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, May 31, 2013

Chapter 221

“You denounce our economic system for its inherent apathy,” John Q Public said.
“No.  I denounce apathy,” said Corporate Man.
“And like I said, the two are inseparable.  And it’s not just Big Business, it’s the consumers as well.  They don’t care about sustainable commodities or fair trade.  They want the most product they can get for the least amount of cost and those who suffer to make those savings possible be damned.”
“I think what he’s saying,” Franklin Buck said, “is have you ever seen a mall at Christmas time?  On Black Friday?”
“Stop supporting him,” Corporate Man said.  “That’s the problem.  People wouldn’t behave that way if we stop those that perpetuate the myth.”
“It’s not a myth.  It’s a fact,” said John Q Public.
“No!” Corporate Man shouted.  “I refuse to believe that.  If people understood they would rise up–”
“Never,” said John Q Public.  “It would never happen.”
“Oh you hope that it–”
“I could tell everyone everything.  Maybe send out one of those ‘pass it along to twenty people and it will spread across the country in three days’ e-mails detailing what’s precisely going on and pleading with everyone to do something about it.  To make and difference.  And it would do nothing.”
“I believe it would.  I have faith in the inherent good of people.”
“Faith is a concept invented to keep the ignorant blind and blissful,” said John Q Public.
“You’re wrong,” Corporate Man said, his jaw clenching.
“Fine.  How about this then?” John Q Public said, fingering an imperceptible button on the arm of his chair and stroking his luscious moustache.  “I’m sending out one of those e-mails right now.  Complete with the details of the economic rogering we’ve given the public.  And I’ll include a plea, urging them to take up arms against the financial establishment.  Let’s even set a date.  How about April 16th?  The day after taxes are due.  On that day I propose that we murder all the top CEOs of the most successful corporations.  There.  Sent.”
“You didn’t do it,” said Corporate Man.
“I did.  And you know what?  Even though a large portion of our middle to lower class citizens will be keyed up and overly stressed about getting taxes done on time and even though their anger toward the tax dodging rich will be at a feverish height and even though we American’s love our guns and our right to use them… Not a single shot will be fired.”
“You’re serious?  You sent that out?” asked Franklin Buck.
“I’ve given the order.”
“When?  I didn’t see–” Corporate Man started.
“I speak it.  It happens,” John Q Public said.  Then his eyes flared with a startled excitement.  “I’ve got it.  Amend e-mail message.  The call will be for a four day killing spree from the 16th to the 19th.  Then, on the 20th, everyone can sit back and get high and mellow out.  You know.  Tie it in to the ever present 4-20 non holiday.  We need a catchy slogan for this.  Oh.  Got it.  Light ‘em up then light ‘em up.  Have some t-shirts made.”
“You’re sick,” said Corporate Man.
“Oh it won’t happen.  So don’t worry.”
“Then why do it?”
“Well, I’d say ‘to illustrate my point,’ but I doubt you’ll be around next tax season,” said John Q Public.  “But the merchandise sales from a catchy, irreverent slogan are quite lucrative.  Note.  Cancel that order for the ‘let’s fist big business the way they fisted us’ t-shirt.  I don’t think we’ll need them now.  But save the illustration.  It’s too good to waste.”
“Aren’t any of you concerned that some maniac will take this seriously and kill someone?” Corporate Man said, standing up and glaring at his colleagues.
“He’s right,” said Senior Executive.  “Nothing will happen.”
“And if some fat cat takes a bullet I doubt many tears will be shed,” Business Woman said.
“Besides,” said John Q Public, “if someone actually killed someone we’d flood the press with stories about the evils of marijuana and pull more funding for the war on drugs.  An increased level of fear would follow, which is always good for business.  Especially advertising.  Or, if there happened to be some squeaky clean CEO calling attention to his or her charitable donations and the generous wages being paid to employees at his/her company, it might be advantageous to have him/her shot, discrediting the movement but buying it a level of infamy that would sell slogan plastered merchandise for decades.”
“This is insane!  I refuse to buy in to your insanity,” Corporate Man said.  He pulled out his PDA.  “If you can send an e-mail, then so can I.”
“And what would this precious e-mail state?” asked John Q Public.
“I’m calling upon the American people.  Anyone whose even been taken advantage of by Big Business.  All those whose money you’ve stolen.  And I’m asking them to come here.  To storm this building and tear down your financial empire.”
“Then at last we come to it,” said John Q Public.
Corporate Man stopped typing and looked at John Q Public, the Big Bossman.
“Come to what?”
“The finale of our meeting.  The reason you are here.”
John Q Public narrowed his eyes and grinned.
“Your death.”