This is Part 1 of the Blog Battle Entry for February 2022 and the prompt is Interface.
The Master Interface – Part 1
At one point or other in our lives I think it’s safe to say that one of us has worked for them. Them, those bosses, the controlling, obnoxious, blood boiling bosses that take everything from you and leave what’s left of you as a burned out empty husk of a human that’s a quivering mess. No sooner have they put down your idea as rubbish – it appears in an email as the next big thing they’ve thought of. Just as you’re about to leave work 3 hours or work arrives to be done before you leave to sit there for three weeks untouched after you’ve completed it.
That was James Button.
A not unclever and shrewd man that had worked many years in business and enjoyed nothing more than finding way to physiologically destroy his employee’s in the name of business. Old or new ways, it didn’t matter, the old ways were good because it meant they still worked and news ways always gave him a little adrenaline rush. One that especially made his employee’s seethe was to make comments about how they could improve their health – like they needed it from an overweight 60 something year old.
The only reason anyone worked at his company (Jim Button Corporation) was becasue of Sam. A forty something woman who had managed to tolerate working with James (she called him Jim and on occasion even Jimbob) for nearly 10 years. This meant she had amassed a huge amount of experience about how the company worked that even James didn’t have becasue ‘that’s why I have employees! He would state. An understanding had developed between the two of them that was the only respect that James could find within himself. This had come about becasue on the occasions in her early years Where James would be horrible to Sam, Sam would find a way to get back that James could do nothing about. large spoonfuls of coffee in his tea for board meetings, contaminating his web browser history with less than ideal content that was on display for all to see in company meetings. Sam had learned to play James at his own game and she played it well. What was her check mate move was Sam had made herself good friends with Jim’s wife and frequently kept her updated.
This however moved quickly one day after James had humiliated and sacked the fifth assistant for same in only a few weeks. The poor girl left the building in flood so tears, never to return.
“How is it so difficult to find good staff?” James ranted.
“I can’t possibly imagine.” Sam sighed. “I mean it’s not like you’re difficult to work with. Is it?” Same replied.
“I mean – how hard can it be? It must be easy to find good assistants!” He snorted. Sam didn’t reply to his insult, instead keeping it by for a future forfeit. This would be a special one though, how dare he insinuate that people with her skills were ten a penny.
James grunted in the corner, that was his usual response when Sam got back at him like this. It was always James’s biggest bug bear – he needed Sam and he knew it. Tapping away on his phone in silence Sam began moving the files form the now long gone assistant’s desk to her own.
“I’ve got it!” James said enthusiastically. “I need a business support interface!” James held up his phone for Sam to see what he was on about. Sam looked over the page and it seemed that this was a computer interface AI business assistant that it was claimed could run a company for you, no more human assistant’s required. Sam smiled at him coldly, she knew what this meant. Despite the fact James was nearly impossible to for for, between her retaliations and his wife she was onto a good thing, paid well over the norm and with a company Aston Martin that she managed to get out of him after somehow mis-laying the corporate documents for a new, big client. It was the strangest thing that they appeared 5 minutes after agreeing to get it.
“This is for me Sam!” James demanded, he sent her the link and strode out of the door to find someone else to humiliate.
After James had gone home the office was empty, Sam scrolled through the pages for this new thing of Jame’s that he was now hankering after and it was on one page that the seed of a plan began to gestate. It was big, really big. Sam thought about it long and hard and wondered if she could pull it off. Could she? Sam asked herself. Should she? Same went through the specs several times, checked and re-checked and then, doing as every good assistant should she did as she was told and placed the order.
As few days later the new interface arrived and James beamed as he tore away at the packaging, motioning to an intern to pick up his mess. As the young man struggled to pick up the mess as soon as it dropped Sam wandered in.
“Here it is Sam! This is the future, finally I can streamline this company and make it work even better. Retirement in riches here I come!” As he clapped his hands and rubbed them with glee, beaming from ear to ear through his greying beard.
“Soon when this is going I will be in complete control!” James ushered out Sam and the intern, and slammed the door shouting a demand for tea and then setting about his new toy busily. James didn’t emerge for hours, it was late evening when he finally came out to go home.
“I won’t be needing you to do that soon.” He sneered at Sam and her pile of folders. “That must be a relief! I know it will be for me!” He marched off, as usual totally unaware of the spite in his words and of the consequences of them. Reaching into her drawer Sam pulled out an envelope and opened it, a data card with AI printed on it fell to her desk, Sam looked at Jame’s office and in a second she realised what she must do, not just for herself. For all who were here now and had ever been here.
To be continued…
Find Part 2 of Master Interface here
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