In the meantime, close to sixty year-old Phil Woodward (Chris Cooper) is fired as GTX continues to further downsize. Woodward started out as a riveter in the ship yard and had worked his way up to senior management. The company was everything to him. His wife suffers from migraines and is not really part of his life, while his daughter is still in college with hefty tuition payments required to keep her there.
Phil is a man who is used to a certain amount of reverence. A legend at GTX, Paul’s now just another old, out of shape, executive with few job skills, a bad attitude, and a salary requirement that’s too high.
Gene McClary is “boxed” the same day as his old friend Phil. McClary was too candid with stock analysts about how bad company prospects were and cared too much about his employees. He shoots from the hip, says what’s on his mind and head man James Salinger (Craig T. Nelson) tires of it.
Gene’s company stock will keep him from missing any meals. However, upon being sacked, he leaves his free-spending society wife to move in with the HR axe woman Sally Wilcox (Maria Bello) he had been having an affair with. That relationship quickly dies as Gene mopes around with nothing to do except drink away his depression.