Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sabotage - a story of futility #6

Janson threw the FJ into park outside a relatively plain three story office building. Plain metal letters spelled out, “Sabotron” in full Arial glory. He said, “We’ll check you into the Radisson after the conference call.”

Steve grabbed his laptop from the Toyota and followed Janson inside. He continued to follow Janson as he was lead through the cubicle farm to the conference room. “Steve, there’s the conference room. Chill out there while I get the rest of the team.” said Janson.

Steve set his case on the mammoth conference table, this time just big, no tusks and he settled into a very comfortable office chair. Around the table sat three people. They all seemed to Steve to be short and stout. Janson came back in and was shortly followed by a troupe of similarly short, stocky people. The stubby people (not midgets or dwarves or whatever the political correct term was) filed in Oompa-Loompa style and took their seats around the table. A projector dropped out of the ceiling on pneumatic rails, the lights dimmed and the projector came to life.

A picture of two guys reaching the summit of a majestic peak filled the screen. An equally majestic sunset (or possibly sunrise) silhouetted the climbers. It proudly proclaimed, “Teamwork. Together we can reach the top.”

“Christ.” I muttered. Janson looked at me like I had just blasphemed.

The slide changed. Now a small fluffy puppy held a large bone in his mouth. “Happiness is wanting what you have.”

The picture flipped again and it was now displaying a kitten cling to a branch. “Hang in there. . .” it said in blocky Arial.

I was just about to curse again, at full volume. Suddenly Richard Franklin’s voice boomed over the surround sound system, “This is not Sabotron!”

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sabotage - a story of futility #5

Steve kept walking, the sound of the whining reverse stalking him. And then the phone rang. Not his Blackberry but the phone his new boss, Richard Franklin had given him. He stared at the digital read out. The number on the display might as well have been gibberish. Steve didn’t recognize it at all.

The phone rang again. Steve tentatively flipped it open.

“Steven. Richard Franklin here. Please return to the Sabotron company vehicle.”

“But sir . . .” Steve started to protest.

Richard’s voice dropped an got even more serious. He repeated, “Get. In. The. Car.”

Steve sighed, his shoulders dropped and he climbed back into the FJ Cruiser.
Janson glibly said, “Buckle up,” as he eased back onto the Thruway. A few miles later he added, “Looks like we’re having a big conference call when we get back to the office. Thanks.”

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sabotage - a story of futility #4

Two dark blue SUVs emblazoned with state trooper yellow reflective badges sped by in the westbound lane. They were followed by two Rural Metro ambulances. A wrecker played Johnny-come-lately. “Pull over,” shouted Steve. “Pull the fuck over.”

Janson reluctantly obliged the car’s tires growling on the rumble strip as he eased onto the shoulder. Steve barely waited for the car to come to a rolling stop before he hopped out. Janson said something, but Steve didn’t hear it over the slamming door.

Steve stomped off heading west, back towards the airport. Pavement disappeared under his shoes as cars whizzed past in the opposite direction.

Steve started mumbling to himself as he crammed his hands into his pockets. He said, “Why the fuck didn’t you just take the insurance job Steve? That would’ve been a smart move. But, no. You had to choose Sabotron. Brilliant move. Fucking moron.” He continued on chanting a mantra of deprecation.

Steve was interrupted by the whine of the Toyota’s transmission as it reversed down the road. Janson pulled up beside Steve, threw open the passenger door and yelled, “Quit being a pussy. Get in!”

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sabotage - a story of futility #3

The wheels of the small commuter plane touched down on the runway of the Hancock International Airport with a puff of white smoke. Steve crouched to exit through the hatch and down the rickety stairs. A misty rain greeted him. He looked to the right and then the left and again he questioned his sanity.

A small man in dungarees two inches too short rushed up and shook his hand. “Hey. You must be Parker. Bill Janson, at your service. Welcome to paradise.”

Janson lifted the rear hatch of the Toyota FJ Cruiser open and he tossed Steve’s suitcase into the cargo area. When he reached for Steve’s second bag Steve cautioned, “Careful with that one. Got my laptop in there.”

“No problemo,” assured Janson as he tossed it in the back. “C’mon. Let’s go.”

The two climbed into the Toyota and were on their way. Quickly. Janson easily exceeded the posted speed limit by ten miles an hour. They sped past the long term parking and some warehouses on their way to the New York State Thruway. Janson grabbed the toll ticked from the booth attendant and gassed in again.

“Hurry?” asked Steve as he grabbed the “oh shit handle.”

“Yep. What time you got?”

Steve checked his Blackberry even though the digital clock in the Toyota’s dash told him in glaring l.e.d. that it was “9:35.”

Janson smiled. “Good. We have time to knock off one order before we head home. There’s a folder in the map pocket over there. Can you grab it?”

Steve hunched over and reached for the folder. When he straightened back up he was surprised to find that Janson had maneuvered the nose of the Toyota millimeters from the tail pipe of a Lexus suv. “Open ‘er up,” Barked Janson.

Steve opened the dossier (good dog).

“You see six digits?”

Steve glanced at the folder, “Yeah.”

“Do they match the ones on that license plate?”

Steve’s eyes shot to the Lexus’ license plate. “Yes.”

In an instant Janson jerked the steering wheel and darted out into the left lane. He hammered the gas pedal and shot by the Lexus and then a Peterbilt trucking hauling a Wal-Mart trailer. Just as erratically, he jerked back into the right lane and cut off the tractor trailer.

The driver of the long nosed Pete slammed on his brakes. The wheels locked up and the cab of the truck started to turn right. Jackknife. The Lexus was crushed under the trailer.

Steve Parker spun around in his seat watching the carnage out the small rear window. His mouth dried up but he managed to caugh, “Ugg. Uh. What the?”

Bill Janson continued east heading for the Utica office.

A few minutes later, somewhere around Chittenango, Steve regained his powers of speech. “What the hell was that? You just caused a major traffic accident. Aren’t you going to go back?”

Janson chuckled. “Go Back? Are you serious? I’m heading in as fast as I can to grab another file.”

“What?” asked Steve, confused.

“It’s what we do.” Janson explained, “It’s what we do.”

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sabotage - a story of futility #2

Steve walked slowly from the office. His brain was a little scrambled and he took it slow. The secretary smiled, “How did it go?”

Steve managed, “I think I got the job.”

The gal Friday nodded, “Of course you did sir.” She handed him a leather envelope embossed with Sabotron’s logo. “This is your compensation package. It outlines salary, including bonus incentives, benefits, sick days, etc. There’s also a non-compete contract and an NDA (non-disclosure agreement).”

Steve opened the envelope when he got back to his tiny hovel of an apartment. He shuffled past the NDA and the Non Compete and he breezed over the benefits. Full medical plus dental and eye care. It even covered counseling sessions. Three weeks vacation. Salary: $250,000.

“That couldn’t be right,” he thought. Steve read it again. The number didn’t change. He looked for assistance again. What had he gotten into?


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Black Truck

This is my old truck. I'm just trying to figure out how to throw a picture up . . . She's a 1966 Ford F100. Four wheel drive. I suppose there's a story here . . .

More Sabotage soon . . .