- By Corey Brown - By Corey Brown

Severed the book

© 2017 Corey Brown

Still Worried About Nothing

By now we had reached big man’s office. As Mr. CEO pushed the door open, he said, “Don’t worry, I think the VCR idea was pure genius. Those crazy executives are actually getting more done without real computers. Who would have thought?” He stopped, shook his head and said, “I gotta make some pay adjustments.”

 

In case you’re shaking your head and wondering, what the heck this is all about? I’ll tell you. This is all about me: Rick Spinner, PC tech, consultant, ID badge wearing guy and faithful holder of Juju beads. Of course, if you’d been paying attention, if you’d read the first part of this story you would not be thinking, what the heck this is all about? You would know.

 

But to bring you up to speed, I’d been dragged into the CEO’s office of the Large Corporation where I work. It is in this very same office that the aforementioned CEO gestured toward a chair, a signal to sit down. I looked at the chair, it was leather, very nice, and more expensive than all of my furniture combined. I was still trying to place his German accent. Montana, perhaps, maybe somewhere near Billings?

 

“Have a seat, Rick,” he said. “Let’s talk about goat sausage.”

“How do you know about that? Don’t tell me the putz who pretends to be Chief of Security ratted me out.”

“Actually, it was the maintenance man. Apparently, he’d spent a couple of years wondering why the elevator didn’t stop on the third floor, so one day he decided to investigate. You can imagine his surprise when he stepped onto three and came face to face with a band of nomads cooking goat sausage”

“Wait a minute,” I said. “Those nomads have a Special Forces team, very well trained, and I know for a fact they nabbed that guy before he set one foot out of the elevator.”

“Yes, I know. But the maintenance men, both of them, are their own Special Forces team. So, Number Two went searching for Number One when he didn’t return from the elevator.”

 

For crying out loud, I thought, everyone has a Special Forces team these days. What’s next, a landscaper’s version of the Republican Guard?

 

That was what I thought. What I said was, “Okay, so you got a beef with goat sausage, what now?”

The CEO nodded thoughtfully, made a face, looked out the window. “I need you,” he said, “to continue making goat sausage. Make more, make it faster.”

“Okay, fine---” I started to say. I had expected to tell him that my firm would provide whatever graft he wanted. But now… being told to continue in my sinful ways? This caught me wholly unprepared. “Uh…what did you say?” I managed to croak.

“You heard right,” the CEO said. “Keep on keeping on, go forth and be fruitful, may the Force be with you. All that crap.”

“Uh….” I frowned like no one has ever frowned before. I mean, in all of human history a frown had never been executed with such commitment. I squinted at him. “What did you say?” I said.

The CEO sighed. “It’s like this, Rick,” he said, waving his arm at the office walls.

 

It was then that I noticed this guy actually had office walls. Apparently, cubicles were not available to the executive staff.

 

“This Large Corporation,” the CEO went on, still waving his arm. “Does nothing. We make nothing, we sell nothing, we do nothing and yet, somehow, our stock price keeps going up. Jeez, we’re raking in so much cash the Federal Government has to print more money just to keep up with the demand.”

 

I was having trouble understanding this. Why didn’t executives get to have cubicles? If anyone in the Large Corporation deserved to have a cubicle, it would be senior management. Did the contractor run out of cubicle panels when they furnished the building? Like, maybe they started installing down on the first floor, and by the time they reached the top level---Poof!—all gone. So sorry, you get walls instead.

 

“Quite frankly,” the CEO said. “I’m worried about getting sued.” He looked at me sharply. “Are you paying attention, Rick?”

I nodded vigorously, but was still noodling out the cubicle quandary. An executive with real walls? It just didn’t make sense.

“You see,” the CEO said. “If the public or, worse, a lawyer finds out we don’t do anything, they might sue us for any number of reasons. False advertising, SEC violations, impersonating a company--- you name it. That would be bad, especially for my bonuses and golden parachute options.”

“And you want me to keep making goat sausage….why?”

 

Mr. CEO made a face then said, “That way, if we are sued for doing nothing I can say it’s not true, I make sausage. Goat sausage.”

“Okay,” I said. “Let me get this straight: I sell goat sausage and you sell nothing. I make something and you don’t, but you want to claim my something is your nothing.”

“Well,” the CEO said, sounding a little nervous. “I wouldn’t put it that way. I’d say---”

I waved my hand, cutting him off. “If I understand the situation,” I said. “You do nothing and you’re worried about it? Or, more to the point, nothing is being done and you’re worried. In other words, you’re worried about nothing.”