She gained no pleasure from telling two of her best trainees, Tito and Sam, that she was not going to give them any special paid assignments until the third one, Rashad, was allowed to return to the group. The three of them had joked about deleting the sales predictions for the winter quarter. All three of them had placed their fingers very close to the button, even pushing other buttons. Rashad never meant to actually do it. But because he was the one who hit the wrong button, he had to take three days off, without pay. At least that is what Syd told her when she went to his office to inquire as to why Tito and Sam had no consequences.
"Oh, I already know. Sam told me," Syd said, "but they did not cost the company any money. They did not actually push the button."
"That doesn't make any sense," she muttered. Everyone in her group thought that was wrong, even Tito and Sam. When they found out what happened to Rashad, they admitted everything to her. They had told Syd, but they did not want to let her down. However, they didn't want to leave their friend hanging out to dry by himself. Back at her own office, she spoke with Tito and Sam in private.
"You guys aren't going to miss any time in here," she told them, " but I think it's only fair that you can't participate in special assignments until Rashad comes back. You won't be working as closely with the group either. What do you think about that?"
Tito nodded humbly, and Sam smiled his 'yes' emphatically. She admired their sense of fraternity, their honesty. Glad that she gave them the opportunity to do what was right.
Later in the day, she called Rashad to ask how was he doing. He said he was fine, but she knew he was putting up a good front. She told him about the other two. He only said "Oh?" in a surprised but not overtly pleased manner. They were all thinking about him, she said. He thanked her. She didn't want to hang up, but she didn't know what else to tell him. And she had to get back to work.
"Take care, Rashad. See you soon."
"Thanks. See you."