The man from Corporate wears an expression
like a constipated bullfrog and announces
that he has an announcement. He requires
everybody’s attention. We lock our computers
and wait till the poor sod on the twelve-minute call
with a complainant gets through
with being verbally abused, after which
the phones are ignored and anyone knocking
on the door of our department is redirected
in the general direction of where the sun
never shines. He has our undivided attention
and he uses it to talk about infrastructure
and integration and the Corporate Operating System
whereby every site functions
on the same model and such factors
as geography, demographics and socio-economic
realities don’t figure since people half our age
on four times our salary who don’t remember
the Thatcher years are apparently
better qualified to know what’s best for us.
What’s best for us is set out in an infographic:
the top half is in three different colours
and interlinked by more crisscrossing lines
than a map of the London Undergound
impressionistically rendered by a caffeine fiend
with a sideline in self-electrocution. This half
sets out the corporate structure
in the new world order. The new world order
starts early next year. The bottom half
is all in grey and there aren’t many lines
because there doesn’t need to be many lines.
The bottom half sets out our jobs
and who we report into and how shit it’s going to be.
The bottom half is a small congregation
of boxes with job titles written in them.
There are fewer boxes than there are team members.
The Germans probably have a word for it:
when you find out about your redundancy
via the absent box on an infographic.
Neil Fulwood was born in Nottingham. His pamphlet ‘Numbers Stations’ is published by Black Light Engine Room Press; and his debut collection, ‘No Avoiding It’, by Shoestring Press.