The Art of Inconvenience: From the Continuing Adventures of Mayor ShinnickeSubmitted by electrictoothsyndrome at 2014-01-09 21:17:53 EST
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An inconvenience display...that's what it was called!
Mayor Shinnicke had spent the last five minutes trying to think of that term. He'd read it in a book about human behavior once. By a British fellow, he thought, but he couldnt remember the names of the author or the book. He was lucky to recall the elusive term at all. He'd been getting irregular sleep since, well, since taking office really, but especially since finding out his city's books were unbalanced. And not just a little unbalanced, but off by millions and for over 18 months. This was bad and he was nervous.
He needed this meeting to go off without a hitch. He had actually shined his shoes this morning, rubbing the expensive Italian things so hard they glistened. He had even skipped his morning shower masturbation session, having heard this starvation of the sexual urge sharpened the mind.
Now he was practicing his salutation ritual in his imagination, getting out of his swivel chair, acting surprised, expressing a hearty distance greeting and an 'inconvenience display'. That was the idea in getting out of his chair and meeting these men (and lady) at the office door rather than just remaining seated and shaking hands across the desk once they'd joined him. This technique is supposed to convey friendliness and a willingness to 'put oneself out', hence the 'inconvenience' part.
That Brit was right about the 'display' part too because, really, this was window dressing. This was last thing he wanted to be doing today, the last people he wanted to be seeing. This was one giant, ape-sized pain in his ass.
That sonofabitch former Mayor had really screwed him good. Not only had his predecessor gone and gotten himself a cushy job with a former crony law firm, but he had left all this accounting mess to be cleaned up, blaming it on a software switch. What a crock. Everyone knew the software had little to do with it, that money had been moved around into so many different accounts no one knew what was what anymore. Throw in this multi-million dollar accounting software 'upgrade' in the waning hours of your Administration, several simultaneous sweetheart projects, all with different sets of accounts, and voila! A perfect smokescreen. At this point, it would really be easier to just declare the money never existed at all. Why couldn't things just be that easy?
The stress was causing his stomach to tie itself in knots. A quick fondle in the desk and a couple Tums might help. Mmm, cherry flavor. Better already.
Antacid was one of the only things that seemed to do its job - nothing more, nothing less, never complaining, never asking for a departmental raise. It just cured stomach problems. If Tums were a man he'd be appointed to head up a special task force of some kind. Hell, he might even actually heed the findings of that task force. Tums would be a good ol' boy. One of us. A real kicker of asses, a taker of names, a roll up the sleeves and get shit done kind of fella.
A buzz on the intercom. It was Shelley, his receptionist. Shelley's actual title was 'office manager', but it was the exact same job that 10 years ago was called 'receptionist', and 30 years ago was called 'secretary'. He called her his office manager, but thought of her as his receptionist. 'Receptionist' was a fair compromise, he reckoned. But compromise wasn't a luxury he could afford when it came to stuff like feminism, so he just thought it best to give feminists a wide berth, not to even touch them with a 100 foot pole. No pun intended.
'The folks from the State Board of Accounts are here to see you.'
'Ok. Send them in.'
The acid returned to his stomach, that churning, helpless feeling, like the one you got when your dad sent you to bend over a piece of vintage furniture and wait while he dug a paddle or belt out of his closet. Tums was fired.
Again he practiced his inconvenience maneuver in his head, being careful not to spring too early or too late. Who knew that being inconvenienced was such an art? The door opened. In trolloped Shelley with two men in tow and one lady. The Mayor had a pile of papers on his desk and was pretending to sign them as if they were important city documents. They were really destined for the shredder.
He looked up feigning surprise by mistake. He momentarily forgot they would have known he was aware they were there. No matter. He dove confidently into his inconvenienced posture, getting up, striding across the carpet.
'Well, hellooooo.' He always sung that phrase. Thought it made him sound homely and approachable. He shook hands with all three being sure to bow slightly in a gesture of both mild subservience and willingness at help. That Brit had been full of useful tips. That one was supposed to help with cops when trying to get out of a ticket. He could take care of the cop thing now himself, a perk of the job, but maybe it would work for getting out of accounting clusterfucks?
'I see you've already met Shelley, my office manager.' The three accountants nodded and exchanged pleasantries and compliments again with Shelley before settling into chairs.
These guys seemed harmless. Their clothes were crumpled and off the rack. Their hair was generally a mess, they smelled vaguely of Chinese food, and they just looked like they'd spent all night driving down from the Capital in a Ford Fiesta and sleeping in an Econolodge. Only the lady was passable as a professional looking person, but only just. She certainly wasn't attractive, which was the first thing he always noticed about a woman. At least Shelley was attractive.
'So what we really need to see are...' The Mayor's attention wandered. The rest was a bunch of accounting gobbledygook. He didn't work on the accounting side of things even when he worked at the bank. He was the guy who decided which model toaster you got free when you opened a new checking account. These people might as well have been speaking in Swahili.
'Just a sec.' The Mayor pressed the intercom. 'Hey Shelley, is Rusty in his office? Can you send him in here please?'
The Mayor nodded for the man in the crumpled suit to continue. More gobbledygook. Then a mousy knock at the door. In stepped a man in an even more crumpled suit, looking like warmed over hell, like refried beans out of a microwave.
'Hey Russ... Guys, this is Rusty, the City Controller. He will be happy to answer all your questions. Now if you will kindly excuse me, I have meetings all afternoon.' He ushered the Swahili speakers out of the office. They, and their gobbledygook with them, disappeared down the hall.
He pressed the intercom. 'Shelley, please cancel all my appointments today. I'm gonna be tied up with this accounting business.' He popped a couple Tums, locked his office door, and masturbated on and off until 3:00.
That was a tough day.