Rafter Fiction is short stories based on songs by Rafter. I am starting the series with the songs from his newest album, “Terrestrial Extras”. This is the first song, “Keep on Keepin On.” Buy the album here
Almost two years into my employment, I was promoted to a lower management position. This meant I was suppose to be in a morning manager’s meeting five days a week, from nine o’clock and nine forty-five. My first week at this new position, I stood in the back of the conference room, leaning against the wall because I was the baby manager and there were not enough seats in the room for everyone. I kept quiet and stared at the large portrait of the founder, William James Something Something as he scowled at us all. I couldn’t remember his real last name. They told me once in the management training video I had to watch, but I didn’t remember and I was not going to Google it because I did not care that much. I figured that the new president, his son, Benjamin Something Something looked just like him. Bald on the top, severe disappointment and anger on his face, wrinkles around his eyes, and wearing suits that make him look slim. I had never seen him.
Immediately I hated these meetings. Immediately I tried to figure out how to get out of them. After a few weeks, I just stopped showing up.
This meant that I needed a place to hide. First I tried sitting in the back stairwell the smokers used to sneak to and fro all day long. This did not work so I changed to sitting in the bathroom. The stairwell did not work because everyone knew this was a free 45 minutes, foot traffic was higher than at any other time during the day, and once they saw me sitting there, it freaked them all out. I told them I was hiding from a meeting, but they did not trust this. They knew I was the newest member of the management team, which meant I was going to try to make waves. So I moved from the stairs to the bathroom, second stall from the end. The bathroom was not much cozier, but there was not the fear from every person coming up the stairs.
While I skipped meetings, I composed letters of resignation to the President of the company, even though I was just guessing that it might be Benjamin Something Something.
Dear Benjamin Something Something, President of Megacore Accounting, LLC,
I quit. I’m not management material. I know that this is something that I have been saying every morning, Monday through Friday, during my shower, my breakfast, and my commute, but today I am serious. I mean look at me. I knew that picking a career as a Certified Professional Accountant did not have the same pizzazz as most other professions, but man, I’m still not cut out for this position. I hide in my office all day, avoid eye contact with everyone, and the most managerial thing that I do is not wash my hands after taking a leak. I snooze through the rest of the day. I thought when I took this job at Megacore Accounting, LLC, I was going to do great things outside of here that fulfilled my life. I was going to go skiing in the winter and meet friends for drinks on Saturdays, watch professional sports in bars and get rowdy when my teams came from behind to secure victory. I was going to meet a girl and hit it off. I was going to help her plan a wedding, do my best not to fight with my in-laws, and wear funny shirts on the holidays at family gatherings. I was going to live my life outside of this boring job. As you have probably figured out by now, none of this has gone according to plan. I hate this job, and this promotion has made it even worse. I do nothing but work and go home, try to sleep, try to watch TV, try to get through another day of just moving.
I know the other managers are in that cramped conference room saying that today is the day that we can change lives. But do we even believe that? I mean I could try to go out to a bar after work; I’m sure there is a game on somewhere tonight. I could try to pick up someone or go on the internet to find someone to date. I could also try to find fulfillment here, strive to be the next director of the company, work my way up the ladder, become the man at your side, and make all of the decisions with you. First I would get rid of the morning meeting. Second I would get rid of many of your employees. Sometimes I laugh when I think about people you have put in charge of the company’s money, the very people that have nothing but resentment toward you, toward us, toward this job, toward this company, and toward their lives. I am still one of those people regardless of my promotion. I should write this all down and email it to you . Today is not the day. Tomorrow maybe. Tomorrow I’m going to quit for good.
Satisfied, I looked at my watch. 9:43. I needed to get out of the bathroom and get back to work. There were accounts to bill and people to email. Anything to avoid everyone else. Maybe I could invite some coworkers to go out for drinks after work. Nah. It could all wait until tomorrow.