|credit system suicide
||[Apr. 20th, 2010|10:48 pm]
I keep the map in good shape, but it’s growing, as though it’s alive. Which makes sense considering how it started. I use to just keep a picture of my street with a star over my apartment, the caption above the star read "bad place to think about anything."
In my better days I decided I was going to need a more thorough display of where one could go, when presented with certain lines of thinking. So I started with the basics. Everything split off from Interstate 35 like dominoes. West of the highway is the only place to go when presented with work problems. The east I sectioned off for family bullshit. The north would be for women and the south for death.
I kept a small compass in my pocket. I had taped on the various labels to the directions, just in case I had to know rather quickly. The major problems arose when I would run into people on a daily basis. I run into Baskins everywhere I go. The problem there is that he is part of both work and death. So I have to be in a really rigid area of the land, somewhere perfectly south west. You would be surprised how far a person will trail behind you, walking incredible distances, talking the entire time. When someone has a point to make, it wouldn’t faze me if they jumped out a plane with you. Talking the whole way down, never using a period or a parachute.
That’s what Baskins did when he run up on me at William Cannon Drive.
"Hey Will, hey Will, hey Will", you would have to be blind not to see him coming. Dressed in all white, he tends to shine like an annoying prism. Just look for the contrast in his teeth. It’s like being smiled at by a hole in a rainbow. You'd think I’d anticipate him coming, I don’t know how he snuck up on me.
"Hey will, will, will!"
“Baskins, you only need to say it once, I understand that you are talking to me."
"Well excuse me, I figured the light of me coming might have startled you. With as many lives as I save, some people react strangely when they see Jesus coming."
"I don’t think Jesus had tooth decay."
"No matter there, with the new revisions at work, we’re all going to get kick ass dental plans."
"Baskins, don’t talk to me about work here, you bring a lot to the plate and I don’t have a place for both work and the deceased...”
But that didn’t stop him, he rattled on how the company is losing money and that our living customer quota was slipping, they were going to have to implement new ways to save money.
I tracked across the train yard with Baskins trailing a white Sudafed color behind me talking and talking. I kept a good check on the compass, and made sure my direction was continually southwest. You can’t travel in a straight line through an entire city though. I occasionally had to veer south or west. When I would go south, I would feel the pressure of work wearing me like a strait jacket. To the west, the death dial tone.
Baskins kept rattling on. I started laying things in his path to thwart him. I would turn over abandoned shopping carts, break discarded beer bottles, I even tried to scale a barb wire fence but he was already on the other side by the time I got stabbed by barbs. Nothing is worse than fake work friendships. You associate with those people the way cashiers associate with condoms. They really have nothing to do with each other but under formally uncomfortable circumstances, they interact.
He kept incredible proximity to me, talking over the sound of planes, traffic, sirens, radios, and my own migraines. Nothing could stop him, a person touched by hand of persistence is worse than a staph infection. Some people are just continually grazed by screeching ideas and high pitched nasal voices.
The amount of time it took to get southwest was unbearable; I made it just in time for my head to start pounding, and Baskins the talking staph abscess was still with me.
He went on, "Because we have a pretty bad selection of employees, the county is pulling some funding on account of us having a bad staff."
"Baskins, you don’t even know what bad staph is."
I used to dream that the district manager at the call center was a robot. A robot with a really well defined mustache, like tick tock from Return to OZ. He talks like a textbook. Always in soccer coach quotes, full of effervescent maxims and happy time citations. He could make a terminal illness sound like a luxury cruise with a brochure.
"Alright gather it around here people, lets bring this meeting in.
We have some wonderful news to cover and few changes, nothing too upsetting, it's all for the better good."
Baskins sits next to me, shining white like a decolorized diamond.
"We are no longer on a hiring freeze. With that in mind, we are going to stab some new life into this project!"
People don’t usually associate stabbing with life. But then again, antithetical statements usually escape joyful people.
