Corporate Man is called in to investigate reports of vile, unethical business practices at Great American Business Company. What he finds there just might destroy him (except we all know the ending to The Tragic Death of Corporate Man so it should be fairly obvious that it can't really destroy him, though it can come close).
Enslaved by the Bonus Whores is an all new Corporate Man Adventure Serial. Chapters will post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Monday, March 5, 2012
He saw a vertical grid of hexagonal cubicles. In the hexagons, visible through a hazy but translucent film, were human forms. Their heads were housed in large cylindrical containers complete with blinking lights and a scattering of wires connecting the cylinders to the hexagonal walls. Through the film the blinking lights looked like fuzzy, tennis ball shaped stars.
Men and women in expensive suits with golden wasp cufflinks escorted men and women in far less expensive clothing through a series of velvet ropes to the cubical wall. Helpful signs, hastily painted in black on white paper, provided instructions with equally helpful arrow shapes.
Corporate Philosophy Seminar and Reeducation ®
Modern Business Tactics and Thought Processes ¬
Complimentary Lunch Cafeteria ¯
Coin Op Bathrooms
“The training is intensive, I won’t lie,” a woman with far too many teeth, which were also a bit too white, explained to a man in a brown polo shirt. “It takes the better part of a week, but thanks to our Corporate Mind Hive you will receive two years worth of knowledge and information within that short period of time. Results guaranteed.”
The man in the brown polo looked apprehensive.
“Is the process safe?”
“Of course,” the abundantly toothed woman said, adjusting her cufflinks.
“I’ve heard that some people are brain damaged by the training. And that a few have failed to survive altogether.”
“If that’s true then they must have been sorry businessmen. Not suited for management. Let me ask you this, Mr. Lowry. Are you a poor businessman? Do you want to fail?”
“No. Of course not.”
“Then why are you worried? You’ll be fine.”
“Do I really have to be naked in there? In all that goopy stuff?” he asked.
“I think you’re asking the wrong question. It should be, ‘Do I get to be naked in there?’ Am I right?”
“Uh, okay. Do I get to be naked in there?”
“Yes,” she said with great enthusiasm.
“Okay, then why do I get to be naked in there?”
“Because it’s fun and it feels good.”
“It has nothing to do with process? The science of it all?” he asked.
“That’s an excellent question. Now, let’s get you into one of the Mind Hive Pods.”
She rushed the man in the brown polo toward an open, hexagon in the cubicle wall and ordered him to strip. The man unbuttoned two of the three buttons on his shirt, the third existing in a constant unfastened state as per the mandates of its particular style. He gripped his shirt collar and looked around nervously.
“Hurry up,” the woman with far too many teeth said. When her demand was met with more hesitation she turned toward the wall, opened up a small cabinet in the space between Mind Hive Pods, and pulled out a black and yellow striped cattle prod. She brandished it about in a manner that would be described as “threatening” by some and “motivational” by others. The business end of the device crackled with white hot sparks.
The man in the brown polo whipped his head back and forth, searching frantically. The woman with the mouth full of teeth and the hand full of authority motivated the man in the brown polo. He yelled and grabbed at his backside.
“Okay, okay. Just quit with the – Ow!”
She prodded him again, this time in the chest. The man tried to dodge but she hit again and he skittered toward the Mind Hive Pod.
“That’s enough!” a deep, booming voice called out. The smiley woman whirled around, cattle prod burning through the air like sparklers on the 4th of July. The man in the brown polo exhaled and his shoulders slumped forward.
Corporate Man dropped down from above, necktie fastened in a stately Windsor knot and billowing like a cape behind his dark suit. He crashed into the cattle prod bearing woman with his fist. A sprinkling bright white chickets tinkled across the floor. The next time the woman smiled there would be noticeably less teeth in her mouth, but still far more than average.