A Room with a View
By: Susan F. Chamberland
The six of us work in Dilbert land; you could refer to us as Dilbert dwellers. We are highly educated, with honed skills to manage a plethora world class architects, engineers, interior, graphics designers and construction companies. Our compartmentalized cubbie work life takes on the persona of hardened criminal characters as portrayed in “Papion”. This is our gang of seven, five men two women. The only bit about being world class is what we build and the people who inhabit it; otherwise our gang of seven is beaten into submission daily by our oppressors comprised of our keepers and world class senior leadership. Every other day we are told how we can be replaced, the job market is bad and many qualified candidates would be thrilled to have our jobs. Those are sure motivating words from senior management. So we trudge along day after day as pawns in the trenches of construction. Our chamber of cubbies overlooks the world class morgue.
“Chams, get up! Come look at this, look at this, get your ass out of that wheelie expensive chair and come look at this! Hurry up! Stick your head out of your cube! It’s a white double decker van, first one I’ve ever seen. High center of gravity, hate to take a corner going sixty in that rig. At this rate we’ll be way over 7,000 bodies this year.” The Concierge is movin’ and grovin’ with all types of bodily excitement, while he is waving to Chams as if to give the go ahead sign of a motor vehicle traffic cop.
“Don’t make me get up. You are always counting something Concierge.”
And as she always does, Chams drags her sorry ass out of her chair to look out the window.
“Holy shit, that’s more impressive than the black hearse with the Rhode Island plates. Remember the fancy wood casket with the red velvet cover, looked like a table cloth.” Chams professed over the Concierges’ shoulder, as she talked facing the window.
“Whoa, lighten up; those are my people you are talk’en about.” Grumbles the Concierge.
“Where you born in Italy?” Asks Chams.
“No. Idaho.” retorts the Concierge.
“Well than, welcome to America”
“New method this year the double decker can squish them stretchers in like sardines and it keeps the pick-up cost down and the profit margin up!” Replies Chams giving the thumbs up sign.
At this point Marvin the self proclaimed mushroom, ex-dead head, deacon at the Catholic Church and half Italian looks out of the window at the double decker van. Marvin and the Concierge share the same view of the morgue. In disbelief Marvin shakes his head inside the confines of his grey fabric covered cubbie. Chaos surrounds his immediate world in construction cubbie land not even to begin contemplating his home life.
“Holy shit” says Marvin; they really are racking them up.”
With all this conversation the remaining three cubbie dwellers are gathered in the Concierges’ windowed cubbie looking out watching the loading of the four bodies. If the cubbie was red the six cubbie dwellers would look like a gaggle of frat brothers stuffed into a British telephone booth.
“Look at that one.” says the Concierge.
“Which one?” Chams sassily replies.
“The fat one; the undertaker. She can barely push the stretcher. Oh no, the stretcher is rolling down the hill!”
“I’m going to pee my pants.” says Chams. As she tightens her crossed legs and wiggles her body back and forth 180 degrees as she jumps up and down!
They are all laughing in hysteria. The Jamaican, a.k.a love you long time, is grovin as if to dance to the melody of mayhem. Dr. Doom looks sullen. He is in a quandary of disbelief as he finds him self working with these disrespectful radicals. The Concierge is staring out the window watching intently at every move. Marvin the mushroom/ex-Deadhead can’t quite gather the reason for his being bundled with this bunch. Labbie, new to the land of cubbie dwellers is still trying to get the pulse of the jaded compote of characters and Chams the smart ass. The Concierge goes on as if he is the Howard Cosell of dead body pick-ups.
“I don’t think she is going to be able to move that fat ass to catch the stretcher. She’s catching it. Whoa that was close.”
“Do you think she can get it in?” says the Labbie.
“I’d like to get it in.” says the Concierge.
“Concierge shut up, you are such a pig.” says Chams representing the sexual minority of the group, as she puts her hands on her hips and scrunches up her nose and begins to snorts like a pig.
“There she goes she’s getting the stretcher up on the second tier. Hey that works just like they park cars in New York City.” Comments the Concierge as he continues his rendition of Howard Cosell.
“Successfully completed.” says Dr. Doom.
“You know, there is just no dignity in death.” professes the Concierge.
“Who cares.” says Chams. They’re dead. They don’t care.”
“There should be a roof above the door for the people picking up the dead bodies as they man handle them into the vans, pick’em-up trucks and the infrequent hearse.” gripes the Concierge.
“Then we would have to spend more money and they are dead. Remember out by 11 and our bonus goes up.” proclaims the voice of reason, Dr. Doom.
“The bodies can fall and the stretchers can roll down the hill and what about those 40 green plastic recycling cans and those 4-40 yard dumpsters. They’re taking out bodies with the trash!” as the Concierge rants.
“Who cares they’re dead” says Chams again this time with an attitude.
After a few minutes the double decker van drives away.The cubbie dwellers shuffle back into their cubes until the next event which will soon be forth coming as they do day after day, month after month, year after year, at the Mecca of Modern Medicine.
A Room with a View