SURREAL ADVENTURES FROM THE SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

RIP Big Cheese

I left Leonard’s Royal Penthouse Suite and walked back home, after having unveiled Demonious’ intentions of blackmailing and extorting Leonard. I definitely refused to partake in something so wicked.

On my way home, I was shocked to see in a news stand Big Cheese’s photograph under the captions of “The Sandwichian Chronicle”.

The headline read:

“TOP EXECUTIVE GETS FIRED FROM PHILANTROPIC CORPORATION"

I immediately bought it to read the surprising news.

“Corruption accusations against Harry Balls, general manager of the Dumbass Industries until yesterday, ended up in his devastating dismissal, demanded unanimously by the company Board of Directors. Balls has been indicted on corruption charges that have led to his professional ruin. The former top executive of the Dumbass Industries will face charges of fraud, obstruction of justice and lying to judge Handgun, who leads the investigations. Information from reliable sources state that Balls could face over ten years in prison for the above mentioned accusations, which he claims to be calumnies…”

Oh man… so Big Cheese was in Big Shit now, swelling unemployment ranks, just like me!

“The harder they come, the harder they fall” sang Jimmy Cliff.

When I realised his reign of terror was finally over, I danced like a monkey and clapped hands in the street. The Unions would be celebrating as well, to be sure. And yet, his loyals would continue to think that there was a black hand devising a secret plot against him.

I just couldn’t resist taking my cell phone and dialling his number in a fit of rage.

- Hey. Harry. –I said-
- Hey. Q. –he said-
- I’ve read the news. Did you like the taste of your own medicine?
- Q… what the fuck???
- Tell me, have you lost your virginity now? Go fuck yourself!!!

What a sad end to a story of loyalty and honesty that started ten years ago. It was the 28th of august 1999 and I had a job interview with him at the Dumbass Industries headquarters.

I was half an hour early. He was half an hour late, as usual. Unpunctuality was one of his outstanding characteristics, together with unpredictability, tyranny, arbitrariness and that invisible harmful dash of cruelty. But I didn’t know that yet.

I can still see myself sitting on a black leather sofa, in the waiting room, on the sixteenth floor of the Dumbass Industries’ main building. I had carefully chosen my best outfit: a white shirt, black designer’s miniskirt and high heeled red shoes. I carried my wallet and keys in the big Valentino handbag that I reserved for special occasions. During the long wait, I suddenly spotted a run down the front of my left stocking and panicked.

Half an hour later, an old secretary announced that Mr Balls had finished his meeting with the Chairman and would see me right away.

Bullshit. He hadn't met the Chairman. The sod had stood me up for half an hour, only to show me who was THE BOSS.

I entered his office and he kindly offered me a seat. He slowly read my curriculum vitae and asked me to tell him about my professional track record in detail.

I described my first job as a trainee at the Orsinian Telecomms Company; my second job, also as a trainee, at the Zantlander Engineering Corporation and then my last job at the Bank of Zeewland, where I was working as a financial analyst for the moment.

There I had a lazy boss who overworked me every morning with all the things he didn’t feel like doing, but I never complained about it. It was a nice job. I travelled, home and abroad. I had learned a lot. My colleagues were nice.

- So tell me… what’s the reason why you’re looking for a new job? –he asked me-
- I’d like to advance my career and have a better salary, sir. –I answered, naively-

He stared at me and his eyes glowed like a bright crimson red, as if he was about to shoot me with his laser beam eyes. He looked… demonish.

- Miss Qinan, your cv is excellent. Your academic background is impressive. And you’re fluent in four languages too.
- Thank you, sir. I’m Sandwichian by birth and of Italian descent. I learned English as my second language and attended a Zantlander school. That's why I'm quadrilingual.
-I explained-

His eyes glowed again and he took a deep breath.

- We’re interviewing several candidates for this position, Miss Qinan. So don’t be discouraged if we don’t call you for a second interview: in all honesty, the competition is fierce. If you’re discarded, I’m sure you will find a good job real soon.

That strange comment sounded to me very much like ‘Don’t call us, we’ll call you’. So if you’d ask me, yes, I was totally discouraged and convinced that I had been definitely discarded. We shook hands and I left, thinking that I would never hear from him again.

But I was wrong: One month later, when I had lost all hope, the Human Resources Manager of the Dumbass Industries phoned me for that second interview and offered me the job. It was very well paid. I would have many responsibilities and a lot of power in the company. I would be promoted immediately if I proved I was worthy. Of course, I accepted.

