T he brothers were pleased. The sharply dressed one stretched his arms. Wortman caught a glimpse of dark blue and yellow gold. There was an exchange of glances between sharp dresser and his brother. Then he turned and faced Wortman.
“How do we get started?”
Wortman reminded them about his client obligations and unfinished projects.
“Bring the work in. We’ve got programmers. You’ll get a commission on your customer’s billing.”
Wortman nodded, thinking it through.
“How much you making now?”
Wortman threw out a number.
“We’ll put you on salary starting tomorrow. What do you say?”
The sharp dresser reached for the phone. The Rolex® glistened. He punched in a few numbers.
“Tina. Bring me a W-4”
Everyone stood, shook hands and smiled. A petite Asian woman walked in with a form.
“You have I.D.?”
Wortman handed over his driver’s license.
“I be back.”
He stepped into the hallway, called his wife, told her he accepted a job and was starting the following day.
* * * * *
“Tell me what you’ve been doing.”
Wortman stood in a private office. The sharp dresser was on the phone, the other brother, who seemed always ready for the gym, waved him towards his desk. Wortman described the first two weeks on the job. The jock seemed preoccupied, his gaze shifting from the paperwork spread on his desk to the computer monitor to his right. After a few minutes he paused and looked straight at Wortman.
“I need you to find out what’s going on with Dr. Leather’s website. It’s still not done. Find out what’s the hold up. He’s a friend of mine.”
* * * * *
Only Wortman saw the irony of Dr. Leather owning a pain management clinic. He didn’t know that this was a warning sign. The second sign came the following morning. After a two hour early morning drive through snowy streets to the clinic in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn, he met with Dr. Pain’s ‘Frau Blücher,’ a young woman who played the role of belligerent, scatter-brained assistant. Over the previous months she insisted on constant changes to the website’s design, ‘by order of Dr. Leather’, she’d say. Her feigned mental defect allowed her to ignore Wortman’s explanation that incessant design changes will delay the completion of the website. Over the next four months, Wortman would learn how much agony Frau Blücher would inflict, ‘by order of Dr. Pain.’
(To Be Continued)
Part I is here