I’m not really a planner. Planning’s fine for the boss, but my work doesn’t allow for it. Who-moved-my-cheese doesn’t fly when you’ve got thousands of products needing to ship instantly, and tomorrow could be dead. Firefighters don’t plan; they’re ready. Always. That’s how it is with me. I don’t expect you planner-organizers to understand. Just don’t judge me. Don’t hate.
Just-in-time inventory or lean manufacturing- my boss takes them to a whole new realm. We keep zero inventory. The instant I get a product, I sort it and out it goes, quick as a breath. We only have two accounts, but they’re enormous. Think Walmart and China. Between them they’ve got the whole market captured, though one of them is more of an umbrella company with scores of subsidiaries: The wide road, if you will.
I’ve been called a flunky by those who’d like to demoralize me, just a glorified busboy. Office politics can be ruthless. I’m above it.
In my novice days, I tried to prepare for the galactic orders I could smell coming, wars and plagues and such. But there’s no planning with my boss. I’d go one place, expecting a windfall, and lo- death would be blooming someplace else entirely. No one’s allowed to know who’s next, not even me. Security reasons. Who would’ve thought He’d actually sink the Titanic just because they said it was unsinkable? Brazen move, that one. I scurried around like a mother trying to keep up with the orders. So there’s no planning. It’s standard policy in death.
I peel them gently from their corpses and ship them in crates you can’t see, some up, some down. Nine out of ten of them are screaming their surprise that it’s not what they thought it would be. They weren’t planners, either.
This is an entry for Cracked Flash Fiction. Their prompts and contest are the perfect fit for me. They supply the first sentence, and writers supply 300 words of fiction. I didn’t win the first week, which daunted me for half a second. Then I decided I’ll be forthright with my rejections because our failures define us as much as our successes. I think our failures create our successes. Sylvester Stallone wrote the script for Rocky. Did you know that? He pedaled that sucker everywhere and was rejected more than a Jehovah’s Witness before he finally found someone willing to produce it. He had to sell his dog to buy food. Have I told this story before? It’s worth repeating.
I won this week! It made me smile to receive objective critique on my writing, which I forgot to mention was one of the aspects of the contest that really motivated me: you don’t just win if you win, you win feedback on your writing if you win. Confession: How much do I crave feedback on my writing? Think heroin.