Thursday, June 11, 2009

Excellence Quantified At Last

Henderson had prepared for this day for some time. The promotion was inevitable. He had kept his inbox pristine and his outbox full to the brim with completed work. He kept no personal effects, even photos of his autistic daughter who had been killed by a falling piano. He did not stare at the girl in the secretarial pool with one arm and a skin condition that prevented her from being able to wear clothes.
He practically floated into the boss' office, held aloft by self esteem and pride in his workmanship.
"Henderson," said the boss, "I was considering giving you the promotion, but the other day I stopped into a little sandwich shop and had the greatest meatball sandwich of my life. I had them make me another one so that he could be junior vice president."
Henderson wept, swore and spat. He smashed the boss' desk lamp and rubbed the photos of the boss' Swedish mail order bride against his crotch. The boss had to calm him down with an unwelcome smelly hug.
"I understand how you feel, Henderson," he whispered tenderly into his ear, "but you should really try the sandwich."
The boss pulled a greasy paper bag out of his desk drawer and led his disgruntled employee into the breakroom.
"I don't know," said Henderson,"I'm still being passed up for a sandwich."
An arrogant but beatific smile appeared on the boss' face as he put the sandwich into the microwave.
"Just a bite," he said, wagging his finger.
"Of course," Henderson replied.
The boss pulled the sandwich from the microwave and Henderson took his bite. The meat was well seasoned, the sauce was just right, the provolone cheese was fresh. Henderson felt a deep, all-consuming sadness, since it was a fantastic sandwich and he was a mediocre man at best.