The job based on a true.., p.1
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       The Job: Based on a True Story (I Mean, This is Bound to have Happened Somewhere), p.1
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           Craig Davis
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The Job: Based on a True Story (I Mean, This is Bound to have Happened Somewhere)
The Job: Based on a True Story

  (I mean, this is bound to have happened somewhere)

  By Craig Davis

  23 Castlerock Cv. Jackson TN 38305

  This volume is available in print at

  Copyright © 2009 Harry Craig Davis

  ISBN: 978-0-9829567-3-1

  Davis, Craig, The Job: Based on a True Story

  (I Mean, This Is Bound To Have Happened Somewhere)

  The Job: Based on a True Story

  (I mean, this is bound to have happened somewhere)

  By Craig Davis


  A fly buzzed around his head, a fly the size of a Piper Cub, if the droning’s great volume offered any clue. Great, grating buzz. No, wait – it was just the alarm.

  Joe B. propped his glazed eyes open, staring down the early-morning darkness, the fly – alarm – still nagging. Surely the ceiling hovered above his bed somewhere. A sublime body next to him, presumably his wife, sighed and shifted. The down of his pillow and comforter seduced him with soft warmth, particularly intoxicating this cold morning, or so it seemed to him.

  I sat up in my bed,

  And shook my scruffy head,

  And said,

  I don’t want to get up in the morning!

  The old rhyme from his children’s infancy teased Joe B.’s ears. Cherished memories of giggly snuggling tempted him like a Siren back toward sleep. Fortunately, the siren that was his clock prevailed; somehow he found himself in the shower, slowly waking to another day.

  Despite the mental haze of the early hour, Joe B. felt a glow of security grow within his body. The drudgery of daily duties translated in his mind to a sense of purpose and accomplishment, his identity cozily nested in his junior-executive career. The safety of a roof over his head, the affirmation of a helpmate by his side – these products of well-ordered goals and effort persuaded him that all was well in the world, and that he marched in step with prosperity. Everything he could see or foresee at work and play told him he enjoyed the benevolent favor of his Big Boss. Life was good.

  “ ‘I’m singin’ in the rain,’ ” he gurgled in the shower water. “ ‘Just singin’, and dancin’ ’ – that’s beautiful.” His thoughts turned lithely to fever charts and diagrams, bars and lines, the tools of his toil at Universal Whirligig. As Vice President for the Development of International Integration of Core Technological Orientation (Emerging Nations Division), he served the company as just one in a swarm of junior officers. Together these men and women scurried about at their appointed tasks in a cloud of indiscernible suits and faces, at the behest and under the distant gaze of the Big Boss.

  Twenty-one years – from white-collar pencil pusher to vice president – Joe B. had invested at Universal Whirligig. Though he had never blatantly sought promotion, success in the office had consistently found him; instead of climbing on people’s heads, he had tried to bring as many co-workers along with him as possible. But, on the other hand, he was not above stealing second at the company picnic softball game, either. Often he opened his office door to colleagues in need of professional or personal advice; no amount of affluence had undermined the firmly fixed principles that had gotten him there.

  Joe B.’s attention wandered dangerously away from his razor and into visions of his beloved files, faux-wood cabinets lined up along each wall of his office like a second clutch of dutiful children. Lovingly he tended the files, slipping them delicately out for referral, then gently back in for safe keeping. As the most clever technology whiz among Universal Whirligig’s tie-wearing crowd, his reputation had ridden upon the shoulders of his masterful transfer of the firm’s records from paper to electronic storage. Gently, firmly, he had coaxed the entire company into the eager hands of the 21st Century. But history dies hard, and now Joe B., instead of making computer backups of paper records, studiously oversaw the requisition of paper backups for computer records, in the most modern way. Constantly cross-checking, he made sure papers matched computers matched papers. This fine work had landed Joe B. in a sleek office with a sleek secretary.

  “ ‘Can’t buy me blub ble, blubble blubble blub,’ ” he sang through his churning toothbrush. The bright blue eyes staring back at him from the mirror said one thing: Watch out world.

  A careful application of pomade and comb, and Joe B. emerged confidently from the steamy mists of the bathroom. Rows of stiffly pressed and folded shirts, white as snow, smiled from his dresser drawer, teeth held neatly in place by a brace of pre-selected ties. He hopped around the room pulling on his crisp pants, and knotted his very carefully conservative (but calculatedly fashionable) neckwear to point directly to his belt buckle. Dark socks, strictly businesslike, embraced his feet, shod by oxfords laced securely, no string complete without plastic end intact. Cufflinks, tie tack, collar pin: Let no detail be cast aside as too small.

  Upon Joe B.’s dresser awaited an array of wonderful gizmos to gird his loins for joining the capitalist battle. Each item fit into place upon his belt – cell phone, PDA, GPS. A giddy fascination danced in his eyes as he picked up each item, filling him with the joy of novelty. But even with this love of everything new and shiny, Joe B. appreciated what had gone before; his study held a collection of old and rare books, musty volumes filled with priceless treasure. Opening up a dry leather cover to dusty paper pages, scanning them onto his computer and transferring the words to an electronic reading device was a good day spent indeed.

  But this was no time to think of the wonders of wisdom found in ancient writings. One by one, he continued, clipping on his gadgets – iPod, pepper-spray pen, key fob – some only to maintain balance, or simply to reserve their space, for they no longer had any practical purpose; sometimes he wondered if his pager even worked anymore, not that it mattered. On and on it went: the spring-loaded tape measure in millimeters, the flash drive, a couple of things he couldn’t identify, until finally he stood fully equipped, the modern soldier for corporate war.

  He coolly threw his suit coat over his shoulder and crooned, “ ‘If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere, it’s up to U-ni-ver-sal Whir-li –‘ well, whatever.”

  Wingtips flying down the stairs, Joe B. stooped to quick hugs and kisses from dutiful daughters – Faith, Hope and even Marie, as best as she was able – and glided like Fred Astaire into the kitchen. Their seventh house in fifteen years, this Victorian three-story satisfied every requirement and convenience Joe B. and his family desired. From top to bottom, from vaulted ceilings to solid cherry floors and excruciatingly white trim in-between, this home had put an end to a lifetime of moves, the home they would call home, and made their increasing debt worth every drop of nervous sweat. His feet deftly navigated the dual islands of the kitchen, and his arms found his wife, beautiful already even in her floor-length housecoat. The dog, a Jack Russell terrier they called Jack Russell – they had hit a wall trying to think of a name – jumped excitedly between their feet and waistlines.

  Quickly a cup of coffee was poured, and a large dollop of cream splashed into place.

  “Do you like some coffee with your cream?” his wife smiled. The crinkled corners of her eyes spoke of years prospered by love.

  “Sometimes I do. I’m such a coffee wimp,” he replied, theatrically overwrought.

  “Now, don’t be so hard on yourself, you poor dear.”

  Joe B. raised high his mug. “Lord, bless this house today, and all within and without.”

; A full half-dozen of the gizmos upon his belt, along with his wristwatch, bore the correct time, but he cast a quick glance at the clock on the wall anyway. “Gotta run!” he announced and grabbed the bagel with cream cheese his wife offered in his direction. Clumsily sticking an umbrella under one arm and hanging a heavy coat over the other, he took up his briefcase, juggled breakfast and fumbled at the doorknob. The bagel fell cream-cheese-flat to the floor.

  “Well, there’s a good start to the day,” he contemplated the mess.
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