Ever been so incensed at a mangerial decision that you can barely believe how those morons find themselves incharge? Yes? Then I hope this satirical look from a grunt's perspective raises a smile or two.
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He was a refuse pit for all the detritus that petulant child life saw fir to dump. Having served twenty years of a life sentence all thoughts of escape, thoughts that, perhaps, his younger self had once harboured had slowly rusted away, collapsed into the dry river beds of age bracketing his twisted countenance. In truth Johnny Clapless found it difficult to recall any thoughts outside of the nine to five anymore. His happy-feelings-container was now nothing more than an old collander, rusting away somewhere in a dusty back-room of his mind.
As though the gods had not laughed heartily enough at Mr Clapless, this place, this "job", had begun to infect his judgement as well. He began styling the remnants of his hair into a mohican. Not the loud and proud, intimidating kind of a Mr T, but a rather soft, fluffy, cotton wool-type line, typical of what one might, perhaps, find in the crack of a builder's arse.
The line of "bum cotton" walked the eye along it's fluffy path to a myriad of disfigurements below. An eclectic mound of deformities jostling and bumping for room yet, somehow, managing to maintain some sort of cohesion and retain it's tenuous status as a face.
Yellow, custard-filled zits bobbed around amid a sea of milky skin, huddling around a bulbous, purple-island of a nose. From beneath a lined, craggy forehead, droopy "Deputy Dawg" eyes peered myopically at the world, regarding the "common-sensors", as he had come to term them, with indifference. Unlike Johnny, they would last two, perhaps three weeks in this den of despair before demuring to their common sense and decalring "STICK IT!!!"
In short, Mr Clapless represented a walking billboard for stress, stagnation and "could've, would've, should've". How he craved an escape. how he longed for a promotion that -owing to his twenty years of fastidious, faultless service- would never come.
But then, just as Johnny had truly begun to believe there may never be a way out, the door of opportunity swung open and smashed him in the face.
He could barely believe his cartoon-dog eyes. "Internal Vacancy" the hand-written note decalred, and instantly his hopes and dreams were resurrected from the faded green baize of the notice board.
The child-like scrawl went on to describe the supervisory role into which the successful applicant would be thrust. Johnny read the note in it's entirety, ticking of the list of duties as he went, nodding silent confirmations of his ability to perform them.
'I could do that!' he decalred, already imagining himself in the job, feeling the stress of his twenty year incarceration ebbing away.
Of course, he would have to make changes if he were to pull off this miracle. Punctuality, attendance, attitude, approachability, all would require attention. 'I can do it!' he repeated, and in his mind began sketching the first rudimentary lines of a blue-print for success.
* * * *
The weeks preceeding interview day represented a large chrysalis in which Johnny cocooned himself, transforming his, hitherto, fastidious approach to work into something utterly removed.
He applied himself tenaciously.Lateness -when he bothered to turn up- became his credo. He grew sullen, unapproachable, limiting his responses when he absolutely had to reply, to the most nonsensical -spur of the moment- bullshit he could think of.
Intelligences were insulted, sensibilities offended and every corner, not merely cut, but hacked off, stomped on and buried.
Yet, to Johnny, it all felt so alien and, if he were honest with himself, wrong. But he would manage. A vow had been made, and with his resurrected determination -swathed in a cloak of "whatever-it-takesness", he would prevail. he HAD to!
Tests followed. He failed them
Boxes required ticks. He crossed them.
And one day late of the deadline, after carefully dotting the t's and crossing the i's, Johnny, at long last, submitted his dog-eared, coffee-stained application.
Now only the medical stood between him and the promised land. Johnny Clapless allowed himself a surreptitious grin.
This one was in the bag!
* * * *
To nerve-steadying handshakes and back-slaps from the supervisors, to sage nods of acknowledgment from upper management, Johnny Clapless -supervisor elect- entered the vast conference room.
So snugly into the shoes of promotion had he insinuated himself that, in his mind's eye, the call of duty appeared as a miniscule black dot miles beneath him, so far above and beyond it had he sailed. What's more, everyone else in the room knew it too. Their welcoming expressions and relaxed, almost horizontal, postures declared that one of their own was among them. Johnny Clapless had indeed arrived.
The sound of a chair scraping against tiled floor opened proceedings and a tall, guant individual, whom Johnny didn's recognise, rose from his seat.
Dressed immaculately in a black, pin-striped business suit, the lanky upper manager unclipped an identification badge from his breast pocket. He held it up, panning it slowly around the room. 'Quentin Sanswork' he decalred in a tone that indicated his shit smelled infinately sweeter than anyone else's.
A few moments passed while every fat gut in the room strained forward against the table, time during which Sanswork, Johnny noticed, stared absently at his, Johnny's, crotch.
As everyone eventualy sank back into their seats, Sanswork re-fastened his ID onto his breast pocket and straightened his tie. His throat, when he cleared it, sounded like something akin to a squeaky caster attached to an archaic item of furniture.
