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Tuesday, 1 May 2012
Project: Evil - Another Flaming Friday Brunch part 2
‘So, what’s your proposal?’O’Feld asked, leaning back in his seat.
‘An employee incentives scheme,’ replied Daw, checking his notes. A dark cloud passed over O’Feld’s face.
‘What’s wrong with the current incentives scheme, the one where we promise not to kill anyone who still has some use?’
‘It’s fallen out of popularity since you had the scheme manager shot.’ O’Feld shrugged.
‘I just said that I wanted him to nominate a bunch of henchpersons for slaying, and he said “over my dead body”. So I just fulfilled his wish; that’s what a caring boss does for his managers,’ said O’Feld, running a thumb absently along a conveniently accessible cutlass, drawing blood. Unfortunately Daw’s.
‘Well, we think a real incentive scheme, one that provides employees with hope, is a good idea,’ said Daw, sucking his thumb.
‘We?’ asked O’Feld suspiciously.
‘Brian and me,’ replied Daw looking intently at his thumb, adding, ‘or just me if you think it’s a really good idea,’ he said, enjoying the taste. I don’t suppose you could...’ he asked, holding his other thumb out. O’Feld shook his head; it was against his principles to please his employees.
‘So, what’s this idea?’ he asked, looking directly at Brian.
‘Well, it’s to do with the upcoming Christmas party,’ said Brian, watching O’Feld’s eyes light up.
‘Go on,’ said O’Feld, excitement in his eyes.
‘Well, I thought,’ said Brian, interrupted by a cough from Daw, ‘We thought...’
‘As long as you like the idea,’ interjected Daw, adding, ‘because if you don’t, it’s his idea.’ Brian continued.
‘...that we could offer premium places in the buffet queue to the top performing employees,’ he said, trying to read O’Feld’s face. For a moment he thought he could read “obituary”, which was a bit of a concern.
‘Why would that be an incentive? I might be a mad, bad, mean bastard, but I always make sure there’s enough food for everyone at the Christmas do,’ he said, looking to the Head of Catering for support.
‘Strictly, enough for the survivors,’ the catering lead clarified, adding, ‘don’t forget we always hold the Elimination Karaoke first.’ O’Feld’s eyes watered as he relished the only singing contest that saw the losers shot – it was so good an idea that Simon Cowell had bought the rights not realising that the idea had been stolen from him initially.
‘OK, but given that we always provide more than enough food for the survivors, why would employees be driven to work harder just to get first crack at his buffet?’ he asked, nodding at the Head of Catering. Brian ignored the evil steely stare from the Head of Catering as he replied.
‘Because Doctor Froshdu is on the senior management quiz team, and we always get first crack at the food,’ he said, watching O’Feld’s eyes turn to fear.
‘Oh my god, that’s so evil,’ he said, trying to remember if protocol insisted that he had his portion before everyone else. Then he remembered that recent tradition determined he didn’t, but he liked the way Brian was thinking. ‘So I don’t have to order employees to act as food tasters for me this year, instead they’ll work their arses off for a chance to test the food for poison? That is absolutely brilliant,’ he said, pulling a rubber stamp out of his jacket pocket. ‘Here, pass me some more of those bogus expense claims,’ he insisted. Daw turned to Brian as he slipped an expense claim for a fictitious journey under O’Feld’s nose.
‘I told you he’d love it,’ he said. Brian shrugged; he’d survived, that was enough.
‘How did you know he’d go for it?’ he asked, pulling his expense claim for a bar of bullion and changing the quantity to two.
‘Two years ago a henchman, er henchperson,’ Daw said, looking nervously at the Diversity Lead, who was glaring at him, ‘pushed in front of him and promptly died from poisoning. Same thing happened last year too,’ he said, picking up the expense form and slipping it in his pocket. ‘Kind of set the tradition,’ he said. The Head of Catering glowered.
‘It was a new recipe; we’ve learned to test them out in the canteen first now,’ he said defensively, a blush rising on his cheeks. ‘Anybody can make a mistake,’ he added.
‘Two years running?’ asked Daw, shaking his head. ‘Strictly, company policy expects senior managers to achieve a much higher hit rate than that.’
‘What was the dish that poisoned both times?’ asked Brian, fishing through the remains of the Friday buffet, hooking out a salmon sandwich, taking a bite as he waited for the Head of Catering to reply.
‘The one you’re eating,’ he said, grinning from ear to ear as Brian reached for a bucket. From within the confines of the steel cone he heard O’Feld continue with the meeting.
‘I understand you have a policy report to make, Daw,’ he said, ripping the agenda up, indicating that it was the last item to be considered. Daw addressed the meeting.
‘We’ve been instructed by a Non Governmental Organisation to provide details of the induction safety training we provide to child labour uninhabitants at our overseas manufacturing facilities,’ he said, looking at an official looking sheet of paper. ‘It’s a minefield,’ he added.
‘What? Are you going all “moral hazard” on us, Daw?’ asked O’Feld, impatiently, crooking his fingers over “moral” and “hazard”, wondering who the hell voted for these NGOs anyway. Daw looked surprised.
‘No, that’s the induction safety training I was reading out,’ he explained, adding, ‘“It’s a minefield” is the standard instruction, as we don’t want the uninhabitant kids to play there,’ he said.
‘You don’t encircle the minefield with barbed wire?’ asked Brian incredulously, removing his head from the bucket. Daw looked horrified.
‘How would they get back to their accommodation?’ he asked. Brian nodded; he hadn’t thought of that. O’Feld stood up, pushed his pens in his pocket, grabbed his rubber stamp and made to leave.
‘Never mind their accommodation, you cruel bastard,’ he said to Daw as he passed. ‘They’re children, for God’s sake. Don’t you know how dangerous barbed wire is to kids?’
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