An unexpected twist

You are hard at work reading the latest about plunging U.S. auto sales and suspected arson in Osaka when your manager, The Gap, comes by your desk. This is not a good sign, as he only ever drops by when he wants to talk to you. Which is never.

“John Turningpin,” he says, “can I speak with you a moment please?”

Oh, Lord, you think. Here it is.

Time for the hammer to come down.

It’s no secret that things have not been going well for the company. Your section, once considered the cornerstone of the whole operation, has fallen on hard times. There have been talks of transfers and even downsizing. Setsuyaku (penny-pinching) is the new mantra, and the fact that you’ve done bugger-all on the job for the last two months was bound to have been picked up on eventually, even by someone as chronically thick as The Gap.

“As you know,” he begins, gesturing you to have a seat, “the company is going through some tough times. There have been cuts made all around. More than ever, people are being judged by their work performance.” He stops a moment, eyes you seriously.

“We’ve had to get tough on underachievers.”

“Yessir,” you say, already resigned.

The Gap pulls out a sealed envelope. He places it on the table, pushes it toward you. It has your name on it: Mister John Turningpin, no less.

Three months’ unemployment, here I come.

“We’re bumping you up from Class 3 Peon to Class 2 Peon. I hope you’ll continue to work as hard — if not harder — in the following year.” The Gap gets up, begins walking away. You remain seated, mainly because you’re not sure how to react.

“Be sure to stamp that and hand it into HR” The Gap says over his shoulder. A few strides of that loping, pirate-like gait of his and he’s gone.

Leaving you with your envelope.


10 Responses

  1. “We’ve had to get tough on underachievers.” “Yessir,” you say, already resigned. – to be a fly on the wall at that moment … good to hear things are on the up mate.

  2. It’s like Office Space in Japanese!


    Next on the agenda- not showing up to work at all!

    Oh wait, you’re already doing that.


  3. Maybe you could get away with putting a cardboard cut-out of yourself on your seat with a tape player beneath it churning out “ohayo gozaimasu”, “kawaii”, “sugoi” and “otsukare samadeshita” every few minutes. You could be out doing other things. It’s worth a shot.

  4. An excellent idea, and a pleasure to see you here, sir. 🙂

  5. Uhh… Congrats, I think.

  6. congrats.. however I hope it doesn’t mean some huge secret project around the corner which means you get to buy a level 2 peon sleeping bag for under the desk….

  7. Level 2 peons get their sleeping bags bought for them.

  8. Fuck. I want the Englishman in Osaka to comment on my page.

    I told you that you’re funnier than me.

  9. and someone needs to tell The Penguin that it’s time for him to post a new blog.

  10. Well, congratulations Mr. Turningpin! In the end, we’re all peons and will remain so until the end of days, but it doesn’t hurt to be a slightly higher level peon!

    But, a bit cheapass of that guy to not gather some other lowly peons around and give a round of applause at least! You should lodge a formal complaint with your newly found powers and authority!

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