Annual Meeting of Shareholders
I had a blast writing this narrator. He's an over the top, loud, brash, kick ass kind of guy. An amalgamation and exaggeration of many people I know. I had so much fun writing him I forgot the point of the assignment. Oops.
Anyway, here it is, prompted by Louise Gluck's "A Slip of Paper" (I openly admit mine is quite far from hers).
“I hereby call the forty-third general meeting of shareholders to order,” Terry, the chairman of the board announced. This was my favorite day of the year. The day when all the grasping, manipulating, little rats who ran their little races sat down in my kingdom to revel in my glory. I didn’t need to bother paying attention. I knew how it went. After all, I had done it forty-two times before.
The waiver of notice, reaffirming all the seats on the board, adopting the financial statements for the year (the second best part), determination of the distribution of profits (the very best part), and finally reestablishing myself as CEO. Business as usual. We went through the motions one by one, I listened with half an ear, thinking instead of the low-ball offer we had just pitched to Cal Spa Tech, wondering if they would bite. Until I realized the room was strangely still. None of the usual shuffling of papers or fidgeting. I sat up straight and stared at Terry at the other end of the gleaming cherry-wood table. I looked him straight in the eye. He swallowed hard and looked down at the paper in front of him.
“The Board moves to allow our esteemed CEO to finally take a well-deserved retirement. He is presented with the attached retirement package,” Terry barely got through the words. Retirement. The word was foul in my mouth, I couldn’t even say it. A word I never planned on doing or using or saying.
“You gotta be fucking kidding me!” I let lose. A sneak attack of all things. They must have conspired to do this. Terry didn’t have the balls to do it on his own. Those greedy, scheming sons of bitches!
“Sir, you’re seventy-two years old,” Terry pointed out.
“What the fuck does that have to do with anything?” I shot back.
“Last month you had a heart attack in your office at two in the morning. You knocked out three teeth. The stock price tanked. Shareholders panicked,” Terry added.
“So what? I recovered and so did the stock price. The shareholders learned it takes more than that to take me down. They’re all a bunch of pussies, anyway,” I repied.
Silence settled over the boardroom, over my kingdom. I looked at the assembled board, wondering if they possibly thought they could do any better than I could. Bunch of greenhorns.
“I crawled my way out of Communist Russia before any of you were even fucked into existence and you think this company would be better off without me? This company that I put together with nothing but my bare hands and sheer fuckedness. You are out of your damn minds,” this was not the time for me to hold anything back. I would be damned if I let them take this away from me. The only joy left in life was from skull fucking these fucking numb skulls. It’s not like I could go home and fuck my wife instead.
“Just take a look at the package, will you?” Terry insisted, sliding a document across the table. I knew what it contained. A golden parachute so filled with air my children’s grandchildren would never set foot on the ground.
I didn’t bother opening it. I ripped it to shreds and spat on it. They could have my company when they pried it from my cold, dead hands.