Today, Big Boss posted this as his status: 50%
It's been niggling at me all day. What the hell does he mean?
My first thought is paranoid, that some performance indicator is 50% of what it should be. If Big Boss caught a problem before we did, it'll be ugly. I double-check all the reports. Phew! That's not it.
I start over. Is he feeling only 50% well today? Is he only 50% available? Is he noticing only 50% of his people are available?
Stop it, Kate, it isn't about you.
Are we half-way to one of our goals? This could be good or bad depending on the time frame. My mind wanders to compensation and staffing possibilities -- 50% can be miraculous or devastating depending on the noun it modifies. But scratch it; he wouldn't post about something like that because it would be neither professional nor, frankly, of that much interest to him.
What would be?
Eureka! The key partnership deal he just negotiated: 50% revenue share.
Note to self: A story may revolve around the protagonist, but the actions and motivations of other characters generally do not. Characters must say and do according to their own reasons.