No. 179

Emma Erikson knew that if she was chosen as employee of the month one more time, the planet would erupt into revolution. So she was doing her hardest to tank.
It wasn’t working. Customers continued to ask for her by name, and gave reviews based her reputation, not her service. Old clients upped their purchasing at exactly the wrong time.
She couldn’t quit. Her contract went another four years, and one did not simply break a Company contract. They were very possessive.
The final vote was tomorrow and she would have to screw up badly to be passed over.  
She walked through the front doors at 9:17. Nobody seemed to notice or care that she was late.
“Emma,” yelled Davis from the front desk. “I hear the Paris office has a candidate this month. Kuala Lumpur, too!”
Anderson Waterbury from accounting stepped off the elevator and joined the conversation without missing a beat.
“Dave, I thought it was Perth this time.”
Both men laughed.
Emma ignored them. They didn’t know yet what she’d been told.
She arrived on her floor and tried to make her way to her office as quickly as possible. She was slowed by coworkers stopping her to recognise her singular accomplishment.
It was difficult to walk past the congratulatory banner.
Finally, she made it to the refuge of her corner suite.
“Tea?” asked Teresa Dryden, her assistant.
Emma slumped into her chair.
“Yes, please.”
Teresa tried to console her.
 “Em, you’ve tried your best to avoid it. It’s not your fault the Company keeps choosing you. And it’s not your fault they’re going to announce that the first employee to win five times will be cloned to replace everybody else.”
 “It’s going to be ugly,” said Emma.
Teresa regarded her boss with an astute smile.
“I have to say, if I don’t have much time left, that I’ve enjoyed working with you. But you are the most successful person at the largest company on Earth. There’s got to be something you can do to get what you want.”
Emma leaned back and sipped her tea while considering her friend’s suggestion.
“Miss Dryden, there might just be.”