CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and SIXTY-SEVEN
“I even got a check for the profits this year,” he said. “Because-a Jake. If he tells me I need to take a vaccine? I don’t give a shit what anyone else says; I’m going to pick a shoulder and get the vaccine. I expect everyone who works on my team to do the same — especially if your choice is a vaccine or a new job.”
“Here! Here!” D’Shawn and Pete said in unison.
“I move that all Lipson employees are vaccinated,” Bambi said.
“Or they leave,” the newest owner said. “Hey, I may have only been here a year, but I know a good thing when I’ve got it. My friends aren’t working. My best friend from the last place has had to foreclose on his house. But, I’m here working like it’s normal time, not pandemic time. My family is safe. My kids are in school. So, Jake tells me I need a vaccine, I’m going to ask for one for my wife and my kids.”
“We haven’t received authorization for partners and wives, yet,” Jacob said. “But I’ll make a point of asking.”
“Get Val to ask,” a woman who’d worked at Lipson since nearly the beginning. “Doesn’t she have the voice?”
Jake gave her a vague look.
“She’s in LA,” Aden said. “People’s Choice Awards.”
“There are telephones there,” Bambi said.
“Let’s vote on this first,” Jacob said. “You vote by raising your hand. It’s a button on the bottom.”
“All those in favor of a mandatory vaccine policy for all Lipson Construction owners and employees, raise your hand,” Aden said.
“Nearly everyone has pressed the ‘raise hand’ button,” Aden said. “We’ve marked down those who have not. Sam will circle back with you to see what you’d like to do.”
“Thank you everyone,” Jacob said. “I think we’ll get the vaccine in a week or two. I’ll let you know. We’ll set up clinics at the site to make sure that everyone gets a shot.”
“I have to tell you that we’re very lucky to have the vaccine,” Tres said. “Jake’s worked tirelessly to make sure that everyone stays safe and alive in this pandemic. So far, we’ve had no cases — except for Sam and a couple of others early on. We just have to stay the course and we’ll survive the pandemic.”
“A few construction companies have closed,” Jerry said.
“Exactly,” Tres said.
“Thank you for coming!” Jacob said. “We’ll be in touch!”
The call ended. Aden, Jacob, Tres, and Sam just looked at each other for a long minute.
“What do you think?” Aden asked.
“I think it went really well,” Sam said.
“There were a bunch of people who didn’t vote for the vaccine,” Aden said.
“Two of them are immunocompromised,” Tres said.
“Organ transplants,” Jacob said.
“The rest are probably in a similar boat,” Sam said. “We won’t know until we talk to them.”
“I wonder if Tanesha would talk to them,” Jacob said.
“Good thinking,” Tres said. “I’ll call her.”
Jacob nodded to Tres.
“Good work everyone,” Jacob said. “This pandemic has not been easy. We’ve made it so far. I’m proud of all of us.”
“I’m proud of us too,” Aden said. “You think we’ll make it through this?”
“I do,” Sam said, before Jacob could answer. “I really do.”
The men looked at each other for a long moment.
“Did you know that there was like two feet of brimstone that smothered everything. . .” Jacob started.
“Are you still talking about the Minoans?” Tres asked with a groan.
Jacob nodded and everyone laughed.
Denver Cereal continues on Monday...
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