A lonely, grumpy young woman who struggles with her weight, Eva is certain she is her better self as a “sunshine HR person” at work. She has an epiphany that helps unite the two sides to her personality: when a huge meeting at work is cancelled at the last minute, everyone is relieved nearly to the point of euphoria, and Eva realizes that she can make a business of helping companies create euphoric experiences at work by setting up and cancelling meetings. “Delightenment LLC” chronicles the rise and inevitable, though utterly unfair, demise of her entrepreneurial dream. The pages of the story are illuminated by text boxes taken from the marketing brochure that describes her product line. Eva also tells of her two roommates who, while she is working around the clock, fall in love. On the night her world begins to unravel, she is about to let herself be seduced by some banker/business partner, as she has discovered the slimming effects of being a Type A workaholic. A call from her lawyer interrupts and soon she finds her ambitions cancelled (of course) and she is back where she started: alone, eating chocolate. She privately apologizes to anyone who has ever come to a meeting at work, found it cancelled and, secretly or not, felt disappointed.
In submitting for publication the Transcendent Guide to Corporate America, my collection of stories about work and life in the corporate era, I recently wrote a detailed description of the book for Northwestern University Press. It turned into a story-by-story summary about how themes in the stories relate to the general themes of the guide. I thought I'd present them here, one story at a time. This is the sixth and I relive the inspiration for this story on a weekly basis at my dayjob. As for what the individual stories are actually '"about," you're on your own.