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Executive Floor Executive

Posted in Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 21, 2012 by javedbabar

Bobby couldn’t believe it. He had applied for a job at the Lucerne Valley Hotel and got it, and not only that, it was a job on the Executive Floor. Was it a mistake? Had two people with the same name applied, and they’d mixed up their applications?

A resident of the halfway house getting a good job was not a regular occurrence. At any given time, no more than six of the thirty-six people living there were working, mostly in short-term menial jobs. As far as he knew, no one from the house had ever worked at the Lucerne Valley Hotel. It was run by the fearsome Mr Kazantazkis who was said to be a fascist, believing in survival of the fittest.

Bobby’s letter confirmed his position as Executive Floor Executive. He would earn twenty-five thousand dollars plus tips, which he’d heard could exceed the basic salary, so this was a fifty grand job! He’d earned this kind of money before, but that was a long time ago when he was a different person in a different world, before the curse of drugs, but he was clean now. Why shouldn’t he make a fresh start?

Bobby wasn’t sure whether to tell his housemates. He didn’t want to seem like a show-off, but he couldn’t help mentioning it.

“What?” said Shama. “When was that job available? I didn’t see it advertised.”

“It wasn’t advertised,” said Bobby. “I sent them a letter mentioning my background, and the troubles I’d had, and how I had overcome them. I told them I would love to work again at a meaningful job, something I could take pride in, that would help to develop good daily habits.”

“What’s the job exactly? Executive Floor Executive. Is it a fancy word for cleaner? Will we see you leave the house wearing a frilly apron, carrying a feather duster, and bending over for businessmen to tickle your…”

“Don’t be stupid!” said a girl entering the kitchen. No one knew what her name was. “He’s got a good job. We should celebrate. Hang on.” She went to her room and returned with a bottle of cheap vodka. She poured them each a measure.

They downed them in sequence, the girl saying “Executive,” Shama saying “Floor,” and Bobby saying “Executive!” They laughed together and did it again, this time with the girl saying, “Floor”, and then finally, Bobby. Spirits were high at the halfway house.

Bobby’s first week went well. There was some cleaning involved, but the job mainly involved concierge and security duties. He got great tips, and the pile of cash under his mattress grew rapidly. He was so busy at work that he wouldn’t have had time to go to the bank, even if he’d had a bank account. The pile became huge.

One night he awoke, inspired. He counted out his cash: there was $7,200. He divided the money into thirty-six lots and walked around the house, putting $200 beneath everyone’s mattress. People were sick or drunk, and none awoke. It was enough for a month’s basic groceries.

He could use this money to get out of here himself, or he could use it to make everyone’s lives a little better. He had an additional role here: Forgotten Floor Executive.


Posted in Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , on May 30, 2012 by javedbabar

Things were looking up for Danny. He had recovered from his depression, met a woman, had a small lottery win, and felt ready to find a new job. He didn’t want to go back to pumping gas, so asked around. He heard that Lucerne Village was looking for more staff so made an appointment with the Village Recruitment Officer (VRO). Danny tried to find out what jobs were available, but the receptionist wouldn’t say. She said discuss that with the VRO.

The VRO was a tough, red-haired man who Danny imagined had once been a police officer or soldier. “Sit down!” he said in the way he may have said in his previous jobs, “Put your hands up!” or “Put it down!”

Over a cup of coffee, he scanned Danny’s resume. “So, you’ve never really settled down, have you! What’s with all the moving around? It says here that you are an ‘enthusiastic individual’ who has a university degree and has worked in fancy companies in the City. How did you end up pumping gas here?”

Danny was a cool headed person; not easy to rile. He said, “Life doesn’t always work out the way you imagine. I’ve had some tough times.”

“You’ve had tough times?” said the VRO. “I don’t think you even know the meaning. Have you been on the battlefields of Afghanistan? Or on the mean streets of Detroit? That’s where I did my service. I’ve earned this padded chair here.”

Danny thought it best not to respond. He awaited further orders.

“Okay, the Village is a progressive employer and welcomes all kinds of people, regardless of their drawbacks.” He began with questions of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, mental illness, and physical disability. “Okay, good,” he said. “Now we have your basic details. I am required to complete this grid of personal metrics. It will reveal what jobs you are suited for. Answer all of the following questions, based on dualistic paradigms, which we will integrate holistically. They may seem strange, but answer them as best you can.”

“What is your essential nature?” Danny told him it was peaceful.

“What is your culture?” Danny said it was North American, Judeo-Christian, white Anglo-Saxon Protestant, free-market capitalist, representative democracy.

“What is your hardware?” Danny said it was a skeleton, vital organs functioning synchronously, and a central nervous system, and blood and skin.

“What is your software?” Danny said it was a sense of personal selfhood, which was part of a communal self, whose edges were permeable, and touched upon other beings.

“What are your skills?” Danny mentioned interpersonal skills, commercial skills, and common sense.

“What are your feelings?” Danny mentioned an appreciation of beauty, and compassion, and truth.

“What is the influence of your genes?” Danny said it had made him tall, white, blonde, fairly handsome, and predisposed towards diabetes and dementia.

“What is the influence of your environment?” Danny spoke of his early years in foster homes, where he had been beaten and abused. That was why he never settled. He didn’t feel safe or comfortable anywhere. He moved around.

“Ok, that’s it,” said the VRO. Please wait outside while I analyze the results. Ten minutes later he called him back in. “Welcome to Village Hall,” he said. “We have a very special job for you. Do you believe in Karma? Good. Well there are people in the Village who are not conducive to its welfare. The kind of people who beat and abused you. Wouldn’t you like to create a better environment for kids here? With the job comes an unregistered gun.”