A Voluntary Crucifixion by David MacKinnon

A Voluntary Crucifixion by David MacKinnon

Author:David MacKinnon
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 9781771832731
Publisher: Guernica Editions
Published: 2019-04-09T16:00:00+00:00


ONE DAY, CARRIÈRE entered my office, wearing her usual tweed skirt, curled hair to her shoulders. Bucolic and sophisticated somebody had written in the firm newsletter. Whatever that meant. A cutting-edge quality control administrator. Nothing wrong with her you could pin down. Nothing right either. She was holding a piece of paper at the corner between her thumb and forefinger.

“What’s this?” she asked. Quiz time.

“I dunno. You tell me.”

“It’s a JPS.”

“Silly me. Of course. It’s a JPS.”

“Job performance sheet.”

She dangled it in the air in front of me.

“Fine, leave it with me.”

“There’s nothing to leave; you’ve already filled it out.”


“I can’t use it.”

“Don’t use it then.”

“If we use it, we’ll have to fire Guylaine.”

Guylaine was my secretary.

“Funny you should mention Guylaine. See her around in the last day or so? Tell her to drop by sometime to say hello.”

“She’s unable. You’re too intimidating.”

“Must be my towering aura of invincibility.”

“You see?”

“Of course. She’s invisible because I can’t see things her way.”

“It’s all the dictation.”

“Too many dictators in the world.”

“I’m glad you understand,” she said, smiling, tearing up the sheet, and then adding: “Here, this is for you. A TSR.”


“Time sheet re-calibrator.”

“That’s a TSRC.”

“The left side of the form is detachable. Along the dotted line. You fill in the right-hand side and give it to me.”

“How can I read the left-hand side if it hasn’t been filled in.”

“You don’t. You fill in the TS. I fill in the TSR. And don’t worry. No-one will know the contents of this. No-one. Your confidential name for your file will be Tarzan. When you want to see your file, just say: ‘Where’s Jane?’ Got it?”

“Got it.”

The next morning, I had a special TSR seminar in Conference Room B led by Gingras, the new HR consultant. Pointing to the flow chart.

“Here’s your new lexicon. With acronyms. Each hour is divided into twelve parts. Units of .05. To help you time allocate, please keep your TC Time Codes taped to lower left side of your desk. Column I is worker’s name. Column II, file name. Column III NBT. Non-billable Time. Column IV HNBT. Home non-billable time. Column V. HBT. Home Billable Time. MAD — Maximum allowable Downtime. Check sheet two. Performance gradient. MAD must not exceed 2.0 in week 1, 1.25 in week 2, enzoforth, enzoforth.”

Coulombe, the Dove, senior tax lawyer, entered the room.

“Remember everyone, as far as I’m concerned, you’re all cheap labour, heh heh.”

Bilodeau chimed in.

“As far as I’m concerned, you’re cheap labour, sir!”

“Not me, you blathering idiot. You.”

“Not me, you blathering idiot.”

Coulombe stared at Bilodeau. Then back at the rest of us.

“Now first question, what are you doing in the shower at home?”

“No shower at home, sir!”

“What do you think about, Bilodeau?”

“I think we should invade Poland, sir!”

I knew Bilodeau was taking private acting lessons with Louise Marleau, a beautiful and great Quebec actress and in-thick with the oulipo crowd. He came from a family of twelve kids, all in media, theatre, showbiz, and he truly didn’t give a shit. One day during lunch,


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