The Optimist

(Author’s note: Voltaire’s satire on optimism, “Candide,” titled “L’Optimisme” in French was the inspiration for this piece.)   Gérard Petit’s face was sour cheese. He peered over his half-frame reading glasses. “Another expensive, company-paid vacation?” Marcel said, “Our Japanese clients require personal attention. Emails and phone calls aren’t enough.” Petit tossed the signed travel authorization…