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At the GruntWerx Board of Directors Meeting


As you know, GruntWerx is the premier human relations solution provider to the world. Our products and services help the globe’s most influential companies maintain, improve and oversee their workforces.

As CEO, my personal mission has been to bring ridiculous value to the shareholders. And I have.

Before I reveal our latest plans, let’s step back, and see how I’ve accomplished this wonderful increase in the worth of our shares.

Over the past decade, we’ve seen a general decline in the privacy protections of the average consumer and worker: This has been helpful to our corporate mission. Concurrently, GruntWerx scientists and developers have created new technologies that have earned GruntWerxgeometric share value growth since we went public three years ago.

Share value doubled when we unveiled our patented SocialWerx software. For those of you too busy to read the executive summary, let me explain. SocialWerx enables our corporate clients to crawl through every bit of personal data on the Internet and social networks, regardless of TOS contracts, to identify hiring risks, and problem employees.

Share value doubled again when we implemented our FaceWerx technology – a patented system that combines facial recognition software with the SocialWerx engine, enabling corporations to use imaging from any photographs or video posted online to identify hiring risks, difficult employees, and importantly, worker behaviors that are deemed problematic. We have the computing power to spider the Net in almost real time.

The best thing about FaceWerx? It does not rely on the vagaries of social media and virality. FaceWerx catches all behaviours deemed undesirable by our corporate clients.

It’s not up to us to decide what behaviours our corporate clients target. It’s up to them. It’s theirright to decide. If they want to fire someone for behaving like a sexist idiot, they can. Same goes if they don’t like someone’s politics, or religion, or the weird flash fictions they write online. We just provide the tools.

Last year, we introduced the OptionWerx system, which allows wealthy individuals the opportunity to be omitted from our searches. We have set this premium so high that only the wealthiest of executives can afford to pay, and so, our overall products are unaffected. (And I hope you enjoy your complimentary membership in OptionWerx, you scamps.)

But onto the future of GruntWerx. Our R&D has yielded results again.

It is my great pleasure to introduce to you, for the first time, our new ThoughtWerx line of products. Yes, now we can read the thoughts and intentions of consumers and workers everywhere. Can you imagine how much our clients will be willing to pay for that? And the share value?

Investors are going to lose their minds.

The End

Note: This was a commissioned flash fiction. I was asked to write something about the cases of the two sexist boneheads who recently got fired and disciplined in Ontario. One was fired for yelling really offensive things at a female reporter, and the other disciplined for being equally douchy to a comedian at an industry awards banquet. I had no desire to write a commentary about this, but Jason Winders, the editor of the Western News, was open to a fiction piece.

You can find the original At the GruntWerx Board of Directors Meeting here.

Alltop enjoys a good grunt.

The Gruntwerx Paradigm

disgruntled worker at gruntwerx< Gunter was employed by the spectacularly successful IT consulting company, Gruntwerx. Why was Gruntwerx the acme of the German IT world? Because they didn't whine. They didn't complain about anything. Complaining caused negative energy, wasted time, and brought everyone down, the CEO of Gruntwerx, Helga von Werthog, said. "Two moans and you're out," she said. And she meant it. It was in all their employment contracts. Half of their analysts had been fired for whining on the job. It was hard to argue with their success. Even with the downturn in the economy, revenue and profits were way up. But the strain was starting to show. "Good morning, Gunter," his manager Berhard Dink said as Gunter walked into the office, a bit late. "You're tardy." "Are you complaining about it?" Gunter asked. "No, just noting the fact." "Ah. My apologies. My train was delayed." "And..." "And that's okay!" Gunter enthused. He smiled as broadly as he could. Of course, he wanted to say, scream: "and it sucks. I get in trouble because the bloody train is late." But he did not. He was a happy, productive worker. He had a job. He also had an ulcer, and a throbbing vein in his temple that was worrying. His co-workers dealt with the stress in other ways. Werner had taken up karate and self-flagellation. Hedrick was on a cocktail of mood-altering drugs that kept him happy, sedate, and incapable of enjoying marital relations with his leggy wife, Lisle. Gunter had been looking for employment elsewhere, someplace where he could speak his mind on occasion. But it was a shrinking market, not to mention that more and more companies, particularly in the IT industry, had taken up the Gruntwerx paradigm. The only thing that was keeping him sane was his hobby, taxidermy, and the self-help group that had formed from the most disgruntled Gruntwerx employees -- they meant once a week for what they called sessions of "über-bitch". He would survive it. He'd survived countless other management fads: TQM, quality circles, excellence, matrix management, and on, and on. He would survive the Gruntwerx paradigm too. He sat down at his desk and began the work day, content with the knowledge that he would rise above von Werthog and her corporate censorship.

There was a hubbub in the common area, where a TV was usually on showing the news. His co-workers looked worried, as they watched. It was their Chancellor, announcing a new sweeping law based on the Gruntwerx paradigm.

“If Germany is going to weather this global economic crisis, we must change the way we think. We must be positive. From this day forward, the German people are not allowed to complain, whine, whinge or moan about things, under penalty of law,” he said.

“Isn’t it wonderful?” Bernhard Dink asked the assembled Gruntwerx employees.

“Oh . . . uh, yes, yes,” they all muttered, but not Gunter.

He was already back in his office, calling an old army buddy, who dealt in illegal arms.

You know who else is really thrilled? Alltop . Thanks to Jan Tik for the photo. Originally published, December, 2008.