Letting Go

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Letting Go

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The phrase “letting” go tends to have a positive connotation. A cathartic sort of release from the stress and responsibilities of everyday life- or a song sung by a Disney character. Of course, when it was said to me that morning, that wasn’t exactly the context.

“We’re letting you go. Sorry.”

Something about my position being terminated and a curt, insincere apology. Whatever. I didn’t need the job. In fact, I didn’t need any job, ever. I was the richest sucker on the planet– before Bezos, before Gates, before Buffet. Number 1. But I assure you you’ve never heard of me– I’ve spent a lot of money trying to ensure that, so much that I can afford (no pun intended) to use my real name.

“Sorry, Rich. Bernstein’s really making it blatantly obvious, isn’t he?”

My co-worker, Jack. Bernstein was my boss, and the thing he was making obvious was his disregard for any of his worker’s well being and his obsessive love of money. For all he knew, I needed this job to support my family, and he’d just fired me in order to cut costs. I’m sure the overflow will go directly to his ever-expanding pockets. Again, I didn’t need the job, but who was I kidding? I loved it. My amazing co-workers, the fact that it gave me a sort of purpose to fulfill, even the work itself– mostly just  busywork, but it was a welcome change of pace. When I developed an algorithm that could predict the stock market and became a literal trillionaire, I was pretty excited to be rich, but I couldn’t have known how boring it would be. My job at least gave me something to do all day. Oh well. If there was one thing I enjoyed more than my job, it was messing with people, and my former boss had just painted a target on his back.

The first step was his coffee- years of having to fetch it for him had made me intimately familiar with his regular order, a grande mocha latte with extra milk and sugar. A few quick phone calls later and I had ensured any coffee place in LA would only ever serve him decaf in perpetuity in exchange for every one of their employees receiving a nice bonus.

Next was his entertainment. After a meeting with a television executive, I ensured that the next season of Game of Thrones would not be airing until at least 2035. Then, I arranged for the Rams to return to their rightful home of Saint Louis, a move Bernstein was sure to despise. Thinking about of the Gateway City, and remembering that I owned the Panera Bread chain, actually gave me another fantastic idea:

“Hello, Mrs. Blazkowicz. Could I speak to Blaine?”

“Of course- I’ll put you right through.”

“Hey Blainey Boy, how’re things going down in the Lou- still baking that bread?

“Please don’t call me that. And yes, of course, sir, baked fresh every day along with our delicious assortment of other offerings included but not limited to croissants, bagels, cookies, scones, muffins and brownies, in addition to non-baked items like sandwiches, panini, pastas, soups, flatbreads, salads, side choices, Panera Kids, fruit smoothies, frozen drinks, iced drinks, coffee, tea, and lemonade, espresso drinks, lattes, and hot chocolate.”

“I already know all that Blainey.”

“Of course, sir. What did you want again.”
“I haven’t been able to get a word in edgewise yet! But here’s the deal- I’d really like it if every location within, oh I don’t know, a 50 mile radius of Los Angeles would only, and I mean only, serve them Saint Louis style.

Even at the time, when my goal was to make his life as annoying as possible, I questioned whether this move was perhaps too diabolical. I was finished with my old boss.