After leaving his landscaping job, Benjamin Porter wanders into a retail apparel store at a nearby mall. Full of confidence he credits to Em Patricee, he applies for a job and is hired as a part-time salesman. Having learned how to read people from Craig Marse and role-playing from Joan Ponti, Benjamin Porter quickly displays a talent for selling trendy fashion to naive young men with disposable income.
Surrounded by men vying for power and control in one way or another, Benjamin learns the art of politics. His district manager, regional manager, store manager, and even his father, all make demands particular to their needs, and Ben meets every challenge. But his loyalties are tested when his quick rise up the corporate ladder threatens one of the power brokers.
As a new assistant manager, he stumbles upon an embezzling scheme and positions himself for a takeover. But who can he trust with this information? If he misplays his hand then he’ll only succeed it getting himself fired. Ben turns to his friend, Matthew Cohen, the manager who hired and mentored him, as an ally.
As tension builds and battle lines are drawn, Benjamin prepares to make his move only to discover the intrigues of this corporate world are complex and strangely intoxicating. He becomes seduced by the fashion world, the woman, the money, and his newfound power.
But the dynamics of the company change suddenly when an unexpected event occurs that puts Ben in a potentially disastrous position. Did he pick the right “emperor” to align with and help him climb the corporate ladder?