“Gentlemen…uh…I’m off to a meeting. See ya…uh…next week.” Bravo announced from the hallway outside Charlie’s office.

Bravo was holding his briefcase in one hand and casually looking at his boysenberry in the other hand. Delta and Charlie had been sitting in Charlie’s office discussing strategy for the new ad campaign when Bravo made his announcement.

It was a Tuesday.

Charlie: “Meeting? Where’s the meeting?”
Bravo: “Uhh…well…um…(clearing his throat)…ahhh, yes, well Echo has a meeting.”
Charlie: “Oh. Sure. OK. I was just wondering. I didn’t realize he had a meeting.”
Bravo: “Uh…well, this one just came up. I’ll be back next week.”
Delta: “I was going to have you sign some expense reports later. But, I guess they can wait.”
Bravo: “Uh…just put them on my desk. I’ll get to them…ah…first thing when I get back. Gotta run. I’m late already. Gotta catch a flight. Call my cell if you need me.”
Charlie: “Bye.”
Delta: “Vaya con Dios.”

They heard him walk down the hallway saying goodbye to the rest of the people in the office. As soon as they could tell he’d left, Charlie turned to his speakerphone and started dialing.

Charlie: “I’m calling Echo. I don’t believe he’s got a meeting.”
Delta nodded.

Echo was a peer to Charlie and Delta with the same job and level of responsibility. He resided in a neighboring state, but also reported to Bravo. Charlie and Delta would “compare notes” with Echo all the time. The speakerphone rang three times before Echo answered.

Charlie: “Hey.”
Echo: “What?”
Charlie: “I got Delta in here with me.”
Echo: “You guys drinking?”
Delta: “Charlie is…but, I’ve decided to stop drinking while I’m at work.”
Echo: “It was getting to be a problem for you wasn’t it?”
Delta: “Yes it was.”
Charlie: To Echo. “What are you doing?”
Echo: “Well…I’m not drinking. I was actually just sitting here doing the monthly reports. Why?”
Charlie: “You’re not getting ready for a meeting?”
Echo: “No. We don’t have any meetings this month.”
Delta: “Not even any unofficial meetings?”
Echo: “No. Nothing. Why are you guys asking? What’s up?”
Charlie: “Bravo just informed us that he was on his way to your meeting. Said he wouldn’t be back until next week.”
Echo: “Well…that’s news to me. I have no meetings. And, I haven’t even spoken to him in a couple of days.”
Charlie: “Well, that’s what we figured. We just wanted to make sure. Anything else going on?”
Echo: “No. Not really. I’m going on the road tomorrow. I’m making some calls to the clients.”
Delta: “Golf too?”
Echo: “Maybe…but, there’s nothing planned yet with any of them. Hey. I gotta go. The other line is ringing.”
Charlie: “It’s probably Bravo calling to let you know he’s on his way. Act surprised.”
Echo: “Ya. OK. Talk later.” He hung up.

Charlie: To Delta. “I knew he didn’t have a meeting with Echo.”
Delta: “Call Virginia. Ask her what travel she booked for him.”
Charlie: “Right. Good idea.”

Charlie picked up the phone and dialed Virginia’s extension. She informed him that Bravo was traveling to the Home Office and that he wouldn’t be returning until the following Tuesday. She had arranged the plane tickets and rental car, but not the hotel. After hanging up, he told Delta what she’d said.

Delta: “He must think we’re the dumbest people in the world.”
Charlie: “Yep.”

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