Jay was a production worker at Metro Components Limited (MCL), which made components and accessories for the automotive industry. He had worked at MCL for almost eight years as a welder, along with fifteen other men in the plant. All had received training in welding, both on the job and through company sponsored external programmes. They had friendly relations and got along very well with one another. They played volleyball in the playground regularly before retiring to the quarters allotted by the company. They ate together in the company canteen cracking jokes on each other and making fun of anyone who dared to peep into their privacy during lunch hour. Most of the fellows had been there for quite some time, except for two men who had joined the ranks only two months back.
Jay was generally considered to be the leader of the group, so it was no surprise that when the foreman of the department was transferred and his vacancy was announced, Jay applied for the job and got it There only four other There were only four other applicants for the job, two from mechanical section and two from outside. When there was a formal announcement of the appointment on a Friday afternoon, everyone in the group congratulated Jay. They literally carried him on their shoulders and bought him snacks and celebrated the event enthusiastically On Monday morning Jay joined duty as Foreman. It was company practice for all foremen to wear blue jacket and a white shirt. Each man's coat had his name badge sewn onto the left side pocket. The company had given two pairs to Jay. He was proud to wear the coat to work on Monday. People who saw him from a distance went upto him and admired the new blue coat. There was a lot of teasing around calling Jay as 'Hero' or 'Officer'. After about five minutes of fun, all of the men went back to work Jay went back to his office to get more familiar with his new job and environment there At noon, all the men broke for lunch and went to the canteen to eat and enjoy fun as usual. Jay was busy when they left but followed after them a few minutes, later. He bought the food coupon, took the snacks and tea and turned to face the open canteen. Back in the left side corner of the room was his old work group, on the right-hand side of the canteen were all the other foremen of the plant in their blue coats. At that point of time, silence descended on the canteen. Suddenly both groups looked at Jay anxiously, waiting to see which group he would eat with.