Thursday, December 4, 2008

Hit and Run -- a short story

In a nondescript office a mid-level Federal Government bureaucrat scoffs at the US automakers while sitting in a cubicle sipping coffee and being productive at non productivity. He drives a Prius and is very proud of his life and of saving oil. The Prius was very expensive. He is green. His wife is green. His children will be green one day. He deeply believes that GM, Ford and Chrysler are backwards, inefficient and lazy. The UAW is lazy too and he holds them all in deep contempt. He has a Masters Degree. He holds himself in high regard. “They must pay, and pay dearly, for their ineptitude,” he whispers. He smiles.

In another office, somewhere nearby, a chubby man in his late thirties with a toothy smile and thin lips is preparing a document – a spreadsheet. He has an MBA from Harvard. He is trained at trimming fat. General Motors paid for his education, and that education cost plenty. General Motors had to trim fat, even within the ranks of thosse who are masters at trimming fat. So this man with the thin lips was released from the payroll and went without pay for many months until he found a Federal employment opportunity with the GAO. He had to move his family to DC and take a pay cut, but that was okay because he and his family are safe and fed and happy. He works very hard at his job, and is content at trimming fat. He is talented that way. He drives an SUV because it is safe and inexpensive. It was made by the UAW and General Motors.

Both men are Federal Bureaucrats now. The first has had a long career as one, and the second for only a few months. Bureaucrat Number One has been identified by bureaucrat Number Two as fat. Bureaucrat Number One’s position was eliminated by Number Two’s calculated research. Number One had to relocate to a very cold land known as Michigan to sit in another cubicle making less money, but he still gets to sip coffee while accruing years for retirement. Number One frowns. Number Two smiles wide with his thin lips.

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