The Couch

Work Rituals

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Joined: Nov 11, 2007
Location: UK *up north somewhere*

Total Topics: 63
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Avatar Nexus
Posted 05/01/08 - 6:05 PM:
Subject: Work Rituals
Work Rituals.

Declan rolled out of his four poster into the reassuring freshness of large white en-suite. A quick power shower and then throw together various fresh fruits, grains, nuts, yoghurt to keep at bay hunger but not invite a return of these food stuffs once he had begun his gym routine. Luckily he didn't have to increase his carbon trail one bit for this first thrust of routine. Across the way was a spacious gym he was happy to join when he arrived on the exclusive section of transformed dockland real estate close by central London; Body, it was simply called. Inside there were spas and saunas, massage facilities galore, a healthy eating joint, bar, all the latest exercise gear accompanied by Body's perfect bodies the squad of personal trainers. Declan spent quite a good portion of his day here. A power up in the pool and kick bags then sauna and cold shower morning time then weights come evening; all accompanied by the semi brutal commands of his personal torturer Dave.

He was out of Body, not in the metaphysical sense, but certainly physically and mentally ready to make his entrance into Smithson Mergers and Takeovers Associates. Springing into the uniquely crafted interior of his BMW sport he set a fair pace toward his place of work which was located only five minutes away still encompassed within the Docklands reach. Previously there had only been a smattering of traffic on his passage to work but in the last year or so the area had been energised by a renewed influx of corporation cash courtesy of the fat or merely slightly plumped (depending on rank) pockets of over-worked or under-worked employees (depending on rank). Coffee shops and sandwich outlets popped up at a bewildering rate along with bars and restaurants, gyms and night spots.

Arriving at SMTA the young man swiftly and vainly greeted the sexy receptionist then with less vigour the less sexy one. Neatly zig zagging his way through less influential colleagues he arrived at his comfortable zone, the seating area closest to the directors and upper management domain, leather sofas and Arabian rug, large plasma tv displaying the latest financial anarchy, the keen trot of desirable PA's this way and that (what was it they did?) eventually arriving at his own workspace positioned regrettably just outside this invigorating zone. Once in and the door closed he would contact his, for now, shared PA to set out the days diary. Today he was to again, after settling a few affairs, mount his ride and visit Muller and Crane PLC, a fairly new concern specialising in importing products from the third world, within which it owned a bewildering number of factories and warehouses; these products to be sold on to European retail companies. It had overextended itself in recent years and was now under negotiations with his company to be sold split up and split up again with immense profit. The money for this would be acquired from a group of investors, including the employees of SMTA themselves, maybe a bank here and there at preferential rates. They would run a vastly slimmed down Muller and Crane under a different name without incurring corporation tax for a year or so; it may miraculously recover or otherwise, perhaps seventy percent of its workforce already gone, sink into oblivion yet still, what was left of it still being sold on at a profit.

Muller and Crane had a call centre which dealt with enquiries from existing and prospective European customers. This was located in the East End of London in a converted local government building and here worked Julian Worksop. This morning he had fell to his knees onto the carpet of his bed sit, sliding in an almost unconscious fashion out of his bed. He navigated toward the small adjoining shower room where the dribbling shower head attempted to make contact with full area of this young man's body, at least the dirtiest portions of it. His untoned profile made a blurred impression on the steamed up mirror as he bumped into things and considered whether it would be toast or cornflakes this morning not daring to stretch to both due to a recent decrease in salary and his fast disappearing resources toward pay day. On to the tube after glancing atrocities over breakfast he glared at his book on....well at that moment he couldn't recall. He'd been doing overtime to try and pay his credit card bill so he whipped the thing out at times hoping to divert his mind from work matters but had failed to keep up with the pace of the prose. His mind was set, it seemed, in a work mode which allowed little interference from the vagaries of science or various forms of analysis beyond basic maths and the routine procedures demanded by a computer in conjunction with customer keeping in mind influence of manager. After work or weekend mind could handle full length movies if these did not involve overly complex story lines and vaguely amusing anecdotal rituals to keep in favour with the girl he had been dating in order to keep on sleeping with her (there had been less intensely selfish intentions some months back but she was now busy at work too and had little additional energy.) Education education education the reader is chanting but the reader should know both these individuals are university graduated and in the past have showed evidence of intelligence and imagination.

Worksop slides his entrance card hatefully into its slot, grabs a can from the machine, makes vaguely humorous observations to his section manager then to another fellow he sometimes goes drinking with after work. The workers here are all informed during short meetings within teams that a representative from SMTA will be visiting and they are all to be on their best behaviour all aware that big changes are afoot and they, if they are not deemed properly productive, could face joblessness in the near future. How their behaviour that day as regards the shadowy Armani suited figure who would swoop perhaps close perhaps far within their possible line of vision, how this behaviour ( which would likely be the usual caffeine inspired shallow anti charm conducted to prevent any attrition with the customer) could have a baring on anything in any real terms was really beyond their ken but they played along, puppets to fear.

Today Worksop would speak to a buyer for a clothing store that was in the process of buying a shipment of 'designer' foot wear from Mexico. These shoes were being manufactured in one of Muller and Cranes' factories near Mexico City. The workers in that factory took home the equivalent of twenty pounds a week in wages for working a a twelve hour shift six days a week in a hot and dangerous work place with no job security.

Six months later the acquisition had come to fruition. Declan had changed apartments to a more spacious affair closer to the financial centre where he now worked having been head hunted by another firm. He still held shares in SMTA and was benefiting hugely from the Muller and Crane deal. He had changed gyms.

Worksop had split with his girlfriend after losing his job and now was working through a temping agency in different parts of the city in similar call centre style roles. The temping agency was actually being run by Declan's new firm which has acquired it as part of a take-over. Currently its future is less than bright.

In Mexico city the Minyola family had suffered a blow when both husband and wife were axed from the shoe manufacturing firm they had worked at for the last seven years, Their four children needed feeding somehow; Mr Minyola had gone back in to a life of petty crime and recently got in to trouble with police. The government, under pressure from foreign firms working in the city, had recently got tougher on all criminal elements and he was up for a hefty prison term. Mrs Minyola is now working for another clothing manufacturer making less money; this concern is owned by a Japanese company which is also in trouble currently due to the pressures of the international economy, mainly cheap imports from China. She knows nothing of this, no meetings are held for employees.

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Joined: Apr 16, 2005
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Total Topics: 425
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Posted 05/15/08 - 5:25 PM:

hi nexus,

of all the pieces of yours that i've read, this one has had the most trouble maintaining my attention. maybe it's because i have a strong aversion to the corporate lifestyle; i think it may also be because the focus switches from declan to worksop mid-way through and then again to the minyola family in the last paragraph for reasons which are not clear to me.

as a general exercise in character study, it is well done, as are all your stories. your sense of humor amuses me (one of my favorite lines - "Education education education the reader is chanting but the reader should know both these individuals are university graduated and in the past have showed evidence of intelligence and imagination.") in general i like reading your stuff, this included, aforementioned obstacles notwithstanding.

smiling facelib
Senior Member

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Nov 11, 2007
Location: UK *up north somewhere*

Total Topics: 63
Total Comments: 195
Avatar Nexus
Posted 05/16/08 - 7:14 AM:

Well, I've a attracted one reader anyway!!


smiling face
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