Madam Guillotine’s Scream

The cunning is gone. The Committee has decided to do away with the unnecessary rabble, thin the numbers and spook the herd into submission. Everyone is silent as Madame Guillotine’s blade drops from it’s poise, screaming as it rides the rail to the stock. Another head rolls, another place nullified by bureaucracy.
Three of my friends are victims of Madame Guillotine. Right now my body is in the Phoenix, a bar that more of an ancient hole in the wall, in the heart of the city. This is a good place to take shelter from the ash outside. My mind is somewhere else. I’m trying to calculate what will happen tomorrow. And it doesn’t seem to get better no matter how I try to form it in my skull.

Tomorrow we will be down, four, maybe five people depending on the drinking happening in this place. The people, who lost their heads at work, are about to party in commiseration. Misery loves company and right now there is a lot of love to go around. They will attempt to drown their worries and wash them away in rivers of beer, tequila, vodka, gin, more beer and more tequila. They will all talk about how much shit is going around and agree with each other.

These people were selected on the basis that their performance was down, yet somehow these are the people that would appear to be the “troublemakers” of the help desk. Those that may cause the most problems from management’s perspective, who were the loudest and who appeared to lack the confidence to continue. They were written off. Cast aside.

The problem here is that these people are among those with the tribal knowledge of the technicalities and background of the system and it’s many, many mysteries. Normally this would be passed down to the next generation through word of mouth and apprenticeship. They had experience. Now delicate balance is tilted and everything will be tested by the fire below. Only three, maybe four will be on the desk have any clue on what is going on. Between these people they will have to reign in about 30 – 40 people that will need constant assistance. And these people must service two agencies, one that consists of roughly 30,000 clients and another with 7,000. Each of these people has at one of either a laptop, desktop workstation or sometimes both. There are several system environments with around 200 applications. Just so you have a picture of what a few others and I have to face tomorrow.

They have cut one team in half, leaving one person to process what is hard for two people to do. Another team will be left with one person for two, maybe three weeks. Normally, four people have trouble keeping up. Only one team leader is left to manage these people and keep an eye on them. By removing people, they have only compounded issues. It feels like the ship is sinking.

It’s finally decided to rain, it’s relaxing sound coming from behind the Six Organs of Admittance piped through my headphones, like lo-fi natural white noise. It’s time to reflect on the changes that we face. Soon I will be looking for new work. My hands are over-full, holding up the sky. And my fellow titans will agree. This place looks more and more like the Tartarus. I would rather be paid less and have less responsibility and less stress. If someone offered me a ticket to another country, I would take it without a moment’s hesitation. I would be on that jet as humanly possible, in the pursuit of pleasure, adventure and something better. I would be out.

I return to the office the next and everything is quiet, not just at the help desk, but in other sections of the building. The Committees reach is long and deep and Madam Guillotine is very hungry. Across the board, more positions are turned redundant. From the highest level to the low. The Terror knows no difference between them.

I feel gutted. My will to continue has evaporated. I no longer want to be a part of this. Only weeks ago I was excited at a new role and the potential to leave a legacy, to make a difference, albeit a small one. But now that is gone. There is only a void. I’m tired. And I know they’ll make me do the work I spent long enough in and fought hard to get out.

Time to shake the 8-Ball again. I ask it my question. It’s reply:


I shake it again, give me an answer:


You bastard. Fuck this. Fuck you 8-Ball. Fuck you Ra. I’m looking for a new job.

3 thoughts on “Madam Guillotine’s Scream

  1. Randome,Sorry to hear about the losses. The humming, white ‘brain’ has also had a visit from Madame Guillotine – some teams affected more than others.Hang in there.With the $$$ crisis, more companies will be employing similar tactics… your eight-ball sounds spookyly accurate, but it won’t pay the bills, so hang in there until you find something new.

  2. It seems like the whole world is sinking slowing into quick sand of time.some places are sinking faster, I cant feel the firm ground beneth my feet no one to reach out for help as they have already sunk to far.3 have fallen a mere shodow as they were walked to the doornot such a merry christmas for some

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