I don't have an appointment, but I don't have much time.  It's very important!" she pleaded.

"Of course, that's what we're here for," he assured her, calmly ushering her to his office.

"Well, Mr. Hartly, I don't know exactly how to begin, but I'm in serious trouble."

"How about beginning with your name?" he smiled.

Mandy blushed.  "Oh, I'm sorry.  I'm Amanda Barleycorn, but you can call me Mandy–everyone does.  I work second shift on the welding line."

"Okay, Mandy, what's bothering you?"

"Can I be assured you won't involve the police?" she asked.

"I can't promise you that, Mandy," he responded.  "If you've committed a serious crime, it's my responsibility to report it.  I'll try to help in any way that I can, though."

"Well, I don't suppose I have any choice.  I almost committed a crime.  Well, actually I'm trying to stop a crime I was going to commit.  God, this is hard to talk about."

Rex had no idea what her problem was.  He tried another tactic.

"Mandy, what crime are you trying to stop?"

"A hit on my husband," she gulped.

"You mean you are trying to have your husband killed?"

"Was trying–those are the operative words.  I chickened out.  I changed my mind.  Joe and I made up.  He's getting counseling and isn't hittin' me anymore."

"So, how did you stop it?"

"I told you, he's getting counseling."

"No, Mandy, I mean how did you stop the contract on your husband," Rex clarified.

"I told him not to do it–to call it off."

"So, did the hit man agree?"

"No, not exactly."

"What do you mean?"

"There's more to it."

"Go on," Rex said, thinking, "I hope this ditzy lady can get to the point.  I'm starting to lose my patience."

"Well, you see, I became friendly with Johnny Fletcher, who works third shift in wiring.  And well, he'd always hang out a couple hours early, so we met during break time.  Anyhow, we got to talkin', and I was telling him about my problems with Joe–that's my husband, see.  I was just wishin' Joe out of my life, when Johnny said he could do it for me.  I asked how, and he said that he could sorta be my broker."

"A broker?"

"Yeah, sort of a go-between.  He said he knew a guy . . . who, you know . . . knew a guy who was a professional shooter.  The kind that didn't make 'em suffer.  Just got 'em on the first pop.  Anyhow, Johnny said the shooter was out of town, but he could make arrangements.  I just needed to give him a down payment."

"Did you give Johnny the money?"

"Yes, it sounded good at the time."

"All of it?"

"No, only the down payment.  That's where things start gettin' kinda sticky.  See . . . well . . . uh . . . .  Wait a minute.  Let me back up.  I changed my mind, so I told Johnny the deal was off.  Then Johnny said that finding the shooter cost him some money, and he wanted to be paid whether the job was done or not.  I said, `No way.' 

To find out the rest of the story, click here to read Part 2.

Excerpted from Outrageous Conduct:  Bizarre Behavior at Work©

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