TWO DAYS HAD elapsed since the risk and planning meeting. As Matt entered the Vietnamese restaurant, he saw Meghan sitting at a table waiting for him. The small restaurant was a favorite of Matt's, and he'd chosen it because of the quiet and privacy it afforded. Meghan stood up nervously and they shook hands.
She anxiously asked as they were sitting down, “You aren't going to fire me, are you?”
Matt was going to joke about never firing anyone at his favorite Vietnamese restaurant, but when he looked to see if she was kidding, she seemed worried and tense. Deciding this was no time for his quirky humor, he gently said, “Not at all. Why are you thinking that?”
Meghan took a deep breath and, in apparent relief, smiled. “Well, Lila said you wanted to meet as soon as possible. I know I really botched it during the brainstorming meeting. You warned me before about my needing to establish an environment where the staff is encouraged to contribute and participate. When I went home that night, I rehashed all the stupid things I said, how I said them, and how everybody must hate me now.” With a catch in her voice she continued, “I even saw the disappointed look that passed between you and Dalton during my worst meltdown. This isn't an excuse, and I'm embarrassed to mention it, but I just broke up with my boyfriend the night before, and I think it had more of an impact on me than I ...