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At the beginning of the story, Mr. Martin, who has decided to "rub out" Ulgine Barrows, is reviewing his case against her over a glass of milk. Mr. Fitweiler, who really knows very little about the woman, has introduced her to the staff as his special adviser.
On that day confusion got its foot in the door. After Miss Tyson, Mr. Brundage, and Mr. Bartlett had been fired and Mr. Munson had taken his hat and stalked out, mailing in his resignation later, old Roberts had been emboldened to speak to Mr. Fitweiler. He mentioned that Mr. Munson's department had been "a little disrupted" and hadn't they perhaps better resume the old system there? Mr. Fitweiler had said certainly not. He had the greatest faith in Mrs. Barrow's ideas.
So it was Mr. Munson who decided to resign. He must have acted in a fit of temper. Normally he would have been expected to give some advance notice, but he simply took his hat and stalked out. This is a strong indication of the effect Mrs. Barrows has on people.
Ulgine Barrows first appeared at F & S on March 7, 1941. She has been working there for almost two years. She is totally ignorant of the business world and apparently doesn't realize the damage she is doing to the organization. Martin has put up with her zany behavior and her parroting of expressions, such as "sitting in the catbird seat," by a Dodger baseball sportscaster she listens to on the radio, This was in the days before the Dodger baseball team moved from Brooklyn clear across the country to Los Angeles. The fact that she doesn't seem to understand any of the expressions she uses is another indication of her ignorance and incompetence.
What has ticked Mr. Martin off is that on Monday, November 2, 1941, Ulgine Barrows popped into his filing department and made it clear to him that she was thinking of making some radical changes there. As she is leaving she says:
"But you sure have got a lot of fine scrap in here!"
Mr. Martin can imagine the obscene woman advising Mr. Fitweiler to streamline the filing department by throwing out a lot of old documents and then selling the big steel cabinets as scrap. Mr. Munson's abrupt resignation had given Mr. Martin warning that Ulgine Barrows was a loose cannon at F & S. He needed to rub her out before she could wreak havoc in his own sacrosanct department.
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