‘Perception is reality.’ That is the phrase that went through Phil’s mind after the dreadful meeting.
‘I should’ve seen it coming,’ he said to himself. ‘Cory has said that phrase to me a hundred times. He even expressed that reality does not matter, only perception.’
Phil walked from Cory’s office, back to his desk. He sat down in a daze. His mind raced, reflecting on the recent past.
“Phil, it’s time you look for something else,” his supervisor, Cory, stated bluntly. The statement was made before Phil had completely sat in the seat across the desk.
“Uh-huh,” Phil smirked, thinking Cory was making a bad joke. When Cory’s expression remained solid as stone, Phil picked up on a very different atmosphere. “Are you serious?”
“It just isn’t working out, Phil,” Cory began to explain. “You just don’t seem to have what it takes.”
Phil shook his head in surprise, uttering the question a few times in succession, “What do you mean I don’t have what it takes?”
“You missed the turnover by two weeks…” Cory continued.
“We turned in our green tags at turnover,” Phil cut in, trying to answer the accusation. “It was the client’s personal contractors that missed the date.”
“You spent in excess of ten thousand dollars on night security…” Cory kept explaining, undeterred.
“Because the client specifically requested night security for the last two weeks,” Phil attempted to answer the second accusation.
“And you started a fight with the manager,” Cory finished.
“I started a fight!?” Phil elevated slightly from his seat, becoming outraged at the last accusation. “He is the one who pushed me. I didn’t do anything…”
Cory raised his hand, cutting Phil off. “It doesn’t matter,” he said as he raised his hand. “The decision has been made.”
“It does matter!” Phil stood up this time. “You are firing me on false accusations! How does it NOT matter?”
Cory lifted his hand again, smirking slightly at uncomfortable situation. “It won’t change.”
Phil turned and walked to the doorway, fuming at the false accusations and corresponding punishment.
“You have two weeks to get things in order,” Cory said to Phil.
Phil turned and glared directly at Cory. He let his glare give the unspoken answer: ‘We’ll see.’
Phil relived the experience over-and-over. Every time it made him more sick then the time before. He knew he did not stand a chance with any of the other directors. Cory was well beloved, carrying a lot of clout. Even though Phil had been with them for as long as Cory, he lacked the same depth of relationship as Cory had. Certainly they would side with Cory over him.
‘Perception is reality.’ The phrase continued to float somewhere in the background. Its presence demanded attention.
‘No, Cory,’ Phil defied the phrase in his mind. ‘Reality is reality and perception is perception. Rarely do the two coincide. Yet, for most, they are heavily influenced by their perception and equate it with reality.’
The irony of the situation was not wasted on Phil. His reality was now being greatly effected by Cory’s perception.
Buzz. Buzz. Buzz.
Phil looked down at his phone. It read “Wife”. He remembered she and the kids were picking him up for an early lunch.
He watched it buzz a few more times before clearing his throat and answering.
“Hey hun!” He said in a nondescript tone.
“We’re in the parking lot,” she said.
“Okay,” Phil answered. “I will be there in a moment.”
Phil hung up the phone, then sat forward and placed his head in his hands. He let his head rest for a few seconds before rubbing at his eyes and standing up. He walked to the exit and was immediately greeted by the sight of his pregnant wife and two young kids.
‘What am I going to say?’ Phil wondered. He lumbered over to the car, feeling heavy with burden.