That day I was not aware that my professional future would be an ordeal that would take my health away and make me fall to pieces a few times: Overtime. Rants. Being shouted at. Stress. Pressure. Fear.

Harry Balls knew very well how to scare the hell out of his employees to squeeze them dry. He never hesitated when it came to infamously sack a worker, whether it was a senior manager or a junior clerk.

He had a few enemies and everybody hated him, myself included.

He never worked, rather brilliantly mastered the fine arts of delegation as he played minesweeper, solitary and pinball in the three monitors on his computer desk.

“It’s not me who works for you, Q, but you who work for me”, he would go when I’d turn to him if I’d get into difficulty.

He paid well, but the price was too high.

I hunted for a new job several times, but none of the head hunters that interviewed me ever called me again when they knew that I was working for him. I was always eliminated from the list of candidates. So I had to accept that my professional fate was dead sure stuck to his.

So RIP Big Cheese. I wouldn't miss him. As the Union guy said,

What goes around comes around.
You have to sleep in the bed you make.
He who ives by the sword, dies by the sword.
You do the crime, you do the time.

It was time for me to make a radical change in my life. I couldn’t go on averting my gaze when I came across old colleagues, stealing food from the supermarket, tearing to pieces the eviction notices I had received, or giving the slip to the Tax Collector’s Office. My face would be soon well known among the most famous tax evaders in Sandwich and the rest of the southern hemisphere.

And suddenly I had this great idea: I would disappear and start a new life somewhere, seeking complete anonimity. I took my backpack, put some money and clothes inside and headed to the Grytviken harbour.

So there would be no more Hellgirls, Demonious Highs, Leonard Ellisons or Harry Balls. Too bad that there would be no more Ed Davies either. Or at least that was what I presumed.



Berlin ‘Barclay James Harvest’

21 comments:

tom909 said...

Wow, so now you can start over!
I'm sitting here wondering (as usual with you) how much of this is true - some is, I know!
I hope you have fun in the next chapter of your life.
XX

Gorilla Bananas said...

Perhaps you should have waited until he was in prison before asking him whether he'd lost his virginity.

rebecca said...

Ditto 909. What a journey you've had! I'm raising a glass to your new, improved one!!

How I would love to be multilingual. You have such facility for it. And, you speak all of them not alright, but very, very well! I've yet to meet a European that doesn't speak at least three languages.

((mil abrazos amor))

Grass said...

No Ed Davies as well? Hmmm, I kinda don't believe it.. LOL I had a boss who was kinda (again, the word) like your boss but it was a long time ago.

I'm curious about his new life you're talking about sis. Sounds like it's going to be the exact opposite of what you had before? Lemme guess, you're going to climb Mt. Everest? LOL Kidding aside, maybe it really is time to do something new, something outside the corporate world... ;-)


xxx

P.S. I'm only trilingual, I speak our native tongue, English and Japanese. I also speak Marsian when talking to Gugu. :P

sage said...

Nice to go back in time and find out how you came to work for such smucks...

I real life--I once had a political enemy with whom I duked it out in the papers... I laughed when he was caught for having his hand in the cookie bowl (the town's bank account) and sent to prison... but it was kind of sad too, he was so dumb.

Leni Qinan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
max said...

Leni, I'm so glad that this asshole is unemployed. At last. It serves him well. Have you heard from him again?

Leni Qinan said...

Hi Tom! Let me lift the veil: the real Big Cheese was sacked last 29th july. He left behind loads of pending papers and issues that I'm having to sort out now. There is a new Big Cheese, but he's a nice guy.

I have now less responsibilities and uncertain future, but also less stress.

I'll have fun in the next chapter. Come back and see it by yourself!

XXX

Leni Qinan said...

Mr Bananas, (*cracks up with laughter*) I'm sure he would lose it in prison, but he can find himself the best lawyer and he won't have to pay for his sins!

The employees have mentally stabbed him a zillion times, though. ;)

Leni Qinan said...

Hi Rebecca! Thanks!

10 years of Big Cheese can't be thrown away just like this, but I'm now enjoying the change. The last months have been horrible and I just counted the days for his dismissal.

Aww... Rebecca, you're so nice. ((I'm just a bit of a perfectionist and I struggle heard to learn and speak better. In a few days I'm starting a German course, i hope to learn something...))

BTw, I can introduce you to a few Europeans who can't even speak their own language, hahahah.

((besos y abrazos))

Leni Qinan said...

Hey Grassy!

