The Tao of Apathy

The Tao of Apathy by Thomas Cannon Read Free Book Online

Book: The Tao of Apathy by Thomas Cannon Read Free Book Online
Authors: Thomas Cannon
Tags: Novel, work, union busting, humor and career
first to lose his job. He knew
that his best friend enjoyed working with the elderly ladies that
coddled him. “We won’t get fired,” he whispered to Bigger. “He
would be doing us too big a favor.”
    “ Shh,” Bigger whispered
    Joe watched Bigger listen to Seuss who wasn’t
saying anything. Bigger was worried. Even though the new guy was
terrible and hadn’t even made it to the meeting and was hired just
so that Seuss would have someone to fire, Bigger thought he would
be the first to go. After all, Bigger knew that Seuss hated him and
would love to get rid of him.
    “ -Although I’d hate to see any of
you go,” Seuss said avoiding Bigger’s gaze. His staff got up to get
away from Seuss as he closed his notes. “Wait. Wait. Before we
leave, we have a surprise for Ester. Today is Ester’s birthday.
Ester started working in the kitchen when she dropped out of high
school at sixteen; before there even was a kitchen here and the
nuns made the meals on hotplates in their living quarters.” Seuss
clapped his hands and began singing, “Happy birthday to you.” Two
co-workers wheeled in a cake on a cart and carried a banner that
read, “Happy Birthday! Fifty is nifty.”
    “ Look at that stupid ass sign,”
Joe groaned to Bigger who was singing. “Do they really think that
they are being originally funny? Don’t they care enough about Ester
to come up with a personalized banner? I hate to tell them that
they do not have the first sign that says fifty is
    “ Well, they always say, ‘Oh Lordy,
he is forty.”
    “ Someone should outlaw that damn
saying, too. They've been done to death. And why is that a thing?
Lordy and forty don’t even rhyme.” Ester was now beet red and
looking at her giant cake as the other elderly ladies crooned, “How
old are you? How old are you? How old are you? How old are
    “ And look at her,” Joe said.
“Fifty is not nifty. It sucks. She is old, she has a crappy job,
and she will never have better until she dies which won’t be long
    Everyone finished singing so that Ester could
blow out her candles, but instead of making a wish, said, “Thanks
for being here for my birthday party, Joe.”


Chapter 6
    After days of a constant sleeting, the winter
sun now streaked through Grumby’s closed blinds as he talked with
the members of the reorganization team. The consulting company with
its terms –company and team- had made Grumby think that there would
be dozens of people collecting data at Saint Jude’s. For some
reason, he expected to see people with clipboards and measuring
tapes, yet he had only ever met or saw these two.
    Jack Ketch was a tall, well-built man with a
Tony Robbins smile. Thomas Bowdler, his associate, believed change
was a necessary part of life. He held nothing sacred, not
traditions, closed minds, signed contracts, or human life. At five
foot six and three hundred pounds, he was not a handsome man. He
had a bald, wrinkled forehead that mirrored his bald, wrinkly
chins. If someone was to put him upside down, magic marker two eyes
and a nose below his mouth and cover the rest of his face with a
scarf; he could be a chin puppet of himself.
    “ We have something to talk about,”
Ketch said. “A possible problem.”
    Grumby felt his neck muscles bunch up and
wrench themselves like a sports bra on a Biggest Loser contestant.
Lately, he had been under so much pressure that he spent each day
feeling his heart implode in his chest and his stomach juice
erupting into esophagus. And now something bad. “Y-you haven’t
found any sexual harassment scandals, have you?”
    “ Grumby. I am not goofing around
    “ Yes,” Bowdler broke in with a
voice created by vocal cords bullied by fat. “During the
reorganization process, there is always a hitch that we need to
deal with. Jack and I always wait until this point to bring it up.”
Grumby gulped. “We have to be careful that we do not

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