Changing Gene – Ch. 1.1

It was the day right after Thanksgiving, garbage cans were overflowing with holiday refuse and a nasty flu bug had attacked the city of Marvelston, Georgia. These things combined posed a major problem for Mitch Rozier, senior partner of the Rozier Sanitation Company. Not only was there more garbage to pick up than usual, he had less staff to do it with on account of the current airborne illness.

garbage can

Every time the phone rang, it was a driver calling in sick. On top of that, Mitch was just getting over the flu himself and his junior partner was too jetlagged to stay awake in the office, much less on a long pickup route. In fact, Gene Waldenhall was in his office sleeping off the affects of his ten-hour flight now. He’d come straight from the airport this morning.

After the third driver called in sick, Kylisha Greene, the company’s new secretary, came into Mitch’s office with a proposition. “Mr. Rozier, I would be glad to take over one of the routes, if you and Rosemary will answer the phones for me while I’m gone.”

“Wh…what?!” Mitch shook his head twice to make sure he’d heard correctly. “Kylisha, those are garbage trucks out there. You have to have a CDL license to operate one of them.”

“I know what they are, Mr. Rozier,” Kylisha replied in a respectful tone. “I also know how to drive one. As for the CDL license thing, I have one of those, too.” She pulled her driver’s license out of her pocket and slid it across the pine desk as proof. She’d anticipated Mitch’s doubt and had prepared for it.

Wide-eyed, Mitch coughed and not just from lingering flu symptoms either. “You really do have a CDL license.” He kept looking from the plastic card in his hands to the tall, slender girl across from him in astonishment. What else didn’t he know about the woman he hired five months ago?

Kylisha smiled. “Yes, sir. I’ve had one since high school.”

“Since high school?” Mitch’s eyes grew wider still.

“Or rather since the summer right after high school,” Kylisha corrected, turning serious again as she noted the lingering doubt in Mitch’s eyes. “Listen, Mr. Rozier, you need help here. I want to provide that help since you and Mr. Waldenhall can’t right now. To show you how capable I am, let me take you on a test drive.”

Mitch gave Kylisha a long thoughtful look as he endeavored to make the best executive decision possible. After two minutes of silence, he said, “Get your coat and let’s go.”

Kylisha sprung up from her chair with excitement. “You won’t regret this, Mr. Rozier.”

I hope not, Mitch thought, sending a prayer of faith heavenward as he rose from his own chair.

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