- By Corey Brown - By Corey Brown

Severed the book

© 2017 Corey Brown

Itís the Law

My name is Spinner, Rick Spinner, I wear an ID badge and I was in the elevator, riding the rails, heading down to a conference room. My partner, Nacho Flaherty, stood next to me. Ordinarily, we’d be talking about the job, reviewing old cases and generally making fun of the perps….uh, that is, our customers.

But not today. Heck, not this week, this month or probably even the rest of the year. Things were generally in the toilet and everyone was worried; no more fun and games.

 

Speaking of games, the one I am currently playing is called ‘Be a Consultant’. Which involves me being a computer tech at the Large Corporation where I am about to meet with a bunch of other people playing ‘Be a Consultant’, so we can discuss this lousy turn of events otherwise known as the economy. Yeah….should be fun.

 

Wait.

 

Fun is no longer an option.

 

Crap.

 

Nacho and I wandered into the conference room and took our seats. I looked around. I frowned. I started counting. What on earth….? The entire company was here---And I’m not just talking about my consulting firm, I mean the entire company, everyone who comes to this downtown high rise office building, everyone who works for the Large Corporation was here. Even the employees are consultants? How can that be?

 

“Okay everyone…” There was a thumping sound as the speaker tapped the microphone. “Is this on, can you hear me?”

 

I was surprised, the man was important, someone from the highest levels, and I could hardly believe he was the meeting leader. Of course, I had absolutely no idea who he was, but I just knew he felt good about my unspoken recognition of his magnificent grandiosity.

 

“Thanks for coming,” the man said. “I know you’re all very busy, so I’ll make this brief. In light of the new legislation recently passed by Washington, our company will have to make some adjustments.”

 

The room was very quiet, the only real sounds were body language; feet shuffling, people shifting in their seats. But the collective mental groan practically rattled the windows. We all knew ‘adjustments’ translated to layoffs.

 

“I understand,” the man continued, “you are concerned about your jobs. But the good news is we have no intention of exercising a reduction in force, no one will be laid off.”

 

There was an excited murmur throughout, everyone was whispering, I saw guarded smiles. One guy started playing Hail to the Chief on a set of bagpipes while two women danced a jig.

 

“As you probably know,” the man said. “This new legislation penalizes companies that off-shore labor and rewards those who keep, or increase, a stateside workforce. While we support the spirit of the new law, the legislation itself is not to our liking.”

 

Suddenly, Hail to the Chief began to sound like Another one bites the dust.

 

“Therefore," he said, "effective immediately, you all will have to relocate to the Third World country of your choosing. We’re trying to be flexible on this, but we do not consider Europe a Third World country, so you cannot live in England, France, Germany or the like. Sorry, folks, but we’re holding fast on this rule.”

 

A fight broke out over a world atlas as everyone tried to figure out where they would be living. The two women who were dancing a jig stopped, looked around, and tore the cloth from the snack table in order to make a couple of burqas.

 

The guy raised his hands for silence “Now, pay attention everyone,” he said. “This part is important. You must maintain your U.S. residence so we can show an American mailing address. By doing this, we will be able to slash your income to nearly zero and get the tax benefit of having a U.S. workforce without paying the off-shore penalty. However, because you don’t live in the U.S. you won’t get to write off the interest on your mortgage. That said you will still be paying taxes on your house in the States so your home town won’t feel the pinch of your lost wages. What can I say? It’s a win-win, people.”

 

I wasn’t sure about my home town but I knew, for a fact, this guy was going to feel more than a pinch.