“Hey, Mr. Sloan, can I talk to you for a second?”
“Sure. Have a seat.”
Lamon closed the door behind him and took a seat in front of his boss’ desk.
“Closing the door. Should I be concerned?”
“No, of course not. I just came to give you my two weeks’ notice.”
Mr. Sloan’s brow furrowed into deep wrinkles. “I’m sorry to hear that. Found a better offer, did you?”
“Kind of. I’ve decided to try to go it alone for a while.”
Mr. Sloan’s eyebrows went up. “Oh, so you think you can be your own boss, huh?”
“I think I have what it takes.”
“Good for you. I assume you’ve looked into buying your own health insurance. We can cover you through COBRA for a while, but it’s not a permanent solution.”
“Of course. I haven’t looked into specifics yet, but it’s on my to-do list.”
“Hmmm. It’s not pretty. Prices have been skyrocketing lately. Not to mention the deductibles. And you’ve looked into transferring the money from your 401k into another plan?”
“Yes. I already have an investment company all lined up.”
“Good. That’s good, because you know we’ll take back the money we contributed.”
Lamon’s face fell. “What?”
Mr. Sloan shrugged. “Company policy. If you haven’t been with us for at least five years, we take back the money we invested for you … and all the money that investment made. Don’t worry, though. The money you contributed is still your own money. You get to keep that, of course.”
Lamon swallowed hard.
“So! What kind of business are you looking to go into?”
“Selling business insurance. I was looking at everything I do here and tried to figure out why I couldn’t do any of it myself. I decided I could.”
The smile that slid slowly across Mr. Sloan’s face could only be called menacing. “No, you can’t.”
Lamon had started to smile again as he talked about his plans. That smile vanished. “I’m sorry?”
“Read your employment contract. The one we required you to sign before we’d let you start working here. It specifically says you cannot work in the same capacity for any competitor. If you’re going to try to sell your own business insurance, you would be one of our competitors, making your self-employment a violation of our contract. And let me tell you now, our lawyers are the best there is and they will seek the highest penalty.”
Lamon’s pallor turned ashen.
Mr. Sloan allowed the information to soak in for a few seconds before clapping Lamon on the back and saying, “Looks like you’re not leaving after all. Glad to hear it. Let me know if there’s anything else I can help you with.” He opened the door and waited for the shell-shocked Lamon to get to his feet and make his way out.
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