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No Blue Skies
by Ian Curtress

She didn’t feel guilty about taking two weeks off she thought as she leant over the cruise liner rail. She had done far more than her share to put the Company in profit again.
Her salary was excellent but she earned every penny.
The Company had been a sound business three years ago, before the then new CEO was brought in. A golf club appointment! Knew nothing about the Company which doesn’t matter if you have good management abilities, a quick mind and a willingness to listen and a confidence which inspires others.
He had none of these attributes. It appeared the Board soon saw the problem but could do little about it as his contract was watertight for three years. Their solution was to bring her in, known for her skills at turning Companies around.
These situations are thwart with possible clashes and confrontations but in this case he was aware of his shortcomings and went along for the ride, you might say.
His three years were up and he left, with a silver handshake last week. Hence a sigh of relief and this cruise.
All chairs were full, passengers enjoying the sunshine. A voice said I know you can only see ocean and sunshine but it’s pretty good isn’t it.
She half turned to see a rather distinguished man smiling. It’s gorgeous she replied I would be happy for it to continue, forget land.
If you weren’t looking so relaxed I would think that statement ominous he said.
Oh no…’s just I have had little time to think of a vacation for three years, head down twelve hour day.
That is not healthy he said. No matter how hard working and efficient one is you will find you make mistakes, spend more time rectifying them and a catch twenty two situation.
I have hit those brick walls and shocked everyone by taking a week off at the peak of the problem. Spent it gardening.
In early the following Monday morning and by Wednesday the ship on an even keel again. That sounds appropriate given where we are.
She liked this man. She wasn’t on a cruise to talk business but he was a breath of fresh air.
Then he quickly said I’m sorry, I should not be reminding you of business and interrupt your admiration for the sea and sky.
Don’t apologise, that was just what I needed. I have no one to take me to task or bring me up with jolt.
Do you have an understanding Wife she asked. Oh you have caught me out.
No. Too busy for relationships, no real excuse I admit. I know I am missing so much and can’t recover those years, but I hope to put that right. I’m taking up a new position shortly and will be delegating. I shall make it an art form!
What about you when you return to the real world.
I hope to lead a normal life, normal hours and perhaps normal relationships she said. I have had three intense years putting a Company back on a sound footing and can relax with it back on an even keel, as you put it and without the midnight oil.
He looked a little more serious when he said do you think we could stop each other from thinking of work for the next two weeks. It’s a deal she said putting her hand out. She thought he held it a little longer than necessary.

Before the cruise was due to end they knew the affection they had for each other was not going to end at the dockside.
He was on the point of buying a house just a few miles from where she lived and he asked her to give him a week to settle in to his new appointment and then they would both join the real world!
When she walked into her office on the Monday morning. She was a different person The world was out there and she was going to join it.
Her secretary said the new CEO had taken up his position and wanted to be brought up to date with the “Troubleshooter” is 9.30 suitable.
She was slightly apprehensive as shown into his office…..but then
His secretary looked shocked when after a seconds silence there was a burst of laughter and he said.
………No blue skies I’m afraid!