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.
Friday, August 29, 2014
Corporate Man knocked on the door to the bosslady’s office. It was already open, but he always gave a courtesy knock. She looked up, her grim, sallow expression morphing into a something not quite pleasant but far more amiable.
“Yes, Donald,” she said.
“Told you so,” Corporate Man said and smiled.
“Told me so what?”
“That it was too late to affect this check.”
“What do you mean?”
“You said there would be something on this paycheck relating to my newly acquired bonus.”
She took a moment to look perplexed, almost pained. “Are you sure?”
“Yep. Nothing,” Corporate Man said, gesturing toward his pay-stub.”
“And there was nothing else in the envelope?”
Corporate Man tipped the enveloped upside down, stuffed a few fingers inside, and flared them wide. A sift of white paper-dust drifted over his hand, but nothing of monetary value fell out. The bosslady held her practiced expression and then shrugged.
“I’ll check with payroll,” she said.
“No need to bother. I was just having a little fun.”
“Oh? Oh!” she feigned surprise, and the laugh that followed was not a comfortable thing. The feeling that that sound inspired in all those who heard it was something akin to placing a well traveled quarter on one’s tongue. “Funny stuff. Well then, back to work.”
Corporate Man walked back to his desk. Apparently efforts to employ humor as method to gain further information about the bonus would not work with this one. He sat at his desk, intending to fire off a couple of e-mails, but when he reached for his mouse, a strange tingling sensation skittered down his fingers. He balled his hand into a fist and the flexed his fingers. His whole hand when numb. He shook it. Pins and needles raced up his forearm.
Corporate Man gripped his elbow as if he could stop the sensation from making its way up into his shoulder. Prickly pain flared at the area of contact and Corporate Man sucked air through his teeth.
And then it was gone.
He flexed the fingers again. All seemed fine. So he took a couple of deep breaths, reached for his mouse, but did not open up an e-mail window. There was a new icon on his desktop.
Managerial Bonus Program.
His whole body ignited. His pulse quickened. He licked his lips. And he clicked on the icon.
He read through the document and scanned the attached spreadsheets. The hairs on his neck prickled. This was insane. There was no way this kind of bonus program could be healthy for a company. It would be far too easy for employees to fall victim to The Greed with incentives such as these. He ran some numbers in his head and calculated the increases that the elimination of Gladys’s hours would yield. It was staggering.
Corporate Man pulled up a spreadsheet listing the allotted hours for his department. Were there other positions he could dispense with? He considered some methods that could be employed. Things that might urge an employee or two to transfer to another department.
He blinked, a little shocked at the line of thinking. It was so insensitive, so heartless. It sickened him. But he felt compelled to continue along this selfish path. For research purposes only, of course. He needed to discover the possible moves his opponents would make, and to do that he’d need to think like them. Also, there was this crazy competitive urge to dream up the most effective plans, the most underhanded schemes.