[Can you dig it?, 790 words, Genre: Mind Fudge]
* Image courtesy of Dirk de Bruyn
The job was to dig a hole. Proposition says that in one way or another the job is always to dig a hole. A task or appointment that involves some particular labour, be it mental or physical. Edward waited there, waited for the supervisor to come in and bring the tools so that they could start digging the hole. It was to be a large hole, he knew that much.
The supervisor arrived. He was overweight and had a soda in his hand. The supervisor drank the soda greedily and got out of the car. As he moved his body rippled with fat. Why? Edward asked himself, do these types always get management positions. It wasn’t actually that the manager was fat in a physical sense. Edward just saw it this way. The supervisor was actually lean and toned. But Edward could see the ripples of fat. The gluttonous, greedy bastard had somehow managed to obtain a management position for digging a hole. That being said, all he had to do was hand out the shovels and tell the people to dig. And as long as people continued to dig, he was doing his job. His job was to manage people. As long as the workers continued to dig the hole under the supervisor’s direction, the supervisor’s role was fulfilled.
The supervisor reached Edward and the others. There was a group of them, five of them including Edward. Edward waited for the supervisor to come in and give them their shovels so they could start digging their hole.
But the supervisor didn’t do that. Instead the supervisor greeted them all, “Good morning. I hope everyone has had a good night’s sleep. Can any of you tell me what we will be doing today?” There was some hesitation from the others until one of them raised their hand. “Yes, you, stinky.”
“Uhh… My name isn’t stinky sir.”
“I’ll call you what I damn well like! Now what are we doing today?” It used to be that managers and supervisors would keep their pet names for their employees inside their head or behind closed doors. But it seemed to become an effective management tool to demoralise the workforce to pressure them into menial tasks.
“We’re going to dig a hole.”
“That’s right stinky. We’re going to dig a hole. Now can anybody tell me how we dig a hole?”
Edward was getting frustrated at this point, “We dig, that’s about all there is to it.”
“No, we don’t simply dig troublemaker.” Troublemaker was the name that Edward was assigned. It meant that the supervisor and the management would give him trouble in turn. They would either do this by delaying his pay or some other bureaucratic head-fuck. Edward winced inside his mind. He should learn just to shut up like the rest of them. “We transfer dirt. We transfer dirt from one area to another…” The supervisor went on explaining correct digging techniques to avoid back injuries and other physical injuries. These processes and methods were, of course, impractical nonsense. The methods given to avoid these injuries did not come naturally to body movements. One could imitate these actions once. But to do them over the course of an eight hour shift was impractical. They kept on changing these techniques as well. Updating them every couple of years. It seemed when people practiced these techniques they still became injured through the body naturally wearing itself down with labour and age. The whole speech that the supervisor was giving was just to cover the company’s arse from lawsuits. “… So as you can see, this is not a simple task of just digging as you said troublemaker.”
Edward nodded and agreed, “Yes, I see now. I stand corrected.”
“Very good idiot.” That was good, Edward’s name had changed in the supervisor’s speech. It was better to be an idiot than a troublemaker, at least they didn’t fuck you around with your pay. And employees called troublemaker or the like usually didn’t last long.
Edward waited for the supervisor to hand out the shovels so they could start digging. Instead of shovels, the supervisor handed out teaspoons, “These are the tools that we will be using to dig today. Now you can all begin.”
Edward was handed a spoon by the supervisor. He looked at the supervisor and then the spoon. The spoon and then the supervisor. He knew better than to speak up. The boss is the boss and in this world no matter how illogical the boss’s instructions are, you must follow the boss. Otherwise, you might not have a job anymore. Edward got on his knees, as did the others, and they all started to dig the hole with their teaspoons.