Honey, please read back: "Or at least that was what i presumed". I always expect that my loving Ed can find me with the help of a crystal ball or of some supernatural powers. ((I bet we will meet again. What would I do without him?))

Unfortunately, there are Big Cheeses all over. I'm glad that you got rid of yours long ago.

My new life is not going to be as classy and posh as it was before. It's not easy to find a new job and I'm afraid a new beginning will be hard. But I'm not going to climb Mount Everest, lol. It will be something more humble.

((Can you speak Japanese??? Oh dear, that's amazing!! I took one year of Japanese classes and I gave up. That's too difficult for me. But hey, you're very good at languages! And Martian too! WOW!!!))

((Big hug and kiss to you and Gugu, who looks really cute in the pics of your blog))

Leni Qinan said...

Hi Sage! Well, I managed not to be dragged behind my ex-boss -he's lost somewhere now and think he won't be appearing on scene fr a while-.

You know what? I don't feel any pity for those wise guys who have their hands in the cookie bowl. Money from the contributors is not meant to be stolen. Big Cheese did a few things wrong and it serves him well.

((still enjoying the sight and smell of those delicious potatoes in your blog ;))

Leni Qinan said...

Hey Maxi,

It's funny how arrogance and pride work. I haven't heard from him since the end of July, and so far, so good...

Take care!

max said...

Btw, Leni, the song is cool. I was a huge BCH fan. This song was very popular back in the 80s when the Berlin wall was demolished.

XXX

max said...

BJH (for Barclay James Harvest). Sorry for the typo.

Leni Qinan said...

Hey Maxi, my ex the doctor was a huge fan too, lol. I still keep some of his albums -he had good taste for music- ;)

Skeeter said...

Hi Leni!

How wonderful that Karma caught up with Harry. I will be hoping for the same karmic justice to visit the overlords of the Evil Corporation. thank you dear, you have filled me with hope for the future :-)

Best wishes,

skeeter

Crabbers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Al Ouette d'Exter-yeure du Gué Clain said...

je ne peux m'empêcher de rééditer avec malice ce pseudo ! ( ou chaque mot ou combinaison entre eux a sa place , tiré de mon imagination tordue , fertile ... mais tordue :)
Compréhensible de ceux qui pratiquent , comme toi ... heu ... vous ! Heu ... Non ! TOI , qui pratique avec élégance , la langue de Molière ( The French ! )
Sous le nom d'-OUETTE- sont regroupées huit espèces d'oiseaux ( pour la phobie ). -YEURE- Endroit mythique où l'on envoie les personnes malcomprenantes dans l'espoir qu'elles sauront s'y rendre et y rester ! ( comme l'ex directeur général ) . Et "du Gué Clain" traverser à gué "le Clain" cours d'eau français ,département de la Vienne ( c'est pas la Bérézina ) ou "du Guesclin" , même prononciation ! Le Dogue noir de Brocéliande "chevalier" bras droit de la Pucelle d'Orléans .
J'espère après cela ne pas faire parti de ces quelques Européens qui ne peuvent parler leur propre langue !

Avant d'avoir bien lu , ou plutôt compris ton sujet ;) je blague ! J'ai composé une petite fable , à ton intention ( en rapport avec ... le sujet précédent et Jimmy Cliff “The harder they come, the harder they fall” , mais à ma façon !)


J'ai presque raté le dernier sujet ! Je ne suis pas ornithophobe !

(* petits bécots tendre *)
Le petit oiseau

Crabbers

Leni Qinan said...

Hi Skeeter! Every time I write about the Dumbass Industries, I think of the Evil Corporation and you! There's hope, to be sure!

You know what they say: What goes around comes around...

BC was sacked last month of July and nobody regretted it. He didn't even say goodbye.

((How's that trip to the Bahamas?))

Leni Qinan said...

Bonjour mon cher ami! Ton pseudo me souvient de cette jolie chanson "alouette, gentille alouette, alouette je te plumerai..." que je chantais à l'école (française, bien sûr).

Ta combination de mots est, comme toujours, intelligente et artistique (je pratique la langue de Molière, mais pas comme quand je travaillais à une compagnie française. on parlait toujours en français, et j'aimais bien ça. C'était très doux!).

Et non, tu ne fais pas partie de ces quelques Européens qui ne peuvent parler leur propre langue.

Je vais lire ta fable tout de suite. Quelquefois -comme maintenant- je ne suis pas ornitophobe, mon ptit oiseau. ;)

*ptits bisous*