Hot damn, it’s Trim the Fat Day here at Luddite, Crapstone & Fuchs. You know, the day that we company heads make our departments look lean-and-mean — and earn ridiculously handsome bonuses — by firing a bunch of people in the run-up to quarterly reviews.
Kind of like Christmas. Only it comes four times a year and I don’t have to give anyone a goddamn thing.
Anyhow, today’s first victim was Parker, a sales analyst that I should have shit-canned three years ago. He was a nervous wreck when he showed up at my office at 9:30 this morning; a normal reaction for employees ordered to report to their boss on Trim the Fat Day.
“You, uh… you wanted to see me, Mr. Carver?” he said.
“I sure did, Parker. Please, come in.”
“O-okay. Should I, hrm. Should I close the door?”
“No need for that. This won’t take long.”
“Oh god,” he moaned. Fearing he might pass out before we got to the good part, I motioned for him to sit down.
“Would you like something to drink?” I asked.
“Um, sure. That would be great, Mr. Carver. Thank you.”
“Yes, well, perhaps you should have thought of that before you came in. There will be no refreshments for you here.”
“In fact,” I continued, “it’s your lack of foresight and dedication in general that has brought us to this sad juncture, Parker.”
“Please, Mr. Carver,” he said, voice cracking. “Please! I’m married! We have two children! One of them was just born a month ago!”
“Is that so?” I asked, feigning interest.
“Yes! God yes. Here, let me show you…” he said, reaching for his wallet.
“I don’t want to see any pictures of your ugly wife and kids, Parker! I want to know what you’re willing to do to keep this job.”
His eyes lit up at this apparent opportunity. “I’ll work harder, Mr. Carver. I swear! I’ll… I’ll start skipping lunch! And I’ll put in overtime every day — no charge to the company! Heck, I can even come in on Saturdays if you want…”
“Hmm,” I said. “That all sounds well and good, but what I really want to know is…”
“Don’t interrupt me, you buffoon!” I barked, pounding my desk. “What I really want to know is: are you willing to grovel?”
“Grovel? Isn’t that what I’m doing now?”
“Hardly. Or if it is, you put as much effort into it as you do your other tasks. No, I’m talking about hands and knees, licking the boots — the whole enchilada.”
Parker shut his eyes. He sighed deeply. And then, much to my delight, he got down on all fours, crawled over to me, and applied tongue to shoe-leather like a good little dog.
“Alright Parker,” I said after a few minutes had passed. “That’s enough.”
“Thank you, sir,” he said, rising. “Does this mean..?”
“That you get to keep your job? Of course not. I just wanted to see how far you would sink to retain a salary in the low five figures. Pretty far, boy! Pretty far indeed.”
Parker started to cry, which simultaneously filled me with joy and disgust.
“Jesus Christ,” I said. “I sure hope you’re not raising any sons. At any rate, go talk to HR for details on your unemployment benefits. We’re through here.”
I laughed uproariously as he left. Who wouldn’t? And the best part is, I get to do that all day.
Now if you’ll excuse me, duty calls. Dear old Mrs. Appleby from the secretarial pool is outside my office, and I can’t wait to give her the bad news. Ta-ta.