Monday, August 20, 2012


“So I’d like to discuss your work performance issues with you Greg”, said Mr. Undertow.

Greg looked up from his computer screen in his little shoebox size cubicle.

“Sir”, asked Greg.

“Yes, Greg, we would like to discuss some of your work performance issues. Please come with me”, said Mr. Undertow.

Mr. Undertow walked away and Greg stepped out of him tiny cubicle world and followed. Greg could only imagine what terrible thing he had done now. It was always something. Either he wasn’t working hard enough or he wasn’t focusing his energy on the right tasks or the client didn’t like him. It was always some kind of bull.

Greg was led into one of the small conference rooms and he sat down in one of the uncomfortable, second hand office chairs that seemed to have been lovingly plucked from some pile of slightly fire damaged garbage. Greg could swear he could smell brimstone. But then thought he didn’t really know what brimstone smelled like having never been anywhere in the world because he was always at work.

“Greg”, began Mr. Undertow, “we want you to know that we think you’re not doing enough to make the client’s perception of you change”.

“I’m sorry? The client’s perception”, asked Greg.

“Yes, you see, they seem to think that their priorities are not your priorities and frankly we feel the same way. You know our company motto, that we’re all in this together as a team, and we just don’t feel like you’ve been a real team player lately.”

Greg thought for a moment.

“Well, you see Mr. Undertow. I have been going through a lot of personal issues and I’m not inclined to talk to you about them. I have been going to therapy to try and work out my frustration with this job and I’m hoping to have a breakthrough real soon”, said Greg.

“Oh, I wasn’t aware you were seeking any kind of, help”, said Mr. Undertow.
“Yeah, you know how this company values a healthy home life. Well, I decided to try and follow through with that philosophy”, said Greg.

“I see”, said Mr. Undertow, “Well, I would think that in order to have a healthy home life you should try to have a healthy work life too. So I just want to stress to you the importance of having those reports to me no later than the end of the day. If we can be a bit more proactive with the client’s priorities then it’ll go a long way toward changing how they perceive you”.
Greg was seething under his skin. He wished he had superpowers to crush all the corporate evil doers into a pasty mush. Those reports. Those stupid reports. The reports that took two days to compile but we wanted by the client in mere hours.

“The reports you pulled me away from to have this meeting about making sure the reports were ready for you by the end of the day. Those reports?”
“Yes”, said Mr. Undertow.

Greg sighed and said he would make sure to have the reports to Mr. Undertow before the end of business. The meeting was over. Greg was dismissed and returned to his shoebox.  He sat in his chair and wondered what he did to feel so miserable every damn day. Those criminals had stolen his life.

Greg’s phone rang. He answered it out a sick sense of duty instead of just getting up and walking away and never coming back. 

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