26The Holiday Party

The Stamina staff and their families were enjoying the holiday party.

After go-kart racing, everyone moved into the private party room. As they compared ugly Christmas sweaters, the noise of the group mixed with the holiday music of DJ Ben. While people grabbed food from the buffet, Sam moved from table to table greeting everyone. Sam appeared confident and happy, but as the clock ticked closer to 7:30 p.m., the knot in his stomach tightened.

Melissa kept the event on schedule. She and Dana had worked hard organizing the event. Around 7 p.m., Melissa let Sam know Brian had arrived, but before Sam could greet him, he got stuck at the photo booth area. For the next 25 minutes, Sam changed into funny outfits and took photos with the team. Sam glanced over and saw Brian talking to his mother at the back of the room. Sam was glad Brian had met his mom, and hoped to introduce them properly.

At the photo booth, Sam lost track of time. At 7:30, Melissa told Sam to stay on schedule. “Good thing the lawyer's running this thing,” Sam thought and made his way to the front of the room. Melissa handed him the microphone and whispered, “Good luck.” Sam asked everyone to take their seats. After a minute, Sam began the speech he'd practiced for weeks.

“Good evening,” began Sam. “If we haven't met, I'm Sam Raucci, the founder of Stamina, and I want to welcome everyone to the holiday party!”

The group applauded.

“To begin, I have two questions. Number one, is everyone having ...

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