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, October 17, 2014
A white powder, tinted a slight shade of dirty, desirous green, disappeared up the nose of man in a suit so expensive that its cost would easily match the monthly income of all of the man’s subordinates.
“Tear it up!” another similarly dressed man shouted. A roar of approval from all the other well-attired executives filled the room. One woman slid a needle into her arm and injected a heavy dose of Bonus. She slumped in her chair and shuddered; bass-heavy trance music pulsed from top-of-the-line speakers. Two men were dancing on the conference table in front of her. One could not perceive the room and thought he was dancing in a shower of gold. The second man was grinding on the first man’s leg in a way that was a little bit professional stripper, and a whole lot labrador retriever.
There were stacks of cash everywhere, golden plates piled with powder, and ampoules of Bonus filled Dublin Crystal buckets.
No one heard the metallic click as a key unlocked the door, but when it opened they all turned to holler a greeting to Corporate Whore and her new recruit, Donald Jackson.
It took a few moments for those in the room to realize that two men had walked in. The less inebriated were shocked to see that one of these men was Jack. That he was among them, strolling around, and all this Bonus was lying out. The others giggled and thought it was extremely cool of Hallucination Jack to join the party. He really was the best, wasn’t he?
Jack shook his head.
Half the party trembled. The others thought that cool guy Jack was doing some sort of dance.
Jack turned and said, “Lock the door.”
The man that had come in with Jack did as he was asked.
“Good idea, Jack,” one of the overly inebriated men said. “Keep out all the riff-raff. So they can’t get to our Bonus.”
“Everyone, please take a seat,” Jack said.
Those furthest from sobriety eagerly sat. Not all of these individuals believed that Jack was going to show them a really trippy video, but a majority of them did. Those who had yet to overindulge, and those already settling back into normal mind space, took their seats in terror.
“Thank you. I hope you don’t mind this little interruption, but I felt that an intercession was vital to the company’s future. This is my new associate,” Jack said, gesturing toward the man he’d come in with. “He’s called Junior Executive.”
Junior Executive nodded toward the conference table.
“Hey! That was my promotion! Did you hire outside the company?” a twitchy executive said. Jack ignored him and seconds later the twitchy man was distracted by his own fingers.
“Junior helped me set this up,” Jack continued. “The special chairs…” Restraints snapped into place on the armrests of all the chairs, locking the executives to their seats. “The reinforced doors and windows that will prevent your escape. The cameras, hidden in the walls to document everything that goes on in this room for the next several days.”
Shrieks escaped the throats of those sober enough to comprehend Jack’s words. Those who remained silent wondered when Jack was gonna start the movie already.
“You can’t do this!” a suit shouted.
“It’s… It’s illegal.”
Other suits backed up the first. “Yeah. Against the law, Jack.”
Jack shrugged and said, “Should the authorities visit this room, whom do you think they’d accuse of wrong doing?”
“We did nothing wrong.”
“Really? All these drugs, all this cash?”
“All we did was make money,” one of them said.
“Yeah,” chimed another. “Like good Americans.”
“You made money by exploiting your subordinates,” Junior Executive said.
“That’s what bosses do. They leverage those beneath them for financial gain.”
“No,” said Jack. “That’s what short sighted money grubbers do. Any manager or executive worth anything takes care of his or her workers. Treats them well, helps them succeed. Those workers will come to the job motivated. You idiots are asking them to do extra work with no additional compensation.”
“You make their work-lives worse,” said Junior Executive. “Who would possibly be motivated to work harder if the only reward was more work? Upper management reaps the benefits of the extra effort in the form of big fat bonuses. Only you bonus junkies could possibly believe that anyone would want to work harder so you could accumulate more.”
“That’s just what happens when companies get big,” one of them said.
Jack shook his head, “No. It happens because shitbags like you get greedy.”
“Hey, if it’s possible, then you should do it. Nothing wrong with making big money.”
“You’re almost right,” said Jack. “I’m a very wealthy man. I made, and still make, an obscene amount of money. But I don’t have to be subhuman to do it. There’s a point where you do not need any more money. And far beyond that is a point where it’s simply monstrous to continue to horde wealth while others are scraping by. While people are sick, and starving, and dying.”
“It’s not our fault that some people choose to be poor.”
“Choose?” Junior Executive said. “You think they chose to have people like you steal money from them? For big businesses to buy politicians and get laws passed that further benefit the wealthy?”
“Not my fault if they aren’t smart enough to earn money. That they keep popping out kids and smoking crack.”
Jack smiled. “You think it’s easy to just pull yourself out of squalor? Simply get yourself educated when you come from nothing? To kick a habit and rebuild your life without anyone to help you?”
Up until the final sentence, the seated executives were nodding their heads. But this last question rang a little differently in their ears. Perhaps it was the piles of highly addictive powder, or the ampoules of habit forming narcotics, or that earlier mention of cameras in the walls. Whatever it was, things began to click into place for most of the men and women strapped to the chairs.
Jack nodded at Junior Executive. Junior walked to the door, unlocked it, and held it open.
“There’s a sink in here,” said Jack. “So you won’t die of dehydration. Unfortunately I can make no assurances, especially with a crop of individuals such as yourselves, that you will all survive what is to come. For those of you who do make it through, you will have a chance to rebuild your lives. You will be given new identities. Criminal backgrounds, low credit scores, poor work histories. Then you’ll see how easy it is to make something of yourself when the cards are stacked against you.”
Jack turned and walked out of the room. Junior Executive followed.
All exits were then barricaded and the restraints on the chairs released.
It took some time for the howling to begin.
It took even longer for it to stop.