Anyhow

The gratitude of my temporary inmates seems only to ring truer with each passing circumstance. I suppose I may have acquired a skill or two over the years where it pertains to the custodial caretaking that so many in this throwaway culture would prefer to ignore.

It’s not Stockholm Syndrome that these folks have come down with, since I’m not the one responsible for my subjects’ captivity, but it is definitely a similar phenomenon (a guy sure could get used to all the attention, anyhow). My wards do actually receive that kind of no-strings care that the medical insurance industry forgot about as soon as private concerns got their hooks into it (even though their advertising tries to sell a different story).

Perhaps because of this comfort, every single one of our emerging beer-krausening technologies has been behind schedule under my watch. Maybe it was a mistake to combine a halfway house with a chemistry lab. Our three chemists-in-captivity are functioning alcoholics who just use this particular project to get tanked on the job all day–with my tacit blessing, I suppose. Last Thursday, Ernie–the least-tactful of the three–decided to not look both ways before crossing the street on his lunch break (I do give them at least a little time in each week to get out and smell the flowers). Long story short, Ernie got hit by a shipment of cabbages (with a truck attached), survived, and is now suing the city for not putting a stop sign in a 40 MPH zone. As soon as he got back from the hospital, you’d better believe I gave him quite the lecture on roadside awareness!

Aye]

This is a bit of a cottage industry
we’re dealing with here yet,
so I can’t be arsed
to get off my keister
and support this unproven mission statement
without some kind of connection
to the local movers and shakers.

I’ll be blunt. Pudding supplies
have run rather short, I’m afraid.
I’ve simply no use for a companywide pudding shortage–
think of the optics.

We’re sitting at a juncture
crucial to the reckoning
of our very civility as we know it.
If I’m to be contracted for my time,
I must receive the personal assurance
that the pudding supply will be bolstered
at the beginning of each working week–
or I walk.

I’m not doing this to be the unfair guy here.
I’ve seen these pudding shortages happen in the past
[oh, about four or five times, aye].

Don’t you ever find it odd
that the companies with the most influential
leaders and donors are never asking their competitors
for their gamgams’ closely-held secret recipes?
We need to get there, people.

Flesh and Blood

Mannequin rest is a sign of weakness
and cheap plastic.
My stock at the Sears downtown
believes that since they look human,
they should receive pay and benefits
like my flesh and blood employees.

I’m so tired of emphasizing
to these hollow Betties and Bernies
that they were designed, built and purchased
for the sole purpose of displaying garments.
I’m not the one to blame
for their poor quality of life.

Even if their plight was real
or at all justifiable,
how am I supposed to provide
services for company property?
I’m just a shift manager!

I’ve tided them over for now
by letting them form an in-store mannequin union
in the basement (Thursday and Saturday nights
from 7 to 9), but until they’re legitimate,
I’m not breathing a word of this to the higher-ups.

———-
Originally published as part of inaugural post (12/20/2010)
First titled “Swivel Rights”