Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Idiots Are Due on Maple Street

The corporate necktie isn't so much a noose as it is a leash.

-- Pryvett

It was a sunless, muggy day when Pryvett's place of work filled with a strange chittering sound that smothered even the '80's glamrock belching out of the warehouse boombox. The chittering sound grew, perpetuating itself everywhere through Package Handling Company, International, like the coming of a locust plague, the approach of a living sandstorm filled with operatic mites and ticks and fleas.

The un-unemployed of Workplace Inc. shuffled about their discordant ways and looked up as one of their number ran into the warehouse from a hallway that led to the offices.

"They're coming!" the crier cried, breathless. "The idiots are coming!" he moaned. "They're coming this way."

As the crier slunk away amid the motionless rabble of the warehouse, the chittering insectile hum entered the area, followed a moment later by a gaggle of idiots. There was probably half a dozen of them, though their number was difficult to ascertain because of their constant movement.

Before thoughts of escape formed in the green fly-guts brain goo of the un-unemployed of Workplace Inc., the idiots were upon them.

It was an abysmally hot day -- even more tortuously sticky and airless in the warehouse -- and the idiots from Head Office approached, wearing suits and neckties, looking around the place with the parched myopia of newborn babies, seeing everything, understanding nothing. They were like inadvertent wanderers stumbling upon an ancient, alien civilization. The idiots moved in a group as though they shared the same invisible brain or nervous system, operating by radar like bats. All of them incessantly rubbed their hands together as they sweated through their suit jackets.

The idiots circulated through the un-unemployed, stretching the limits of their invisible, idiot manacles. They spoke to the un-unemployed of Workplace Inc. like foreigners practicing their English: "Are... you uh employee here?"
From How to Interact with and Verbally Engage Workplace Rabble Prentice Hall, 1966, page 117 sub-section 11(c): "Try to humanize yourself by speaking on the rabbles' level, with quips and bon mots. The rabble responsible favorably to humor."
Pryvett was roused from his slit-eyed sniper's observation of the scene when he received a spine-straightening slap on the back. He looked to his side and saw a grinning moon-faced idiot who had no pupils in his eyes. "Say fella," the idiot intoned, "do you... feel you make... a difference here?" The idiot's smile broadened, growing exponentially more maniacal. "I once had TB... and I continued to work..."
From How to Interact with and Verbally Engage Workplace Rabble Prentice Hall, 1966, page 231 sub-section 19(f): "Try empathize with the rabble by saying such things as 'I used to work such low-level jobs, too,' whether or not it's true."
A shift manager called the un-unemployed to order as the gaggle of idiots reformed behind her. Pryvett stood near one of the few attractive females of Workplace Inc., a lithe hillbilly chick who had a great body -- perpetually clad in a tight wife-beater tanktop shirts and cutoff shorts -- but who had strangely large, mannish hands and spoke with a disconcertingly masculine voice. She appealed to Pryvett's sensibilities due to the complex attraction/aversion cycle she aroused in him.

The shift manager said: "To celebrate this warehouse going fourteen months without a workplace injury--"

Pryvett thought, Come on! Bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus--

"-- we're going to give each of you a baseball cap and T-shirt to say 'Thanks!'"

The idiots zestily applauded.
From How to Interact with and Verbally Engage Workplace Rabble Prentice Hall, 1966, page 469 sub-section 5(x): "The rabble respond favorably to gifts of trinkets and cheap clothing, which also serve as cost savings measures from actual monetary rewards."
The lithe hillbilly chick said to the paeon next to her, "They should give out tanktops instead of T-shirts!"

The spot ceremony was adjourned, though quickly readjourned. The enthusiasm exuded only moments before by the shift manager was visibly missing, as she said, "Sorry, I had meant to say that you will each receive either a baseball cap or a T-shirt."

A collective rasping, resigned, groan circulated among the un-unemployed of Workplace Inc.

As Pryvett returned to his station to resume the grinding wait until quitting time, he overheard an idiot remarking to a shift supervisor, "Going fourteen months without a workplace injury is fine, but this warehouse is so untidy. You should have the workers sweep up during their breaks."

The insectile hum of the idiots moved from the main area of the Workplace Inc. warehouse the far wall where the punch-clock was mounted. There was a strange intonation of excitement amid the jittering and muttering, as though an issue had been identified. A moment later the idiots began to raise their arms and remove the posters affixed to the bulletin board near the punch-clock -- the workplace motivational posters, the fifth generation photocopied faxes stating the month's productivity numbers, all-caps threats composed by the plant manager regarding pilferage, workplace drunkenness, tardiness, solicitation, mopery and the use of firearms.

An impromptu verdict floated back from the idiots: "This signage has been improperly affixed! These were fastened with two pins per item, but should have been more properly secured with four pins."
From How to Interact with and Verbally Engage Workplace Rabble Prentice Hall, 1966, page 666 sub-section 13(z): "Always, always, always, always -- no matter how pristine the workplace, no matter how competent and motivated and efficient the rabble -- always, always, always find something wrong with the place of work so that a visit may be concluded with a reprimand and promises from the rabble to try and work ever harder."

It takes a corporation to raise a child.

-- Pryvett

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