Round Table Discussion
"We ought to have a roundtable discussion," said the boss. "Let's get everyone together and have a roundtable discussion."
"Yes, sir," said the secretary. "Who would you like to have at your roundtable discussion sir?" The boss thought a minute. "Jensen," he said. "We need to have Jensen at the roundtable discussion."
"I'll call him immediately, sir," the secretary said. She wrote in her little book.
"And Kelly," the boss said. "We also need Kelly at our roundtable discussion."
"Is that Kelly from purchasing?" the secretary asked.
"No, not Kelly from purchasing," the boss said. "Call Kelly from accounting. Make sure Kelly from accounting is at our roundtable discussion," he said.
"Kelly from accounting," said the secretary, making another notation in her book. "I will call Kelly from accounting to your roundtable discussion. Is there anyone else you would like to invite?"
The boss thought for a while. "No," he said finally, "I think not. I do not think we want anyone else at our roundtable discussion. But we do need food. We need food at our roundtable discussion. Can we call someone to bring food to our roundtable discussion?"
"We can call Rhoda's, sir," the secretary said. "Rhoda's is a caterer. They will bring corned beef to your roundtable discussion."
"That is good," said the boss. "Will they bring other food?"
"They will bring roast beef and they will bring turkey. They will bring potato salad and cole slaw, and fruit salads in little plastic cups."
"Will they bring olives?" asked the boss. "Will they bring olives to my roundtable discussion?"
"I do not know, sir," said the secretary, "but I will ask. I will ask if they bring olives to roundtable discussions."
"That would be good," said the boss. "I think it would be a good idea if they brought olives to roundtables."
"Would you like anything else at your roundtable discussion, sir?"
"I think not. I think that is all we want."
"Very well, sir," the secretary said. "I will go now and make the calls."
"Good work, Madeline," said the boss. "You've done very well. Call Jensen and Kelly from accounting, and tell Rhoda's the caterers to bring us food. Bring them all together and put them in a room. Then we will have our roundtable discussion."
The boss noted with satisfaction that the food from Rhoda's had arrived and was sitting in a corner of the room. He saw that Jensen and Kelly were present also, sitting at the table, waiting for him.
He sat down at the table. He looked down at the table. A startled look came to his face; he rose half-way out of his chair, then sat back down again. His face grew very red.
"What is the matter, sir?" asked Jensen.
"This table is not round at all!" said the boss. "This table is square! This is a square table!"
"This table is not round!" Jensen said to Kelly.
"Square! Square table!" Kelly shrieked.
"Madeline!" the boss shouted. "Where is Madeline? Madeline, you must come here immediately!"
"I am here," said Madeline.
"Madeline, we cannot have our roundtable discussion! This table is not round at all! This table is square!"
"I see," said Madeline.
"You must find a round table, Madeline," the boss said. "You must find it in a hurry. Go, Madeline, very fast! Find us a round table."
"There is a table in the room next door," said Madeline. "It is round. You can move the food from Rhoda's into that room. Then you will have a round table, and then you can have your discussion."
"You are a wonderful secretary," said the boss. "Help me, Jensen and Kelly from accounting. Help me move the corned beef and the olives to the room next door."
A short time later, and all had been done. The corned beef and the olives and the fruit salads were lined up in neat rows. Jensen and Kelly sat at the table, their notebooks and pens in front of them. Madeline hovered outside the doorway, just out of sight, in case she would be needed again. The boss sat down in his chair. He inspected the table. He rubbed his hands on the top of it, then gave it a rap with his knuckles. Then he leaned back in his chair. A broad smile came to his face. Jensen and Kelly smiled too.
"You are all very good employees," the boss said, "and this is a wonderful, round table." He turned his gaze upward and held his hands high. "Now," the boss said, "now, at last, we shall have our roundtable discussion."