Keep It In The Family – Episode 18

Curled up on the sofa, the TV ignored, Rosie and Alan talked late into the night as she asked him to tell her exactly what it was he’d heard being said about Willson’s.“They knew about the mistakes Adam’s been making? That means it’s someone in the business someone in Willson’s. But I can hardly believe that! Who would be so disloyal? Everyone’s been with us for years!”Alan shrugged.“These things have a way of getting out, love. It doesn’t mean anyone’s been trying to create trouble. Remember all those slogans during the war careless talk, and all that. It just needs one of the drivers to have told his wife.”Rosie laced her fingers through his, and he squeezed them reassuringly.“We’ll get through this, Ro, like we do everything else.”“I know. It’s just it’s been such a terrible time, I wonder what else can go wrong?”Next day Rosie was determined not to let it get to her. She arrived at the office to find Adam already hard at work, a phone nestled in the crook of his neck, his laptop open, his fingers flying over the keys.“OK, Clive, I’ve got that. If we change the rota to call Des in tomorrow we should be able to cover the load.”A few more terse remarks and he ended the call with a weary sigh.“Trouble?” Rosie asked.Adam grimaced, tapping the receiver thoughtfully.“It’s beginning to look that way. One of the relief drivers has quit, and a couple of the others are making noises about going the same way.”“But why?”Rosie sank into a chair. She knew how serious this was. The rotas and logs were worked out in meticulous detail; losing one driver meant a lot of juggling of journeys and drivers. Losing more would be a monumental headache.Adam was shaking his head.“I don’t know what’s brought this on. Did Dad have trouble like this with the drivers?”“No.” Rosie frowned. “But I wonder if it has anything to do with what Alan was telling me last night.” She quickly outlined the rumours that he’d heard.“We’ll be OK if the old stagers stay with us. There are always relief drivers looking for work,” she assured him. “But we can’t afford to lose any contracts.”“Radley’s! I might have known they’d try to make trouble.” Adam smiled grimly. “It’s good business, to be honest,” he admitted grudgingly. “They know we’re still reeling from the shock of losing Dad. And they know what a rookie I am. They’re just striking while the iron’s hot.”“Hitting us while we’re down, more like!” Rosie protested. “Whatever happened to common decency and respect?”“Not many companies can afford to be too sentimental in this economy, Rosie. That’s why I think we need to press on with the modernisation I’ve been talking about. I know I’m only in this job for the short term, and I’ve no idea what Mum’s plans are for the future. I assume she’ll put you in charge once you’ve had a breather, but we can’t stand still. We need to get more trucks on the road to maximise our potential.”This was an argument they’d had several times already and he knew her views on it. Like Freya, Rosie thought now was the wrong time to be thinking about expanding, though she had no idea her sister-in-law had voiced such concerns.“We’re not back on our feet yet since Dad passed. We you and I have to gain the trust of our current customers before we go touting for new business.”“No, you’re wrong. We have to show that we’re confident new blood with new ideas and that we’re really driving the business forward.”Rosie looked at Adam in amazement. Sometimes it was very hard to believe that this was the same brother who had once abandoned the business world in favour of back-packing to far-flung places. Now he spoke like some corporate whizz-kid, and already some of the risks she’d seen him take made the back of her neck prickle with unease.It was an unease that was slowly coming between them, but she didn’t want it to develop into a real quarrel.“All I’m saying is . . .”“I know what you’re saying, Rosie,” he snapped, standing up and smacking his hand on the desk. “You think I’ve no idea what I’m doing. I didn’t ask for it, but Mum’s put me in charge, for the time being at least, and you’re just going to have to accept that.”


Used to make posts more anonymous, eg a criminal case where you don’t want to expose the actual journalist.