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The Man Who Used to be Boss

By Raymond Lesser

The Man Who Used to be Boss orders coffee.
“I’ll have a coffee with cream to go.”
“You want that with oat cream, soy cream, or almond cream?”
“I want it with cream cream. But if you don’t have that I’ll take half and
“Sorry sir, this is a vegan coffee shop. We don’t use any products here
that exploit animals.”
“That’s ridiculous! What’s your name? I’m going to have you sent to work
at a shop in Alaska where you can try your hand at making coffee for real
“Ha, ha. Good joke. But we don’t have caribou cream, either. So, what’ll it
be, oat, soy, or almond?”
“I want to speak to the manager!”
“We’re a co-op enterprise, sir. I’m as much the manager as anyone else
you see working here. So, what do you want to tell me, as manager?”
“I want to speak to the owner!”
“I hate to seem redundant, but this is a co-op business. Everyone here is
an owner. So, what do you want to tell me, as owner?”
“If I can’t get some satisfaction, I’ll have you shut down! I’m friends with
the governor!”
“Well, what would give you satisfaction?”
“I want a coffee with cream!”
“Sir, I’d be happy to sell you a black coffee, and whatever you want to do
with it after you leave is your own business. There’s a quick-mart on the
next block that probably sells cream, or for that matter maybe the governor
can help you find a cow to milk. But if that’s not good enough then I’ll have
to ask you to step out of line. There are other customers who would like to
be served.”

The Man Who Used to be Boss tries to get Taylor Swift tickets.
“Hello, I’d like two front row seats for the Taylor Swift concert in Miami.
I’d prefer the Friday night concert, but the Saturday concert would also work
with my schedule.”
“I’m sorry, sir, all those tickets are sold out.”
“No, that’s not possible. I’m taking my niece to the concert for her
birthday, and she told me they just went on sale yesterday.”
“Yes, that’s correct, sir, tickets for Taylor’s world tour went on sale
yesterday and the Swifties scarfed up every last one in two hours.”
“Wow, she must be very popular with the kids nowadays. Funny, because
I never even heard of her until my niece begged me to take her.”

“I am sorry about that, sir, but maybe you’d like to take your niece to a
different show. We still have some seats left for the Nickelback concert in
Little Rock, Arkansas. Row X in the balcony, on the aisle. Only $147 each
plus service fee, transfer fee, talking to me on the phone fee, and the special
added ‘how dumb do you think I am’ fee.”
“Look, I understand that the tickets for the general public may have
gotten sold out, but I’m not the general public. I used to run Ticketmaster!
Or something just like Ticketmaster. I could never keep all those little
companies straight. Anyways, my secretary was always able to get tickets to
any event I wanted to attend. I’m not sure exactly who she talked to, but I
know there must be someone there who can get me those seats. Can you
please just transfer me to that person?”
“Oh, you must mean Arturo Grandioso de Queso. Hang on a sec, let me
transfer your call…”
“CLICK. I’m sorry. The number you have reached is no longer in service.
Please try your call later if you want to listen to this recording again…”

The Man Who Used to be Boss flies standby.
“You don’t understand. I have to get on this plane to Little Rock. I’m
meeting my niece there for a concert for her birthday. She’s going to be so
surprised when she finds out who’s playing. Anyways I was supposed to be
on a charter flight, but they bumped me. Apparently the new company
owner needed it at the last minute to go to some concert in Miami. But they
assured me they’d get me a first class seat on this flight, instead.”
“I’m sorry sir, this is Southwest Airlines. There are no first class seats on
our planes. And currently there are no seats at all on this flight, but if you
just sit in the waiting area, we’ll call you if one becomes available.”
“That’s not good enough! I have to be on this flight! Why don’t you just
offer a free ticket to whoever is willing to make sure important people get
taken care of first!”
“I’m sorry, sir, we don’t do that.”
“Look, I’ll put up the money. Just make an announcement that if any
passenger is willing to take a later flight, you’ll give them $500 and a free
night at the Airport Holiday Inn of their choice. I’ll put up the money myself.
Can you just charge it to my American Express Centurion account?”
“Just be patient, sir. There’s almost always someone who misses their
connection and doesn’t show up in time for the flight.”
“I can’t believe how far I’ve fallen. I feel like Icarus. I’ve gone from
soaring above the clouds with wings of silk in my own corporate jet to sitting
in a plastic chair with wads of bubble gum stuck to the bottom hoping that
some old man has a heart attack running here from gate C31 to try to make
his flight back to Podunk Junction. Life is so unfair.”
“Well, things could always be worse.”
“How so?”

“Imagine if you had my job and had to deal with people like you all day.”

Read the July / August 2024 Issue Online

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