I began to observe as much as I could about Steve’s behavior, without making it evident that I was now looking on him more as a specimen than as an employee. The more I watched, the more obvious it became that Annamaria was right. Steve generated a lot of noise, but nothing really seemed to come of any of it. Companies did not suddenly begin to standardize on our product, the reviews somehow never got written, and no distributor put up his hand to work with us. We did commit a lot of money for advertising, and Steve’s expense account was astronomical. Who buys three hundred dollar bottles of wine for lunch with a printer? A fucking printer!
      I kept a log of Steve’s commitments; the promised sales, the pending big deals and impending meetings with the press. At the end of the first week after Annamaria’s revelations, I presented him with a copy of the log, and the comment that I was very pleased with his plans. He spoke eloquently about how much business we would soon be doing, but I wasn’t sure that he’d gotten my message.
      At the end of the second week, he was able to show one small sale, which grew in magnitude the more he talked about it. Everything still had lots of promise and he practically tapdanced as he spoke of our opportunities. By the time he left my office, I was having second thoughts about doubting him, and wondered whether Annamaria wasn’t just gunning for his job.
      Annamaria and I spent a lot of time working together, but there was no repeat of the kiss and caress in the car. That had, obviously, just been a moment of closeness on her part, and I knew not to make anything more of it. She was just a very physical person who was nearly always in physical contact with someone.

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