Posted by: jockmackenzie | April 29, 2009

“Dealing with Dymans” Chapter 3, Part 3

Click the “start arrow” below to hear the audio of this chapter:

Sydney frowned and seemed to be wrestling with an inner decision. “I’m not a confrontational guy, Jack. In fact, I worry that I go almost too far out of my way to avoid unpleasantness. But you’re right. Dougie, according to Elsa, according to Giselle, can be one bad dude, a dude who seems to have gotten badder over time, if there is such a word. He was too much of a party boy, ladies’ man, Joe Athlete, and general ne’er-do-well to ever get anywhere on his own. He bummed around for several years after high school, then his dad took him into the family business.”

“You’re killin’ me man. Where does the ‘sinister’ part come in?”

“Geez Jack, I’m gettin’ to that. You kinda have to understand the background; these things don’t happen overnight. I’ll fast forward as much as I can. Remember, most of this is more or less third hand. Sharma was gone, out of the business for some time. The father, Rockwell Aldrich Dymans, who you’d think might have been known as Richie but wasn’t, everybody called him Al, was a very soft-spoken, quiet guy. He absolutely loved jewellery, loved to work in the back designing ring settings, better with gems than the general public. Dougie was Mr. Personality. At first it seemed to work out perfectly, kinda like the reverse of a mullet. You know, business up front and party out back but, in this case, party boy up front . . .”

“Yeah, I get it. Sinister, Sydney, sinister.”

“Yeah, forget the mullet part. It wasn’t funny or light-hearted. Dougie started to believe he was the Dymans in Sharma and Dymans. I guess he started treating his dad like some kind of hired help. Dougie lorded it over the other employees, so much so that those who could afford it quit and moved on. Over about ten years, the little bugger puffed himself up into a kind of larger than life, all sizzle no steak, self-appointed CEO. His dad’s health was failing, Dougie’s mom had the typical mother’s heart and was always trying to find some excuse for why her sweet son was being the little shit that he was, and the business just gradually fell into Dougie’s greedy little hands.

“The sinister part was gradual too. Al died and left a will that was far too general in its provisions. There was a big family squabble and, when all was said and done, Dougie was officially in charge of the business and Bobbie was building bridges halfway across the country. I mean, who ever really knows what goes on behind closed doors, but there was some serious bad blood between the brothers. Bobbie, once an easy-going, hail-fellow-well-met, turned into a major pain in the ass. I guess he did a 180 degree flip and became not only mean-spirited but depressed. He and Elsa divorced – and my pipeline to the life and times of the Dymans dried up.

“But, as you know, this is still a fairly small town. I continued to hear things about Dougie. One of his sales staff ended up coming to work for us. She mentioned once that the only people who remained at Sharma and Dymans were of two types, those too scared of Dougie to complain about his temper, and badly in need of a pay cheque, and those who were kind of like-minded. When I asked her what ‘like minded’ meant, she really let loose with things like self-centered, holier than thou, back stabbing, users and abusers . . . until I had to stop the runaway train.”

Jack sighed. “I hear ya, Sydney. He sounds like quite a piece of work- but I’m still not hearing ‘sinister.’ I hear lots of ‘bad dude’ but not ‘evil dude.’”

“Now that I’m trying to put it into words,” admitted Sydney, “it doesn’t sound as bad as I believe it is. Have you ever felt that you know something, something you feel in your gut, but that you couldn’t actually prove?”

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