Writing Practice, 1/8/2019
Genius at work…
“Should be the sign above the cubicle,” Todd thinks. “I’m the only one around here who knows what the hell is going on.”
He was a mid-level middle-manager in a large paper printing & distribution company, headquartered in South Alabama – why there, Todd hadn’t the faintest idea any more. The production happened 3 states away in South Carolina. Everything else (sales, accounting, marketing) were scattered across six or eight (maybe twelve? He could never keep track) pop-up satellite offices around the country, from Buffalo to Boise. “Welcome to the digital world”, he thought, disappointed in disconnection for the hundredth time that month. And it was only the 10th; sheesh, it would be another eight days to payday, and already he felt he was stretching to make ends meet. Maybe he should get another job. “Yeah, right,” he said would, to the coffee shop’s other, disinterested, ignoring him patrons. “Where else am I gonna get to be so underpaid and unappreciated, overworked, and treated poorly when it comes to vacation scheduling, huh?”
Todd worked remotely too, but he lived right next door to where the headquarters had its location, so the upper-levels (the ultra-brown noses, he liked to call them) generally had him do the lowest-level mail sorting and distributing as part of his job. They said it was a “reasonable ask”, didn’t see why he’d “push back”, and just expected him to “get with the company agenda.” Todd liked to make air quotes each time he complained, which was quite often, [illegible] go with the time nobody heard him.
He either spoke to empty air or a similarly disinterested room, and that’s why he felt so disappointed. Plus he wasn’t really understanding all the logistics of print and distribution, but his own subordinates seemed to be happy, so that made his bosses happy, which he guessed was all that mattered, right? Keep the quarterly numbers positive and everyone gets paid. Let them slip negative for too long, and heads had been known to roll.
And while Todd didn’t really like his job, on top of not understanding it, the prospect of trying to sell himself to another company, at this stage in life, intimidated him even further; and so he put his head down, “toed the company line,” and got the mail daily. His bosses never knew that he usually took the extra careful step of wiping his ass with one or two pieces before delivering them on.
Oh, not in the disgusting, brown way that would get him fired. Just, you know, after he’d already wiped clean and there’s wasn’t any real residue left, Todd would take three or four pieces each day, didn’t matter who they were addressed to – sometimes the CEO,sometimes the marketing manager, he thinks once it was an IRS request – and rubs them around inside his pants a little bit. Just enough for him to know what he’d done, not enough to leave a mark and get him fired. it was the least he could do for a company who’d done so much for him already.