March 2011 archives

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March 11, 2011

suffering manager promoted

by gl. at 5:33 pm

sven & i have a writing night in the studio; we take turns bringing prompts. "suffering manager promoted" was the result of 3 slips of paper sven drew from a box, and led to us both writing 10-minute freewriting fictions that cracked us up:

The suffering manager works at a convenience store. A store which, naturally, specializes in suffering. The suffering manager oversees the employees: irritation, melancholy, bowel-quivering horror, and tear-stained pillows. Irritation is the most reliable worker—always on time, always willing to take a shift. Tear-stained pillows is in charge of furniture in general… Beds that one doesn't get out of in the morning, exotic fainting settees. Melancholy comes and goes on her own time, seemingly ignoring time cards, moping on the floor next to the refrigerated beers' glass door with an unlit cigarette. Bowel-quaking horror cleans up the restroom with a 9-year-old mop and dispenses menthols with a wide-eyed, dilated sense of doom. Suffering manager oversees them all, tries to schedule them so that X can have Valentine's Day off with her boyfriend, Y can attend his grandfather's funeral… And come back with bloodshot eyes, stinking of alcohol. Suffering manager deserves better than this… Dreams of a quiet job in the pharmacy, metering out pills that an assistant patiently explains to the customers. His days of dealing with time cards are numbered, he thinks with relief. Promotion promotion promotion! The letter in the mail though—not what he expected. He's been fired from the Convenience Suffering Mart. The thing about it: he's just not sure how to feel.

whoo hoo! i finally got promoted to misery manager! i’ve been waiting for this day for ages, ever since i started as the mild angst receptionist so many years ago. i have big plans to move all the way up to the ceo of hopelessness and despair, but i have to take one step at a time. i am going to go home tonight and find myself some company, drink some champagne and complain about how much i hate my job. it’s great to be paid for something i already love to do. sometimes i imagine what it’s like to work for the happy happy happy corporations, the ones that manufacture smiles and good cheer, the ones that require a song and dance from each employee every morning to prove they still belong there. i get chills thinking about how horrible it must be to be so cheerful and delightful. they have to call in sick when they get sad. i even know someone who was fired when they got overwhelmed with depression, and is now much happier working for us. of course, the one thing both companies agree on is that nobody wants to work for ennui, inc. nothing gets done there. moping and listlessness have a very minor marketplace niche. it works for some, but it will never be a big player in the emotional ecosystem. when i go to work tomorrow as the new misery manager, i’m going to call a big departmental meeting to get feedback about what we should be doing to make the world a more miserable place. for instance, i’m really proud of our legislative action team, which is doing great things in the U.S. political arena. i want to find a way to reward them.

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: writing