by Josselin Kohl
At his office, Brian barks at Cynthia, ignores questions about why he’s late and where he was yesterday, and stares at his laptop, pretending that he can actually see what’s on the screen.
That afternoon, after he snaps a disparaging insult at a client in the middle of a meeting, Vance corners him in his office.
“What are you doing?” Vance asks exasperatedly. “I can’t believe I’d even have to tell you not to antagonize a multi-million dollar client.”
“The client’s an idiot.”
“Who cares? After you missed all the meetings yesterday and insult them today, they’ll be an idiot client signing with Greenland and Frith in New York. I want to know what’s going on.”
Brian doesn’t say anything and stares at the wall.
Vance tries another tactic. “Where were you yesterday?”
“Out,” Brian says shortly. “It was an emergency.”
“Well, is everything all right?” Vance’s tone is a mixture of exasperated and puzzled.
Brian’s silent for a moment again, and then he clears his throat. “No,” he says, and stalks out of the office, ignoring Vance and Cynthia’s calls trailing behind him.
Vance turns to Cynthia. “What’s wrong with him?” Cynthia can only shake her head and shrug.
Brian disappears from Vangard for the rest of the week with no explanations, but he reappears at five in the morning the next Monday, and begins to catch up on his work. Some tweaks on the proposal and some serious ass-kissing to the other less idiotic members of the client delegation even save Gardner’s account from switching to G & F.
Vance is somewhat mollified by this, but still disturbed by the flakiness of last week, and wants some sort of explanation about what happened, and an assurance that it isn’t going to happen again. He goes to try to talk to Brian again that afternoon at around four, only to find Brian snapping his briefcase closed and shutting down his laptop.
“Where are you going?” Vance asks—in vain, because Brian doesn’t respond. “Look, we still need to talk about the Carter account.”
“I okayed the changes,” Brian says. “If there’s any problems leave it on my desk and I’ll deal with it first thing in the morning.” And he slings his suit jacket over his arm and is out the door before Vance can say anything more.
This becomes routine, though. Brian arrives at ungodly hours of the morning and works brilliantly through until exactly four o’clock, at which point he leaves the office. He refuses to stay later for meetings or client dinners, and delegates any traveling to the execs under him.
Vance doesn’t understand any of it, but questioning Brian seems to get him nowhere, and eventually he’s just glad that there’s a pattern he can count on.
To Be Continued