'Well Mr Clapless' he said, at last removing his gaze from the front of Johnny's trousers, 'it would seem you have performed beyond all previous expectations. In all of your tests and evaluations you have endeavoured admirably and, I am assured, now enjoy the full confidence of your future peers...........
'It's in the bag' spoke a voice in Johnny's mind. '"Future peers" he said. it's in the bloody bag. YES!!!'
For a brief, glorious moment, Clapless' mind filled with images of the good life that would be his in just a few, short minutes. How much tea and crumpets allowance would he recieve? How many sick-days could he get away with before the grunts began mumbling "hypocrite"? How slugishly obese would be his pay rise?
'..........so if you would kindly remove your clothing and we can proceed with the formalities.'
Startled, Johnny emerged from his forecasts of future rosy-ness to the sight of Sanswork gesturing toward the conference table. He glanced around nervously. Vague half-smiles met his regard, their effect somewhat calming. After all, he reasoned, hadn't everyone in the room undergone this same inspection at one time or another?
Fortified, Clapless vaulted onto the conference table and -slowly at first- began to undress, removing the uniform he had donned for the last twenty years.
As each item was stripped and discarded, he experienced a kind of lifting, as though eschewing the garments which had, for so long, cemented his incarceration, somehow purged him of that old life, cleansing him in preperation of the new and magnificent.
Quicker now, his movements urgent, almost manic. Seams were torn and buttons popped in his haste to hold aloft the trophy that would be his new "fat cat" existence.
Their faces no-longer expressing only banal half-interest, the gathered throng began to urge him on, recognising the fire in his eyes, the eagerness to join them at the head of the table. 'CLAP-LESS......CLAP-LESS' they chanted, clapping each syllable of their new brother's name, their voices rising as one to a frenzied crescendo.
Finaly, only the under-crackers remained and Clapless, cavorting to the deafening exultations of his new colleagues, working the crowd, teased the thick elastic waist-band of his Y-fronts.
'OFF-OFF-OFF' bellowed the throng and Johnny -white cotton gripped vice-like in both fists in a parody of Robert Carlisle in The Full Monty, ripped off the pants.
The sound of shredding cloth echoed throughout the voluminous conference room. Like a needle being roughly scratched across a record, it halted the music and killed the party, leaving silence and twenty pairs of eyes glaring in collective horror at Clapless' naked form.
Johnny Clapless froze, watching the happy faces transmogrify into something altogether more foreboding. The room was suddenly cold, the combined stares chilling him further still, and Johnny found himself clutching his little frozen titties.
Through the deafening silence a throat cleared from a million miles away and Johnny turned hopefully in it's direction. Sanswork had risen from his seat and, after glaring at his underlings around the table, hammered in the enigmatic death knell that Clapless had known to be surely coming.
"This, I think, changes things somewhat Clapless" said Sanswork through gritted teeth. the distain with which he and the assembled management now regarded Johnny was blatant, undiluted.
Like before, Sanswork's regard fell to Johnny's crotch and the short stack of chilly and shrivelled, pink buttons residing there. He raised an eyebrow.
'I don't.......I din't know what I've done' Johnny stammered, on the verge of tears now.
Sighs, clucking of tongues and hushed murmurs of derision from around the room, and Clapless -still clutching his cold man-boobs- glanced around pleadingly at his former supporters.
'YOU HAVE BEEN CIRCUMCISED' boomed Sanswork, 'HAVE YOU NOT?'
Gape-mouthed, Johnny nodded,desperately attempting to pluck out a relevance from the garbled offerings pin-balling in his mind.
Sanswork paused for a moment, composing himself. Head bowed, sighing loudly, he massaged the bridge of his nose between thumb and forefinger before continuing.
'The rules governing all promotions are really quite clear Clapless' he said, calmer now. Nods and murmers of agreement from his underlings. 'You have wasted our time sir. You have-'
'HOW?' Johnny shouted in frustrated interuption.
Huddled pathetically in the centre of the massive oak table, Sanswork glared at the fallen idol that was Johnny Clapless. He raised an arm and pointed unneringly at Johnny's circumsized penis, 'Because -you utter moron- YOU HAVE TO BE A COMPLETE PRICK TO BE A SUPERVISOR.........that's why.'
Vigorous nods of agreement from the gathering of absolute dicks at the table. 'Here-here' spoke one, 'Bad form Clapless' said another.
'And that' concluded Sanswork, 'is the company's metaphorical line in the figurative sand.........now get out!'
With his chin on his chest,Johnny scurried off the table and began to gather up his clothes from far reaching corners of the room. The intense glares of derision from the throng he had almost beena part of burned through him, attempting to crush even the miniscule determination it would require to exit the room.
At the door -temper, at last, beginning to boil- the turned and addressed the room. 'YOU'RE ALL A BUNCH OF COMPLETE COCKS'
'Why, thank you very much Clapless' chuckled Sanswork as great geysers of laughter erupted around him.
Johnny Clapless slammed the door and -butt naked- ran for the exit, toward a life where he would never gain promotion, where he would never -could never- be a complete prick.