Ezra Titus regales us with his homely tale of career genocide.
Kick back and enjoy as he describes the fine art of ruining lives...
My favorite job was being head of terminations at Premier Mortgage Funding. I could tell you my qualifications, or the truth. How about the truth?
I have a resume that's not entirely accurate, but it is backed up by all those loyal enough to lie for me, and essentially, it says I'm qualified to do anything.
That was the resume I tossed at the owner of the company, Jerry Cugno, a fat little guy who I'd have mocked in a bar. After looking at it he said, "Well, I can't offer you $150,000 a year Ezra. I think you're overqualified."
My first day on the job.
I said, "Well yeah. I was overqualified to work at Quik-Lube too, but call them" (my best friends from high school). "I never walked, no matter how much transmission fluid burned my face. I'm a machine Jerry. I get the job done, and I'm willing to work for half that, as long as there's an opportunity for advancement."
Everyone who knows me laughs about that to this day. My tax returns list my occupation as "guitarist."
Jerry personally walked me into an office where he said to Janet, the office manager, "I want this guy. Is there anything for him to do?" Janet said "No." By then, Jerry didn't want to lose me, so he said, "Just give him an office near mine. We'll figure something out."
For about three weeks, I sat in a plush office writing porn on a computer, and emailing it to the porn website I wrote for, "TampaDiscountHos.edu". (They paid me in free merchandise and services.) Finally, Heather Hicks, third in command of the main office came in and said "Jerry's daughter Nicole wants to meet you." I started to spit out my gum and put down my soda but Heather said, "Relax. Bring your gum and your soda. You're getting Nicole's job."
Nicole, Jerry's daughter was pretty, but she looked haunted. She was blonde and fit, but she had those sort of overly dilated meth-addicted eyes. She looked like a victim of battle fatigue in WWII, or even maybe like a newly arrived concentration camp resident.
"Thank God," she said. "Ezra, can you take the terminator job from me so I can just do hospitality. I'll have my dad double your salary."
"What's the terminator job?" I asked.
"You fire people."
"No problem. I'll kill them if you want."
Nicole laughed, even though I was serious. She showed me a simple procedure in the corporate database, and asked if I could handle it. If I couldn't have, I'd also be unable to determine whether or not I was a piece of cheese, but Nicole was amazed, grateful as a rescued baby seal, and so she said, eternally indebted to me. The job had driven her to near madness.
The thing about me is that I really do get the job done. By the end of the first day, I'd fired twelve people in person, sixteen by phone, and 52 by FedEx. That was just a form letter I signed. In fact, there were four. They were titled, "b nice", "b normal", "b harsher" and "d ceased".
"b nice" was for people who quit. It basically thanked them for leaving voluntarily (because everyone there knew we were going to fire 75% of the employees) and politely asked them to return their license to operate under our name. We wished them well.
"b normal" was a vicious letter demanding the immediate closure of corporate bank accounts Premier funded, reimbursement of any improperly debited assets, an immediate surrender of all licensure, and then a list of lawsuits Premier would initiate against the offending party if all of our demands weren't met within five business days.
"b harsher" was the letter we sent if someone didn't shut down and surrender their license within five days. It suggested the addressed party commit suicide within three business days, or they'd wish they had.
"d ceased" was the letter we sent to the surviving relative or representative of an employee who died. It expressed our condolences, then demanded the submission of licensure, funding and property if any within five business days. This demand was of course followed by the list of aggressive lawsuits we would initiate should they fail to follow my command. (It was "b normal" with a little "sorry" note at the top.)
People cried in person and on the phone. I always said, "Think of it as an opportunity to pursue bigger and better things." If that didn't work, I said, "Cough up your license and get out. You're holding up the program here." It never went further than that. I purposely wore all black. I looked like the corporate antichrist, and I've read books about how to bring conversations to an end.
I got really into it. I got to work early and stayed late. My personal goal was to fire more people each day than I had the day before that. Before long, everyone in the office started calling me "The Terminator". People came to me and said, "Please never send me a letter." I generally feigned laughter, then abruptly stopped and said, "Please never misuse your bank account or falsify the information regarding your transactions or your office."
After eight weeks I was given two comely wenches to assist me in running my own department; Terminations. I whipped those girls until they worked like Japanese robots. The project accelerated, and I was suddenly in on the morning meetings with the owner, Jerry, and the President of the company, Bill. I came up with more efficient ways of completing terminations quickly. I even designed a wicked little spreadsheet that got blasted out to every computer in the corporate office, stating who had been fired that day, their pertinent information, and a strictly worded order that the accounting department close their bank accounts before they were notified as per their termination.
One day I was walking with a stack of envelopes to the outgoing mail area with Nicole, Jerry's daughter. She said, "You are just fucking awesome. My dad loves you, and you saved my life." I said, "No problem." She asked, "You're firing Branch Managers now. You know, every letter you send out, you're firing 20 to 50 people?" I was thrilled. I said, "Cool! That makes our efficiency much higher. Let's give my slaves a raise." That afternoon, she invited me to go sailing with her and her father. It was fun.
"Work for today."
"OK, well just let me finish this last stack and I'll be right out."
By then, I was a celebrity at Premier. Everyone wanted to win my favor. "All right! The Terminator!" they'd say as I swept past them like Dracula, my black tie a symbol of death. I got psyched for work every day listening to Megadeth in my car. I always listened to "Time: The End" right before I walked inside.
There was time for long smoke breaks with my wench-servants, lunches at Chick Fil-A, and 90 mile per hour car rides across the Howard Franklin Bridge into Clearwater. We were on top of the world, and overjoyed by the fact that we were climbing economically by stepping on the backs of working men, but nothing lasts forever.
What happened was that after about four more months, we'd fired pretty much everyone that needed to be fired. (It had been a huge company before I got there.) By then, maybe only one termination a day came through, and they were all wild. The reasons for termination became only the most egregious. Where formerly we were killing anyone who paid his or her babysitter out of a corporate account, at the end it was always like, "Check it out. This guy kidnapped a child." – Stuff like that.
So the wheel had turned. The last few weeks on the job were like the first few weeks, sitting around watching videos on the internet, or sending emails to each other when we were five feet away. It was just boring as hell. So, one day I did something creative. I self-terminated. I even sent myself "b nice". It's like a little pelt on my wall. And soon, I know some guilt-ridden boss's daughter somewhere will need my callous indifference again.
It's not a skill, just a trait, but it's marketable...
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