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.

After nearly a decade of imprisonment, Corporate Man returns to find the economy in ruins and his deadliest enemies in control of all but a fraction of society's wealth. He embarks upon a quest to set right the wrongs of the business world; a task that will ultimately destroy him.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Chapter 128

The offices of the thirteenth floor were warm and inviting, with rich woods, deep earth-tone colors, and green leafy plants in stout clay pots.  Employees milled about abundant water coolers while stainless steel refreshment carts, laden with pastries and other snacks, were wheeled from office to office by smiling attendants.
“Something is not right,” Corporate Man said, eyeing their surroundings with suspicion. 
“What’s wrong?” asked Senior Executive.
“Look around you.  For an office of IBC Inc. there sure is a lot of fat.  A lot of excess.”
“This is the central office,” said Business Woman.
“Yes, but these are still basic subordinates.  At least as far as I can tell.  Not executives.  And what are they doing here?”
“Working.  Obviously,” said Senior Executive.
“Are they?  They seem to be milling around an awful lot.  But I meant, why here?  In the floor accessible only by secret stairs?”  Corporate Man shook his head and then bit one of his knuckles as he tried to concentrate.
“Conference Room A,” said Franklin Buck.  “We’re here.”
They went inside.
In the center of the room was a mammoth table with eight black leather folders situated atop its glossy surface.  True to Betty’s claim, there was bottled water, coffee, tea, and pastries.  Everyone made a small plate of snacks and chose a beverage before sitting at the table.
“Okay this bizarre,” said Business Woman.
“This is good,” said Franklin Buck, holding up a small, cream filled cake.
“Are we supposed to assume that these folders are for us?” asked Demand, his fingers brushing across the black leather.
“Let’s find out,” said Corporate Man. 
He opened a folder.
“Good.  You’re all here,” a man said as he walked into the room.  He wore a short-sleeved white shirt with a red tie.  “We’ve got a lot of material to cover and very little time for action.”
He smiled and his mouth gleamed white.
“And who might you be?” asked Business Woman.
“I’m Jack.  I run all the meetings in Conference Room A.”
“Why are we here?” asked Senior Executive.
“For a meeting,” said Jack.
“What kind of meeting?” asked Senior Executive.
“Probably a very long one,” said Jack.
Senior Executive pushed his chair away from the table but Corporate Man signaled him to hold his position.  Then Corporate Man asked, “What are we going to cover in today’s meeting?”
“Good question,” said Jack.  He held up the black folder and said, “We’re going over the contents of this folder.”
Both Business Woman and Senior Executive muttered curse words and let their heads loll.  Corporate Man opened the folder and read aloud, “Budgetary Matters.  Combating rising costs in our industry.”
“That’s right,” said Jack.  “Now let’s get started.  Who’d like to read the first page?”
Senior Executive and Business Woman slumped and groaned.  No one else volunteered so Corporate Man continued reading, “Rising costs are a normal occurrence in the economy.  There is little one can do to lower these increases but there are ways to cope.  One.  Cut down on spending.  Two.  Find ways to increase your income.  Three.  Invest in a higher yielding instrument.  Four.  Control wages.  Five.  Minimize liquid assets…” Corporate Man trailed off, shook his head, and then skimmed over the remaining list reading only the last entry aloud. 
“Great,” said Jack.  “Everyone, please turn the page and we’ll jump right in to number one.  Cutting down on spending.”
Everyone turned the page.