Each morning William Grainger received two packages.
One was the takings, profits and margins from the previous day. The other was his lunch always packed in a brown paper bag and always containing a vegemite sandwich and an apple.
William Grainger sat at the same desk he had always sat at, its weathered and faded façade was what he liked about it, a little like himself he would say.
Today he saw that his company was worth in excess of seven billion dollars and his latest venture was reaping profits beyond his imagination. He studiously made his way through the figures in front of him and did his own calculations. It was his company he figured so he wanted to retain his hands on it as long as he could.
Satisfied he had the numbers right he packed the papers back into its package and summoned his assistant Edna, an ageing woman who had worked as his assistant since he had taken over the running of the company some forty-five years ago. He had Edna understood each other and she knew when to step forward and when to not.
Dutifully she filed the package and then made the coffee, poured him a cup and one for herself. She came into his office and sat with him as they sipped and nibbled at the meagre biscuits she provided.
At midday William went to his change room, took off his suit and dressed in jeans and an old t-shirt. Then waiting at the top of the stairs for Edna the two of them went down the stairs and across the street to the soup kitchen where they spent the next two hours serving the homeless and catering to their needs. Long-time soup kitchen recipients came to know William and Edna and never guessed he was worth so much money. Instead they saw him as a familiar and happy face who served the lunches and never let any of them leave without a handout of toiletries and essentials to keep them clean and tidy.
After the soup kitchen was closed William would call the staff together and go over the requirements for the next day. He had staff to carry out the buying and organisation of the handouts, all accounts were handled by him and there was never any suggestion of scrimping on anything. It was important for him to have the kitchen function to its full capacity. He did so because he recalled a time when it could easily have been him in line each day, fate had moved to favour him and he never forgot the agony of that time when it was touch and go if his venture would work or not.
In the afternoon when he and Edna returned to his office he took his vegemite sandwich and ate it slowly. It was another reminded that he should be grateful and generous to others.