At four thirty, Eric Stern would always begin his ‘closing down ritual’. This was putting everything on the desk away while his computer ran various defragmentation and malware programs. He assumed it struck his co-workers as odd that he was still working at five.
Eric did not appreciate that no one noticed him, nor was aware of any of his rituals.
At six, the cleaners arrived, making their way from the offices at the top. He began to pack up and run a malware program. When they were two rows away, Eric stood, the program ended, he shut off the computer, and decided not to use the elevator but walk down the six flights.
As he yanked open the stairwell door, the pressure within seemed so great; he thought of retreat, but if the cleaners saw him hesitate, they might think less of him.
Unknown to Eric Stern, the cleaners could not have picked him out of a line up.
Eric hurried down the stairs, confused by his odd behaviour. But today was a day of confusion.