Baskins whispered into my ear, "Jesus gets some disciples; spread the good word, the king of rings is open for business"
The joyful boss hears our one way whisper and addresses me,
“Will pay attention, we are going to come up with some ways to end the freeze and stab this office with some new blood and as such, we are going to be open to a few suggestions. Since you’re so lively Will, got any?"
"You could freeze your blood and then stab it into me", sometimes I forget if I really said it, but I keep in mind, that disgruntled over worked employees sometimes phase things out of their minds. No one must have heard it because others started making suggestions on ways to save the company money.
From what I could gather, it seemed that the general population was calling in more and more. People were getting worse other there, repeat callers, killing themselves in increasing installments. Made sense to me, unhappiness can be airborne, travel by boat, spread out across all demographics. If people were continually calling in, the same people, it could mean a few things. Either we were really good at convincing themselves not to kill themselves, or we were a terribly inefficient operation. I think it‘s possible to proficient and pathetic simultaneously.
The boss was still prattling on,” The majority of the turnarounds…” that’s what he called them, "…are centered in this part of Austin. The general south west."
He was pointing at a map, I thought back to mine. The south west is where I would go to think about work and death. It's likely that the two are related. I raised my hand.
“Is it feasible, that the reason people are calling in more, is because we are pretty horrible at this job, and that the callers are generally in worse shape after they call in?"
The robotic mustache panned the room and said, “Anyone care to comment on this?"
Baskins stood up, its amazing, how bright he was, in the fluorescents. I think his clothing could outshine through a black hole, almost every part of him would survive, except the teeth; those are definitely fodder for the singularity.
"I think I can identify the threat here. It's not that we are bad employees, maybe some of us more than others at least. We can’t all be all smiles across the bulletin board. If the main problem is a lack of funds, it’s pretty simple. We need to diversify the operation. It can be profitable for people to call in. We should set up a payment option, for a reasonable fee, chargeable across all the credit mediums; we could turn this drop in funding around pretty quickly",
Baskins makes an interesting point. Even though, it would be cheaper if we all did a better job, than there would less suicidal people in the city. Despite the obvious ethical implications of charging for an anti suicide service, you had to respect his ingenuity.
He was still rattling on, "... reasonable payment options, some options for yearly subscriptions, layaway…"
Another employee jumped in,” What if they can’t pay?”
"Well we can ascertain a certain sense of collateral, cars, houses, boats, etc."
"And what, repossess them if payment isn't received?"
"We have no other option."
"Wont that make people more depressed?"
"Maybe, but hey at least they would still be alive."
A third employee started talking, "This is wrong. This entire idea is the opposite of what we're trying to do here. What we need, is side sales; a department for suicide prevention that could transfer a turnaround to a different department. That department would sell them satellite television packages. Once they were identified as a non threat, we could credit qualify them for all sorts of sales."
"I’m hearing some good things here people.", the mustache boss interjected, “You’ve got some class ‘A’ ideas, lets pick it up again tomorrow."
The prospect of sales was gnawing at me; I don’t have a section of city for thinking about ways to rip people off. When I lived in Florida, the entire state was ok for that sort of thinking. Thinking about sales is almost worse than a credit system suicide. I would rather deal with potentially dead people than try to sell anyone anything. Most people would rather be handed a free razor blade on fire to kill themselves with than to be sold something.
Man, ascertaining collateral, this was all getting too heavy. I’m going to need a new map. Collateral... How much is life worth? In economic terms, the company would profit more from the death of a turnaround than from an actual prevention. Is being alive worth two car payments? A townhouse on Town Lake? A one man sailboat? All the employees could drive to the funerals of the failed turnarounds in repossessed company cars.
Baskins was parading down the hall like a returning war hero, I think heard I heard pats on the back being delivered. He was absolutely glowing, more than he normally does. I think that perhaps the final stage of being a salesman is having a savior complex.
Being involved in saving money is still an involvement in saving on some level. I caught a glimpse of him standing in a sunbeam from a nearby office window, taking in the high cost of lethal living.
click on will