i owe handicapped people everywhere an apology for what i just did to one of their bathroom stalls

“All right, Jenkins, I don’t think anybody harbors any illusions as to why we’ve called you in here today. The brass here at Grandma’s Little Clementine OrangesCorp hired you last year because- and nobody’s arguing this- goddammit, you’re the best there is at what you do. And let’s face it: without the considerable skill set you bring the table, our stock wouldn’t have gone up 18% last year. You’ve made a lot of very important people here very happy. As you know, our mission statement is ‘providing idea-based citrus solutions for a changing global marketplace’. But our shadow mission statement, as you learned last week when you were initiated into our corporate inner circle with a blood oath and a secret handshake, is ‘getting every man, woman, and child in America hooked on little clementine oranges, and then, when the technology is ready in five years, injecting the oranges with mind-reprogramming nanorobotics that will turn the citizenry into a nation of slaves at our disposal forever and ever.’ Now, no one’s questioning your methods, or your loyalty to both of our equally important mission statements, but I’ve been going over some of your expense reports lately, and frankly, I don’t see how they pertain to the important work you do here.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, for starters, you hired REO Speedwagon to play at your birthday party. And not only that, you pulled the top scientists from our robotics division off Project Q and had them build a guitar-playing android to replace Gary Richrath, the guitarist from the band’s ‘classic lineup’. Then there’s this receipt for a box of authenticated game-worn Michael Jordan jerseys, along with a signed affadavit from your assistant stating that you’ve just been using these to blow your nose on once, then throwing them away.  Also, who authorized you to offer a personal-services contract to a plus-size exotic dancer named Ample Pie?”

“Well, Murphy, I want you to trust me, so I’m going to trust you with something I haven’t shared with a lot of people. You see, my success here at Grandma’s Little Clementine OrangesCorp is driven by a childhood of abject poverty, one in which my parents had to institute an across-the-board 5 percent pay cut for our estate’s kitchen staff, just to be able to afford to send me to the second-best prep school in town. I did some gangsta-ass shit to survive in that jungle, and I never learned how to turn the switch off that instinct. For example, you know Johnson from human resources? Well, on the elevator ride up here, I strangled him for his egg salad sandwich. I guess what I’m saying here is that this is just the way I’m wired.”

“All right, Jenkins. Thank you for your honesty. I think I speak for all of us here on the board when I say that we’re prepared to take the bad with the good. Keep up the good work.”  

“Oh, and just a heads-up: on my next expense report there’s gonna be an ice sculpture that I’ll be having commissioned for my assistant’s funeral. Nobody dimes on Jenkins!”


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February 2010
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