“Ms. Queen Bee is in. Look out,” said Barbara. “I clocked in late but I had been here and she docked me for a whole hour.”
“Terrible,” said Ann. “She’s done that to me too. There is no recourse with the Queen of the Amazons.”
“We’re all going to hang out in the amazons if this keeps up,” said Barbara.
The aka “Queen Bee,” Martha overheard part of the conversation and stepped out of her office. “Barbara, come into my office.”
“Yes, Ms. Martha,” said Barbara.
“What is this here?” asked Martha. “You don’t like the style of my management?”
“What do you mean?” asked Barbara.
“You know,” said Martha. “Queen Bee of the amazons?”
“Oh, not you,” said Barbara.
“Are you sure?” said Martha. “You didn’t say that?”
But Barbara couldn’t tell a lie. “I don’t think it’s fair we get docked just because we forgot to clock in the computer when we arrive at work. I was here and on time!”
“You don’t do you?” said Martha. “Well, I’m the boss here. And if you don’t like it, there’s the door.”
“Well,” said Barbara. “I’m not the only one that thinks it’s not fair. Don’t just blame me.”
“Oh, believe me, I won’t,” said Martha. “I’m completely fair.”
Barbara frowned and looked perplexed. She said, “How’s that being fair?”
“I’m fair and square,” said Martha aka Queen Bee. “I’ll just fire all of you and fill this company up with temporaries.”
A look of stark terror came over Barbara’s face. She grew pale and stoic.
The telephone rang and Martha answered it. “You’ll have to go now. I’ll talk to you later,” Martha said to Barbara.
Barbara left Martha’s office and walked back to her cubicle feeling dejected. She sat in front of her computer but found it hard to work with the recent spate of bull floating through her head. She thought, I’ll tell you this. That’s sure one way of cutting the budget. With temporaries you don’t have to pay real wages and benefits. Yeah, sure. There are a lot of slackers in this company who show up when they want to and don’t work when they’re here. But she, Martha shouldn’t be taking this out on me because I work and I don’t take time off. Our boss, Martha is the biggest slave driver could be why some people just give up and become slackers.
aka Queen Bee finished her phone call and walked out of her office and quietly pussy footed around each employees cubicle one by one as to sneak up behind them. “Why aren’t you answering the phone?” she asked Suzy.
“But miss Martha,” replied Suzy. “The phone rings off the hook. I’m doing the best I can.”
“I’ve been watching the stats,” said Martha. “Is that the best you can do? We can’t have any dropped calls? Not one. Do you hear?”
“Yes, mam” replied Suzy. “No dropped calls.”
Then Martha came upon the next victim. “Why isn’t that report finished yet?
“Ms. Martha,” said Sally. “There are three thousand accounts and you gave it to me just two hours ago.”
“I want that report finished by the end of the week,” said Martha. “Or else.”
“Yes, Ms. Martha,” said Sally. She felt like she could hide under her desk.
Martha went out to her next victim sneaking around the corner quietly to the next cubicle. “Why aren’t those documents finished?”
“I have one hundred documents to verify,” said Rebecca meekly.
“I want those documents finished by the end of the day,” said Martha.
“Yes, mam,” said Rebecca. “I’ll try.”
Ms. Queen Bee continued to buzz around to each of her slaves cubicles giving each one orders about how they should perform until she got to one employee in particular. Guess who but her best friend and favorite who did nothing but socialize all day every day. “Keep up the good work,” said Martha. Then the Queen Bee made her rounds to Barbara’s cubicle.
“I finished typing your packet of forms,” said Barbara. Amazingly Martha/Queen Bee did a flip flop.
“That was fast,” said Martha. “You are the fastest and the most accurate one in here.” There was no love or favoritism between the two of them but Barbara did have fast fingers.
“Thank you,” said Barbara feeling relieved that maybe Martha was just venting when she wanted to fire everyone and replace them with temporaries. Maybe, she really wasn’t talking about her. Boss Martha’s own job was on the line if her own boss didn’t feel like she was getting the output from her employees under her immediate supervision.
Something must have been biting Martha the time I was in her office this morning, thought Barbara. Maybe, I should learn to overlook her sudden outbursts. I’m doing my job. I don’t know if she isn’t. It could be this company is just a magnet for all of the slackers out there in the world. They really are like flies stuck on glue paper with no where else to go. This company takes in everything that walks on two legs,. They keep some of the worst incompetent people, deadbeats for years to come employed in the company as if they were their own flesh and blood. That may be good for job security but something has to give.
Then something started to give. An email was sent to all employees. Barbara opened the email from the Division Chief. It says that some of our jobs are going to be outsourced, she read. Barbara then felt a breeze come through the office. What was that that just whooshed by, she thought?
It was the Division Chief who passed by her cubicle about to give a speech to all the employees. “I’ve heard concerns about the email I sent. But I promise you that your jobs are secure even though there is going to be some outsourcing of some projects and functions from within the company.”
The next month four people were gone out the door. Was it from unintended consequences? Or, was it planned?
Several employees confronted Martha. They all said, “They said no one was going to lose their jobs due to the outsourcing.”
Barbara thought, ha, ha. My sweet revenge. I lied. But then said, “Those people are just not with us anymore. Have no worries. I want to tell you that you all are doing a great job.”
Yeah, I guess we are as long as we feel the lash of her whip forced to do ten times more than what can be reasonably accomplished within forty hours a week, thought Barbara.
One year later everyone was let go. It wasn’t because there was no job. Well, there was. They were either outsourced or filled up with temporaries. The company decided to clean house. They were on a budget. Actually, the company did this recycling of employees every so often. They said they needed some fresh blood.