"Gloatson! Have the report to me by day's end."
This is not good, he thinks. Usually we are on first name basis. John and Jack. Today he greets me by surname. Means I'm in trouble. Gloatson nods and backs off in genuflection from his boss. Oh, the ignobility, he thinks. To be hit like this as I enter the office. No wonder my face is turned red like an iron on coals.
Gloatson continues his retreat, snaking his way quietly around the outer walls of the office towards the sanctuary of his cubicle. He hopes no one spots him or his ironed red face. Good. Here it is. Gloatson's Gulch. This is my cave of tranquility. My perch of productivity. The eagle has landed. In here I can lick my wounds and regain my senses.
He slips in through the cubicle's entrance and drops himself like a dejected mass into the embracing center of an imitation leather executive's chair. The burgundy throne serves as the center piece of his efficiently compact cubicle. On the glass of his computer monitor he spots his face reflecting back at himself with its iron red embarrassment fading back toward normalcy. Behind the vision of himself looking at himself, he spots the tufts of cheap foam popping out from between the splitting seams of his chair's backside.
Never mind the illusionary signs of decay, he thinks. All is well. This fine executive chair is plush furniture befitting an "analyst" of my stature. He reaches out and prods the power button on his office computer. Its innards begin whirring to life. Gloatson crosses his arms to comfort himself, stroking each arm pit with the other's hand as he waits impatiently for the machine to boot up and open the tunnel into his virtual alter life. Who is John Gloatson and how did he get to this place? That is the question.
It was not long ago that he bothered not with the question. Life was moving along well enough. Everything made perfect sense. I am an analyst. I am an indispensable part of LG Petroleum. Sure, some make mock of the company's name, calling it Last Gasp Petroleum. That's not who we are. We are Logistic Geometrics Petroleum. We excel at pin pointing and analyzing opportunities that others miss. We find the sweet spots. This is what productivity is all about. And I, as an analyst, am at the center of the enterprise; an indispensable cog in a grander machine.
His calendar pops up on the computer's screen. Today's to-do list. Finish the quarterly production report. Yes of course this is what the entrance counter with Jack was all about. But now the details. What's missing? Ah yes. There it is. We haven't gotten the final numbers in from the Tajikistan operations. I'll have to call and prod them.
The trouble with Tajikistan is that those jokers are on the wrong side of the planet. If he calls now, maybe he'll get the evening shift engineer.
"Yakov, it's Gloatson here, you know, at LGP headquarters.
Chatter comes back from the other end.
"Why no, no financial crisises here at HQ. I just need your final production numbers for end of last month and I need you to make them good numbers."
More chatter at the other end.
"No. I understand you can't create production out of thin air. But you know how it goes. You can borrow some of next month's production and reflect it back into the previous month's numbers. That's sound practice any place you go now adays."
Screaming coming from the other end. Oh yeah, I'd forgotten, Gloatson thinks. We already borrowed last quarter from this one and that's why we're so far behind.
Gloatson hangs up and leans back into his chair. Unconsciously he sucks an upper lip's flap into his mouth and bites on it. Not good. This stinks. Jack wants good numbers. These numbers stink. Who's going to take the fall for this? It's not fair. I'm just an analyst. It's not my fault.
... to be continued (a work in progress ... or possibly in digress)