A man named Ollie writes to his former boss, Mr. Rodney. In his letter, Ollie reveals he is fifty miles away from home and expresses his dissent about how the company is treating him. Ollie suggests Mr. Rodney read his side of the story to understand him better. In high school, Ollie was hardworking and studious like his girlfriend Bertha. Ollie worked several jobs and was loved by all his employers. After graduation, he watched Mr. Rodney give a motivating speech at his Christian club. Rodney announced that his company, Riverside Street Railway, was only hiring men with high school diplomas, and Ollie felt eager to join. Ollie successfully got a job at the railway company seven years prior. He laments how many workers at the railway company gossip about Mr. Rodney and other executives, while Ollie is the one who unjustly got fired. Ollie wishes Mr. Rodney had seen how he impressed everyone in the hiring and training process. During his years of work, Ollie studies business books on success. Bertha believes that success comes through fortunate events and breakthroughs. Ollie suspects that her brother Herb, who loves business schemes, caused Bertha and him to separate. Herb constantly attempts to discourage Ollie about his job, asserting that Mr. Rodney just wanted immediate workers for the company. Herb works as a salesman for various products and services, and Ollie feels that he doesn't understand loyalty to a company. Ollie was obsessed with trying to give better service to his company for seven years and as a result became distant from his wife Bertha. He was determined that he would become rich and successful. Soon, Bertha began acting strange with Ollie. She asked him to stop buying his business motivation books. When Ollie responded that he needed to educate himself to become a "big executive," Bertha cried that Herb made twice as much money as him and worked less, and wished he would spend more time with her and not just constantly work. Ollie felt that Herb had finally corrupted Bertha with his mentality, and he felt as alone as ever. He believes Herb felt threatened by him, bragging how a book he read indicated his particular physical features make him dominant and assertive. Eventually, Bertha told Ollie he should explicitly show his employers how great he is. Ollie thought about how Mr. Rodney may not have noticed him for seven years, even though he is popular among the passengers on the J line. He despises how many of his coworkers who mocked Rodney are still working for him while Ollie was fired. A few months before writing the letter, Ollie was featured in a newspaper story based on a couple who rode on his train car. Bertha, Herb, and his wife were all ecstatic and encouraged Ollie to ask for a raise. The following morning, Ollie felt a sudden surge of confidence. He marched into Mr. Rodney's office and uncharacteristically declared he would not take less than an executive position in the office. Ollie argues that Herb and Bertha made him act that way, and he is nothing like the conceited person he seemed. He begs Mr. Rodney to give him a second chance. After Ollie got fired, he felt too embarrassed to return home. He saw the Bridgeport bus leaving, impulsively took it, and stayed in a hotel. He ends the letter by begging Mr. Rodney to hire him again. He says that Mr. Rodney can judge whether or not he deserves a second chance. After he signs it, Ollie nervously writes how he did not know the letter would be over fourteen pages, pleading with Mr. Rodney to read it all. He warns that if he doesn’t hear from Mr. Rodney by that Friday he will kill himself, or he will run away to Cincinnati and get a job there. He tells Mr. Rodney that he is willing to accept a lower position and would lie to Bertha and Herb to get the job, begging to be taken back at any personal cost.