fatman Find the clues!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Not Every Problem Can Be Solved With A Hand Grenade

When I first signed on to be the office bitch I'd assumed that I'd be doing the banal rituals that people in their Orwellian, 9-to-5 purgatories do every day. I'm not averse to a lifestyle where you shuffle paperwork all day long, fantasise about work colleagues and the only way to break the monotony is by hiding other peoples' staplers and drinking photocopier ink on dares. But I was not expecting the sheer number of debt collectors who'd call the bar on a daily basis.

Back when debt collectors were chasing me I'd got into the habit of answering the phone under various aliases and spouting the same stock standard nonsense that most people do anyway (e.g. 'Ringo's Crematorium, Ringo speaking. You kill 'em, we grill 'em.' or 'This is Sydney terminal you are cleared to land.') Which would confuse them (the debt collectors) long enough that you can hang up on them and they'd leave you alone for another fortnight. But this was just one group of debt collectors. Multiply that a few dozen times and you get the idea of what I'm facing every frickin' day.

Phone calls from suppliers, various street publications (like 'xxxx' magazine), garbage collectors, some guy who worked on the website of the bar, xxxx (who it turns out we haven't paid since '02) are now part of my life. The most common type of call I have to field is the one that pertains to a bounced cheque. These folks are fairly easy to placate. All I have to do is promise these dudes that there's another cheque on the way (which hopefully won't bounce) and this calms most of the callers. But some of these boys want to play hardball. These are the suppliers who are (understandably) irate by the lack of money in their hands. They have gone beyond the usual threats of sending in thugs with cricket bats and have instead started to send us severed ears of children in the mail. 'Who's do you think this is?' I ask "Bernie" as I remove the ear from the blood-splattered envelope.
'Just put it aside with the rest of the mail.'

Perhaps we'll need it later as forensic evidence when the police are eventually called in. And if not, it may make a lovely necklace.

Oh the Humanity!


Blogger Yawn said...

Welcome to my mysterious secret agency world. It seems glamorous to other people, but the fact is you eventually have to answer the phone and take responsibility for something someone else screwed up. These 007 movies forget to show or even mention the reality, the bills, the federal compliance mandates, you know, routine stuff.

10:01 am  
Blogger Fatman said...

Well, I for one would like to see more films that tackle with the important issue of budget in spy flicks. We only see the end result (product x) but there is a lot more that goes on in the dangerous world of accouting in secret agencies.

Scene: (Deep beneath a major European city. There are about a dozen men working furiously at the computers in the subterranian caverns. A high ranking military-type bursts into the room.)

Major:(angrily) Alright, which one of you geniuses okayed this! (He waves a sheet of paper)

Accountant#1: What is it?

Major: It's about the exploding pen-thing.

Accountant#2: The pen that explodes or the pen that shoots out explosives?

Major: It's the...(peers at paper)...one that shoots out explosives.

All the Accountants: (in unison) The 376-PXX.

Major: Alright. The 376-PXX. Who okayed this f-cker?!?

005: I did.

Major: 005 eh? I should have known. This agency has had ENOUGH of this kind of rampant spending. Do you know how much your precious 376-PXX cost us?

005: 4,567,825 euro.

Major: That's right! It's a bloody pen and it's costing this Agency 4,567,825 euro. PER PEN!

005: Major, the 376-PXX can shoot out exploding rounds up to 35 feet away. It can imitate the mating calls of a whale, pick locks and you can even write upside down with it. Some day there's going to be an Agent out there who may need to blow something up, mate with a whale or scribble something while under intense fire from the enemy. You want to know how I justify spending that much money? You want to know how I sleep at night? (takes a sip from his espresso, his eighth cup for the day) I sleep soundly Major because I know I've done my duty.

(All the other accountants get up and start clapping. 005 does a little bow, slightly embarrassed at the standing ovation)

11:23 am  

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