Dell Pankow drummed his fingers on the woodgrained enamel of his superdesk. The resulting sound was flat and dampened. He adjusted the rhythm. He created a solid backbeat with his thumb. His left hand got in the act after awhile and what emerged was a competent “Moby-Dick.” Tick-tock went the clock. This is not literally true because Dell Pankow had one of those digital, ticktock-free clocks that was powered by two potatoes, each one speared with one lead and one copper wire. This was a birthday present from the office. The card was actually only signed by the receptionist (“From the gang!”) whose name was Margaret but for some reason Dell always called her Millie. This was out of forgetfulness, or rather lack of attention. Margaret had been instructed by two separate managers not to correct Dell Pankow. On three different occasions, however, Margaret pretended to make a phone call while Mr. Pankow was passing by, saying, loudly: “Hello? [name]? This is Margaret!” Just to sort of impress the truth upon him, since it can really get insulting after awhile if you’re continually called the wrong name. It makes you feel truly insignificant, and such feelings are already all too commonplace for a receptionist in a company like MasterTech. But Dell never noticed, or rather he noticed the abnormally high volume of her voice and the fact that she was making a personal call (he assumed) on company time, but the specific words didn’t seem to sink in. Margaret passed the time by signing her name on notepads, over and over. The FedEx guy kind of gave her the creeps.