This month’s slice of Futurismic fiction comes from the widely-published Alex Wilson. Dry Frugal With Death Rays is a dark satire of office politics, corporate bureaucracy, thwarted ambition and revenge gone awry – enjoy!
Dry Frugal With Death Rays
by Alex Wilson
The ergonomic cubicle gel came up to Sal’s chin. Five hours of immersion had left the pads of his fingers wrinkled and slimy. He couldn’t wipe his eyes without making it worse. It was the most important morning of his life, and he was stuck in his cubicle corral with a computer that insisted he wasn’t.
“And you’ve looked, right?” Tech support asked, clearly siding with the computer on this one. “At the latch? You’ve tried turning around and looking to see whether it’s open or closed?”
“Yes,” Sal said. “I’ve looked.” He tried emphasizing the urgency with his arms. In training videos, they iterated how body language carried over into the voice, even though Sal found sloshing around in gel more distracting than helpful on client calls.
Continue reading DRY FRUGAL WITH DEATH RAYS by Alex Wilson
Talk about cognitive dissonance – I thought I was still asleep and dreaming when I heard on the radio this morning that three large corporate employers (including a certain well-known fast-food chain) have been granted the right to act as examination boards by the UK government. This means they can grant their employees qualifications which (theoretically) have value beyond the walls of the company where they were earned, unlike many current vocational qualifications. [Image from stock.xchng]
I expect that, certainly at first, an A-Level in McManagement won’t be worth the paper it’s written on, except with similar employers – but if the scheme sticks, that will probably change. You could probably argue that more people will end up with qualifications if there’s the financial incentive of receiving a working wage while earning them.
But what if this is the thin end of the wedge? What if, in a few decades, kindergartens and primary schools are run (or sponsored) by corporate interests? In a climate of growing deficits, it’s not that unlikely a scenario – and we’ve already been softened up to the idea by supermarket vouchers-for-equipment schemes. But then again, there’s little difference between governments and corporations as it is … once again, Snow Crash seems eerily prescient. Or am I just engaging in knee-jerk cyberpunk paranoia?
[tags]corporate, training, education, qualifications[/tags]