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, August 25, 2014
“Take me through your week, Tess,” Corporate Man (aka Donald Jackson, also known as Corporate Man without the glasses) said. She was the third employee that he’d sat with today and, like the others, he had his legal pad open, ready to jot down notes. “Remember, you don’t know me. In fact, when you talk to the others you should probably express suspicion in regards to my motives. Gather info from the others and report back to that number I gave you.”
“So the first thing I do when I get here everyday is…” Tess started in a normal, if slightly louder than usual, voice. In between her audible-to-the-public sentences she whispered covertly to
“There are two or three girls were can probably trust, but I haven’t
told anyone what’s going on, and I don’t plan to.” Corporate
“That’s good. And this is the last time we should chance talking like this. Any information you need to get to me can go through Miss Pension.”
He spent another forty-five minutes at her desk and then moved on. From what he could gather, there hadn’t been cuts, exactly. No one had been laid off or fired. But there hadn’t been any new positions created either. With the amount of growth Great American Business Company had experienced in the last five years alone, he figured a minimum of three new positions should have been created in this office alone.
That night he made the first of his nightly reports to Miss Pension.
“I need you to arrange something for me,” he said. “I want to see what happens when someone in the office leaves the company. I want one of them offered a job that is too good to pass up. A courier will have all the employee files to you in the morning. Use them to make a selection.”
“Shouldn’t be a problem,” Miss Pension said. “Tess reported in. Seems like your cubicle visits panicked some and excited others.”
“That was the intention.”
“I’ll focus on the panicky ones. Should be simple to get one of them to abandon ship.”
Two days later Tess reported that Gladys had stumbled upon a job listing and was tidying up her resume. The following Monday Gladys announced that she was taking a position with another company. There were tears and heartfelt moments.
And cake. These things always required cake.
Thursday morning Donald Jackson received an e-mail from the bosslady. Subject Line: My Office ASAP. There was no text in the body of the e-mail.
Corporate Man smiled. He sauntered out of his office and walked over to hers ten minutes later.
“You wanted to see me,” he said poking his head in the office door.
“Yes, Donald. I wanted to discuss the Gladys situation with you.”
Corporate Man sat down. Other than her desk, a file cabinet, and a couple of chairs, there wasn’t much in there. No framed photos of tropical locales, no family portraits, no office plant. There was a door on the back wall. A closet? No, probably a private bathroom.
“Right. A shame really. She was a real asset to the team. It will be difficult to replace her,” Corporate Man said.
The bosslady grinned and said, “I agree. In fact, we probably shouldn’t even try.”
Corporate Man shrugged and said, “She was kind enough to give us three weeks. If we hire from within it shouldn’t be a problem. If we go outside the company, I think we can still manage our workload while we bring the new person up to speed.”
“Oh? You think we might be able to… redistribute her work around while find the right person?”
“Sure. Not an issue.”
“How long do you think they could manage?”
“Well, I’m new here, but I’ve been around the block a few times,” Corporate Man said. He paused for a moment, and then continued, “If we work these people to capacity, I don’t see why they couldn’t manage indefinitely.”
There was a flash in the bosslady’s eyes and the grin became a predatory smile. She blinked a few times and the spark was gone. After a few steady breaths she said, “Tomorrow’s payday.”
Corporate Man made no response to this non sequitur. He knew she was leading into something and so would a man like Donald Jackson. So he let her come to it in her own time.
“When you interviewed, when you were hired, were you made aware of the bonus structure?” she finally said.
Corporate Man nodded his head nonchalantly. “I was. Nothing too specific, but I’m familiar with the concept.”
“Company policy states that you won’t be eligible for bonuses until after a probationary period of three to six months. The time frame to be determined by upper executives.”
“I’m fairly confident that I’ll be earning bonuses after three months.”
“And I would tell you that you are wrong in your assumption,” she said, that gleam returning to her eyes. Again, Corporate Man made no reply. “Your recommendation in the Gladys matter will put you in the bonus category far sooner than you think.”
“And how soon will that be?”
“How about tomorrow’s paycheck?”
“Impossible. Those checks have already run.”
“Yes. Technically, you won’t see anything official on your pay stub until the next cycle. But there will be something on your paycheck tomorrow, I can assure you.”