The company took human resources very seriously. That is to say, the company employed humans, considered them resources, and valued them seriously. When one of their resources was underproductive, or worse: productive in a way that was not predictive; they noticed, and were concerned, in a very serious way.
It seemed to me that the notion: the further afield the representative, the less predictive; would be fairly obvious for a department that purported to know something about resources that were human. And yet, there was a certain element of indignant surprise in the meeting I attended. There was this anomaly, this unexpectation, and it wasn’t right. Oddly, enough, goals were on target, but HR didn’t understand how that was even possible, given the circumstances. They asked me if I would be interested in flying out? Just to ascertain what was going on? And I was assured there would be time for me to pack a few things, but there wasn’t.
The flight took me into the sun and cheated me of the day, but I played along and tried my best to fall asleep with my iliofemoral ligament—well, let’s just say the legroom in coach hasn’t gotten any better in 25 years. In the end I was happy for a window to lean against and I deplaned groggy and wet, because it was raining and there was no jetway. My walk across the tarmac was a percussive adventure of footfalls, joints, and long experience.
I was met by a suit who asked if I was from HR. No, I replied, but I was sent by them.
The suit assumed I would want to get to the office right away. Not especially, I replied, but what I want doesn’t get the job done any faster or better, so screw what I want, right? Besides, I’d made a friend on the flight and I had three small bottles in my pocket. I got in the car and within thirty miles I was sound asleep with one small bottle in my pocket.
As a result, I don’t know how far this fucktarded branch office was from the airport, but I didn’t have to be shaken awake and it was daylight and my hips didn’t hurt anymore, so it was damn far enough. I looked at the apricot driving and figured he’d be off whenever we got there. He didn’t talk and I pretended to keep sleeping so we had a great conversation as far as we were concerned, and when the speed dropped to fifteen or so I sat up and tried to look presentable, like someone predictive and completely productive. The apricot didn’t drive off right away after all.
Goals were being met. So the central question had to be: do the ends justify the means. I had to admit, the means involved in getting me out here were going to be pretty hard to justify. As the walk to the front door stretched, the bitterness increased. Down the hall to the right, I cracked my neck. Waiting for the conference room, I popped a pill. The place seemed normal enough, except no one was at the desks. I decided this was going to be a paperwork job more than anything else, and then the door opened and Moof Curtis was staring me in the face. I wasn’t prepared, so I didn’t smile. He did, though.