(Previously, Aleks made at least one dream come true. Today, a bunch of idiots…which pretty much describes most of the world’s 21st Century work force, very happily and proudly put themselves out of work…for whom? Read on to find out.)
Today’s gratuitous photo is a lost sandal frozen in pond ice. It makes me think of sandals I’ve owned.)
“Yep, she’s a beautiful sight indeed,” said Murphy as he gazed lovingly at the machine with all its pulleys and conveyor belts and consoles. He turned to Johnson, grabbed his hand and started shaking it enthusiastically.
Johnson smiled wide enough to rip his face off if he sneezed. He stared teary-eyed at the machine. “It certainly is, sir, it certainly is.”
“And you and your crew made this all possible, Johnson,” said Murphy. “We’ll never forget this, you know.”
“I know, sir,” said Johnson.
“Oh,” said Murphy, “looks like Sinclair is going to say something.” He looked in the direction of a man in a very expensive three-piece gray suit. He clapped his hands three times.
“Everyone!” said Sinclair. “Everyone! May I have your attention.”
A hush fell over the room as seven men in very expensive three piece gray suits and five men in shitty mismatched suits trained their eyes on Sinclair. “We all know that progress is inevitable, that what is to come, will in fact come. We can’t fight it. We can’t stop it. We can only accept that things will change.” He looked around the room into the eyes of each of the twelve men surrounding him. “And change they will. And I like to think…for the better. Things change for the better. And that’s what’s happened here. Things have changed for the better. We…all of us…” He raised his arms in a sweeping motion to include everyone in the room. As he raised his arms and did the sweeping thing, not a wrinkle appeared in the arms of his expensive gray suit jacket. “…have embraced the future. And now the future is here.” He pointed both uncreased arms toward the machine. “The future is here.”
A loud cheer resounded in the room. It bounced off the walls and ceiling and swarmed lovingly over the machine. It was followed by a cascade or energetic applause as everyone in the room turned to face the marvelous machine that had been in the works for almost a year. And here it was…the future.
Moody smiled profusely as the stood by himself, happy with the news he’d received that day. All five of the production people had been given their walking papers. They were no longer needed. The machine would so everything they did faster, more efficiently and, most important, cheaper. Much cheaper. In fact, cheap enough that all eight managers had, that day, received huge bonuses and raises in pay. Moody clapped his hands together hard enough to almost hurt them. Fucking idiots, he thought as he clapped and glanced quickly at Jones and Wallis.
Jones put his hand on Wallis’ shoulder as he stared at the machine. Their suits, of course, were mismatched. Wallis turned his head to look at Jones, who turned his head to look at Wallis. “We did it,” said Wallis.
“We sure did,” said Jones. “And in under a year.”
“Against all odd,” said Wallis.
Jones squeezed Wallis’ shoulders. “So…what next for you? Any prospects?”
“Nothing yet,” said Wallis. “Didn’t realize the job market would be this tight. How about you?”
Jones shrugged his shoulders. “Haven’t really had time to get my resume together…with all the overtime and weekends here to get this working on schedule.”
“Yeah,” said Wallis. “Same here. But we did it, Jones, we did it.”
Manfort shook Smith’s hand firmly, maybe a little too firmly as was his habit. “You people did a wonderful job, Smith. Wonderful job.”
“Thank you, sir,” said Smith, beaming. He loved getting praise from Manfort and the other managers in their expensive three-piece gray suits. It made him think that maybe someday he would be wearing one of those suits and filling someone’s day with joy…just by shaking their hand. “It was a big job, but what can you say with a team like ours. It was all teamwork, sir, all teamwork.”
“That’s the spirit, Smith,” said Manfort. “It’s always the team. Always the team.” He turned his gaze full on to Smith. “So, how long have you been with the company, Smith?”
Smith sensed an opening. He smiled wider. “Eighteen years, sir. Eighteen years last week. And every one of them a wonderful experience, sir.”
“Well, Smith,” said Manfort, “you’ve been a valued employee, and making this machine a reality must serve as a sort of culmination of accomplishments for you, Smith.”
“It certainly does, sir,” said Smith. “It certainly does.”
“Granted it means that you and your team will no longer be needed here, but I’m guessing that you’re all looking forward to new challenges,” said Manfort as he smiled and nodded his head as though agreeing with himself. “And a much deserved break from eighteen years of the same-old same-old, right, Smith?”
“Right, sir,” said Smith a little too loud. “Looking forward to new challenges.”
Fucking idiot, thought Manfort as he turned and walked away from Smith, leaving the ill-suited man wondering what had just happened.
“Look at them,” said Kingsley to Bingham, both wearing expensive three-piece gray suits. “They’re fucking happy. We just got them to build a machine to put them all out of work so that we could make more money and the fucking idiots did it…and now they’re celebrating.”
“Did you get your bonus?” said Bingham.
“I did, yes,” said Kingsley.
“Did you get your raise?” said Bingham.
“I did,” said Kingsley. “And I might say, it was not displeasing.”
“They made us richer,” said Bingham. “They’re working class heroes.”
“But they’re all out of jobs now, Bingham,” said Kingsley. “They replaced themselves with a machine and now they’re all out of work.”
Bingham thought a moment and nodded. “They’re fucking idiot heroes.”
Glowing in their expensive three-piece gray suits, Stansfield and VanHart stood on either side of Davis in his blah brand suit.
“This is going to make us all rich, VanHart,” said Stansfield.
“You mean, richer, Stansfield,” said VanHart. “This machine is going to make us richer than we ever dreamed.”
Davis smiled sheepishly. Here he was, standing between two of the managers. He’d never stood between two managers before. It was like he was part of some kind of informal management meeting…two managers discussing things with Davis in the middle.
“Too bad about the team,” said Stansfield. “All that work and now…”
“Just business,” said VanHart. “We have the machine. We don’t need them anymore.”
For just a split second, Davis let a negative thought run through the train of his glory-moment standing between two managers, as though he were part of this important discussion about the machine. That was enough to abort the thought before it had a chance to turn into anything close to an idea. Besides, he had more pressing things to dwell on…like coming up with some kind of plan to find work and pay the bills.
Fucking idiots, thought Stansfield and VanHart simultaneously.
“Everyone!” said Sinclair. “I think it’s time for the moment we’ve all been waiting for.” Everyone turned expectant eyes on him as he walked over to one of the control consoles. “I’ve been told that his machine is so easy to use. That even I can use it.”
Subdued chuckles and laughter floated ingratiatingly toward Sinclair, who sat down at the console. “Apparently, all I have to do it press this button.” He smiled and looked around at the return smiles. He put his right index finger on a large blue button labelled START and pressed it.
They all felt it at the same time, expensive three piece gray suits and mismatched suits. For an instant they thought it was the machine, but when the walls flew at them and started shredding their bodies and heat began to melt the threads of their suits, it was the IA in the machine that had the last thought: Fucking idiots.
For more crazy writing by Biff Mitchel, visit Amazon.