The bigwigs are coming! The bigwigs are coming!

It started with a set of lists drawn up by the management, and more lists mailed to them by middle management. Lists of extra cleaning:

“Dust the ceiling vents. Dust the top of the pizza spinner. Polish the gas pumps. Sweep under the rubber mats behind the counter.”

Very important corporate types were coming, we were told, and everything had to be perfect for them, or else an unspecified doom would befall us.

And I was told by an assistant manager that our visiters would include the CEO. Of the corporation. The multinational corporation.

My response included the word “implausible,” and I was right to do so, because several days later – after we’d dusted and polished everything – the chief visitor was actually RDO Doug Abernathy, the middle manager who perpetrated that weather log policy.

From what I heard, Doug’s visit went pretty well – no dooms were specified, and no lists of remedial cleaning were left behind – but now the CEO was expected (by gullible people and/or management) the next week.

Cleanliness (read: corporate-inspection hyper-cleanliness) had to be maintained, and some more cosmetic and counterproductive reorg happened. Our small table of half-price clearance items disappeared – too untidy-lookng. Clipboards of paperwork were moved from under the cigarette display – again, too untidy, even though the only other place the reorganizers could think of for them was hanging from hooks in the pharmacy section, a foot from the customers’ faces. “Did You Know” notes and other management communiques were moved to where no CEO would accidentally see them, so we had to start looking for that nonsense.

On the big day, the store manager called in sick, and one of the other day-shifters had a pressing medical appointment.

The CEO didn’t show, either.

Nothing was said to any of us about another alleged rescheduling of his visit, and after a few days, the clearenace table reappeared. A few other tools and papers started to migrate back to convenient places. The wet-floor signs were no longer hidden in the back room behind the beer overstock. The mop sink stopped being scrubbed out daily. Things were back to what passes for normalcy here, and we were able to get on with our usual ration of drudgery without any panicky managers’ lists of extra, useless chores.

…until the next time.


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