Monday, August 3, 2009

Down to business

Hubert walked out of my cubicle, Stacy rolled her eyes, pulled up a chair and the real work began, or so I thought.

"How was HR?" with sarcasm heavy in her voice.

"It was OK," I responded sheepishly.

"Well, they just laid off 50 people, so needless to say the remaining ones are in survival mode, but compared to the 300 people our development group lost two months ago they should consider themselves lucky."

I was astounded. "They laid off 300 people from the development group just two months ago!" I wondered why they had hired me. I guess right out of school I was cheaper than someone with industry experience but why were they hiring so soon after they had fired so many?

"It was so terrible," Stacy exclaimed, "the Vice President, the always dapper Derek Pink came down from his opulent office to grace us with his presence only to call people into Hubert's office one by one and tell them that their job had been relocated outside of the company."

"So they are outsourcing jobs?" I asked.

"No, they clean house in almost every department every few years; the only way you are safe is if you are a Pink or if you are sleeping with or married to a Pink."

"Oh, my" I stated, a little dazed at how forward she was with the companies dirty laundry on my first day, but intrigued at the same time.

"More on that later" she said, and glanced over her shoulder. Then she lowered her voice to a whisper "Now onto Hubert, as you may have noticed he is not the calmest fish in the sea."

I nodded agreeably.

"He just signed his divorce papers last week, ending a very short marriage to what seemed to be a mail order bride."

"How do you know she was a mail order bride?" I inquired in an equally hushed voice.

"For starters she did not speak a word of English and she acted like she had never met Hubert at their summer wedding just four months ago."

"Yikes, why would you invite people to your mail order bride wedding, that seems like a weekend in Vegas event rather than a formal affair." Stacy's eye's bulged and then she burst into a thunderous laugh that shocked me since she was such an unassuming person.

"Oh, we need to get to Hubert's office," she said getting up and pushing her chair back into the lab where the technician looked up and shot her a less that appreciative look.

"But I don't know anything about the 7 Delights brand or dilemma!"

"Just follow my lead, lets go."

We both got up, walked down the narrow hall like space between the cubicles and the labs. There were probably 30 cubicles in the middle of the room where Stacy and I were located and another 10 coffice's, or cubicle offices, that had a more expansive desk, with two chairs for visitors to sit and a view of the looked like heaven compared to my 2 staplers and motivational poster. We turned left at the end of the hall and the second door on the left had a silver plated tag in a slide slot that Read Hubert A. Jones.

"Albert" Stacy said and then she combination knocked/barged into Hubert's office. She immediately sat down in a leather chair, gestured for me to sit in its twin to her right and stuffed her hand into a gigantic jar of multi-flavored Jimmy's Jelly candy (one of Pink's 457 perfect products!) and began tossing them into the air and catching them in her mouth.

Interesting approach I thought to myself as I sat down in the second black leather chair, smoothed my suit pants and politely declined a handful of Jimmy's jelly candy from Stacy. Hubert's office was large but sparse. As you walked in you immediately noticed a beautiful picture window showcasing the pond and all of the bike paths that bordered it. Although it was kind of hard to see the full beauty of the pond as Hubert's mini blinds were in terrible disrepair and partially obstructing his view. He had a beautiful mahogany desk but it was covered in all kinds of papers, folders, binders and a fat manila envelope labeled "Downsizing Plan". He only had one piece of artwork on the wall which was a product of Jeffry King's PinkTink inspirational series. After a moment of quite observation, Hubert, looking at his wits end began.

1 comment:

  1. I never knew there was a word to describe my little space outside the lab! "Coffice." It rings both morbid (coffin) and peppy (ice coffee) at the same time. I can't wait to start peppering sentences with it at work: "Why don't you come to my coffice to look at that case?" "Just grab a chocolate from the dish in my coffice!" Thanks so much!