Chapter 11. 5:00 PM Mike's Production Meeting: Not Exactly Kumbaya, but Lots of Give-and-Take

5:02: Chad Receives a Warm Welcome

Chad is still fuming about Simone's open insubordination as he walks down the hall to Mike's conference room. As usual, at about this time he's carrying around a water bottle containing a thick, fuchsia-colored liquid—water mixed with protein energy powder that he got from his nutritionist. Chad likes the little boost the organic mixture gives him at the end of the day. He believes it helps him squeeze a little bit of extra productivity out of the five to six o'clock hour.

"Hey, you'll spoil your dinner with those empty calories," he says to Mike, who was holding half a donut covered with powdered sugar. They meet up right outside of the conference room, where Mike's team members are milling around and chatting.

"You know, a petrified stale sugar donut is just the bit of nutrition I need to power through an end-of-the-day production meeting. Besides, even a little stale, I'll bet it's tastier than what you're downing. What is that anyway? It looks like Clairol Herbal Essence," Mike teases.

"Well, it cleans out my pores. Listen, you need to get more of that donut into your mouth next time," Chad replies, flicking his index finger dramatically up and down on his own upper lip.

"Thanks, buddy," Mike says, wiping his mouth with the paper napkin he's been using to hold the donut. "And now that you've gone out of the way to point it out, I can see you do have pretty ...

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