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.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Chapter 223

Mike took a deep breath, exhaled, shook his head and shrugged and said, “I think I’ll just take my old job back.”
“What?” Corporate Man shouted.  “How can you opt for a corporation that has proven it will treat you like shit?”
“It’s like this, Corporate Man.  I don’t think your business will work.”
“I can make any business successful.  I’m Corporate Man.
“And that’s the other thing.  If I work for you, will all kinds of weirdos with capes and underwear come gunning for you?  A guard post would put me in the line of fire for all that,” Mike said.
“Don’t you want to make a difference?  Don’t you want to change things for the better?” asked Corporate Man.
“You already know the answer to that,” said John Q Public.  “Look into his finances and tell me what he values most.”
Corporate Man’s brow furrowed. 
“Go on.”
He held out his hand, trying to get a sense of how Mike spent his money; the direction of the flow.
“Sports package.  Sunday ticket and college ball.  Big screen TV.  Team jerseys and autographed balls,” Corporate Man said in a low monotone.  His hand dropped to his side and he shook his head.  “Really, Mike?” he asked.  “You’d sell your future down the river to watch millionaires play games?”
“It’s what gets me through the week,” Mike admitted.
“But Mike, if we changed things you wouldn’t need to ‘get through your week,’ you’d be free to enjoy it fully.  All it takes is some effort up front.”
“Look Corporate Man,” Mike said, “that sounds nice, but how many games, how many seasons, do I need to miss to realize your dream?”
“That’s irrelevant to the big picture, Mike.  I’m not asking you to miss anything, but if you’re not willing to sacrifice some trivial pleasures to better yourself and your fellow countrymen then how can you feel entitled to anything more than the scraps the corporations let fall from their plates?”
“You can’t really blame him,” said John Q Public.  “It’s the conditioning.”
“No!  I refuse to buy that!  It’s all excuses for lazy, apathetic behavior.  And why is this asshole still in the room?  I want him gone!” Corporate Man shouted, thrusting a finger toward General Apathy.
“I’m sure you’re causing more of a scene than I am,” said General Apathy.  “Deep down these people care and would like to see something done.  They just want others to do it.  If you think about it, people really are of two minds.  The individual and the group.  Usually, what one mind is willing to do, the other is not.”
Corporate Man strode toward General Apathy and threw a wild punch.  General Apathy side stepped and used Corporate Man’s momentum to fling the economic superhero to the floor.
“Stop this!  I won’t have it!” John Q Public yelled.  “Childish violence has no place in this office.  Don’t make me call in my minions.”
“He punched.  I merely dodged,” said General Apathy.
“Accept this, Corporate Man, the people you champion want their vices and nothing more.  They want the fast foods that poison their bodies so they can have more time to watch their police dramas and desensitize themselves to the suffering of others while simultaneously reinforcing their fears that violent criminals are everywhere so we better hide inside and order that fast food and… I think you can see the cycle.  And that’s just one of them.  There’s a complimentary loop with the medical industry that–”
“No.  I refuse to believe–”
“What?  That we’ve grown complacent and lazy?  That we feel entitled to our pleasures while expecting others to bring about any change that might be needed?  That we’re afraid to even try for fear of ridicule?”
“It can’t be true.  Not for all them!” Corporate Man yelled, gesturing toward the amphitheatre.
“Then search them,” said John Q Public.  “Look inside each and everyone one of them.  Tell me what you see.”