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Episode 5: The Rigid Nature of Steel

Steel Bolt went into his office, turned on his computer, read his emails, replied to the pressing ones, checked the performance of various stocks on the overnight Exchanges, perused his calendar and then turned his attention to the pressing matter of the day: that damned, elusive Japanese contract.

Make no mistake though, no matter how damned or elusive that Japanese contract gets, Steel Bolt loves it, just as he loves everything about his job.

And because Steel loves his job, he works hard at it.  It’s true that he has no choice but to work hard, since he runs Bolt Fasteners and all of its subsidiaries single-handedly.  With the exception of Beth Breath, no one is privy to the business practices of Bolt Fasteners (and she doesn’t know nearly as much as she thinks she does).  There is no CEO, no Chairman of the Board, no Vice Presidents; the entire management team of Bolt Fasteners sits in Steel Bolt’s chair and he likes it that way.  

It does, however, make for long days.  On a typical morning, Steel Bolt arrives at the office between 7:00 and 7:30.  The ensuing hours are consumed, without interruption, by work.  The only exception occurs when Steel has a working lunch or dinner.  If no such appointment exists, he eats lunch at his desk (whatever Beth Breath lovingly prepared for him the night before), and he remains seated until 7:00 or 8:00 at night.  At that point, Steel takes a break and goes out for dinner at one of Crescendo Cove’s fine restaurants.  After that it’s home to stately Bolt Manor for two or three hours more work in his study.

You’re probably thinking that Steel must get tired of eating at the same few restaurants every night, but he doesn’t have to.  Owing to Steel Bolt’s presence, there are an inordinate number of gourmet restaurants in Crescendo Cove.  His love of fine food has been adopted by people who, if they lived in other cities, would debate which burger joint to go to, as opposed to French versus Italian versus Mexican versus Indian versus Chinese versus Japanese versus Fusion.  As a result of the epicurean tendencies of Crescendo Cove’s residents, new and finer restaurants spring up all the time.  

Not that you should think that those living in Crescendo Cove blindly imitate Steel Bolt.  He is, in fact, seen by the masses as a cold, hard-hearted man whose only passion is the pursuit of money.  Before marrying, his lack of interest in females didn’t fuel rumours that he was gay, as you might expect; rather people speculated that he was a thoroughly unfeeling, asexual creature.  

Public perception changed when Steel became embarrassingly besotted by that girl and married her.  People thought, Finally, the man is revealing a human side.  And the pity they felt for him after she vanished was genuine.  Yet it waned when shortly after her death (too shortly, they thought) he sank back into his pre-marriage routine.

This perception of Steel Bolt as taciturn and monetarily-obsessed is not far from the truth, yet a side to him exists that few know about.  It is best exemplified by the fact that wherever in the world houses or buildings are destroyed, whether due to earthquake, flood, fire, tornado, hurricane, tsunami or terrorism, you can be certain that by morning several train cars full of Bolt Fastener supplies will be waiting to aid in the rebuilding.  Often Steel’s donations represent millions of dollars worth of inventory, yet he refuses to acknowledge what he’s done.  In fact, he makes a conscious effort to quash any newspaper or television story that is to focus on his philanthropy.  And whenever an individual or group wants to give him an award or citation for his humanitarianism, he refuses.  

Such is the nature of Steel Bolt.

Meanwhile, back at stately Bolt Manor....

Continue reading: Episode 6: Cigarettes and Whine