Friday the 13th started badly for Tom, his car broke down on the way to work, and as soon as he arrived at the office he was called up to see the chairman. As Tom entered the chairman looked up and put down his pen. "I'd like you to sort out all these late payers, the firm can't afford to put up with them any longer" he said, passing Tom a large computer printout.

Tom went back to his desk and asked his secretary if she would run off three copies of a report. Sitting down, he carried on with his crossword until the junior, Sam, passed by. "Sam, I've an important job for you here; I know I can count on you not to let me down" he said, handing over the chairman's printout.

At lunchtime Tom went to the pub as usual, he sat mulling over the weekend visit of his mother-in-law. He knew he couldn't just boot her out but wondered why they didn't hit it off? He was thankful that his wife didn't take after her mother. He remembered that he had to look in on his own mother some time.

Tom had discussed setting up his own business with some of his colleagues, he'd been taking stock and had to face up to the fact that he was going nowhere with this firm. And yet the idea of going it alone filled him with fear. He'd just have to risk losing face and give up the idea. Perhaps he'd look up some of his friends from college to see if they knew of any openings.

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