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American Dream Serialization (Early Chapters)
Introduction to Jim Chaffee's Studies in Mathematical Pornography by Maurice Stoker
Introduction to Jim Chaffee's Studies in Mathematical Pornography by Tom Bradley
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: American Dream Title Page by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 1 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 2 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 3 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 4 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 5 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 6 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 7 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 8 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 9 by Jim Chaffee
01-01-2015
Modern Tragedy, or Parodies of Ourselves by Robert Castle
01-11-2014
Totally Enchanté, Dahling by Thor Garcia
01-04-2014
Hastini by Rudy Ravindra
The Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter Volume 5 Translation by W. C. Firebaugh
01-01-2014
Unexpected Pastures by Kim Farleigh
10-01-2013
Nonviolence by Jim Courter
The Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter Volume 4 Translation by W. C. Firebaugh
07-01-2013
The Poet Laureate of Greenville by Al Po
The Apocalypse of St. Cleo, Part VI by Thor Garcia
The Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter Volume 3 Translation by W. C. Firebaugh
04-01-2013
The Apocalypse of St. Cleo, Part V by Thor Garcia
The Apocalypse of St. Cleo, Part IV by Thor Garcia
The Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter Volume 2 Translation by W. C. Firebaugh
01-01-2013
The Apocalypse of St. Cleo, Part I by Thor Garcia
The Apocalypse of St. Cleo, Part II by Thor Garcia
The Apocalypse of St. Cleo, Part III by Thor Garcia
The Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter Volume 1 Translation by W. C. Firebaugh
10-01-2012
DADDY KNOWS WORST: Clown Cowers as Father Flounders! by Thor Garcia
RESURRECTON: Excerpt from Breakfast at Midnight by Louis Armand
Review of The Volcker Virus (Donald Strauss) by Kane X Faucher: Excerpt from the forthcoming Infinite Grey by Kane X Faucher
01-07-2012
Little Red Light by Suvi Mahonen and Luke Waldrip
TEXECUTION: Klown Konfab as Killer Kroaked! by Thor Garcia
Miranda's Poop by Jimmy Grist
Paul Fabulan by Kane X Faucher: Excerpt from the forthcoming Infinite Grey by Kane X Faucher
01-04-2012
Operation Scumbag by Thor Garcia
Take-Out Dick by Holly Day
Patience by Ward Webb
The Moon Hides Behind a Cloud by Barrie Darke
The Golden Limo of Slipback City by Ken Valenti
01-01-2012
Chapter from The Infinite Atrocity by Kane X. Faucher
Support the Troops By Giving Them Posthumous Boners by Tom Bradley
01-10-2011
When Good Pistols Do Bad Things by Kurt Mueller
Corporate Strategies by Bruce Douglas Reeves
The Dead Sea by Kim Farleigh
The Perfect Knot by Ernest Alanki
Girlish by Bob Bartholomew
01-07-2011
The Little Ganges by Joshua Willey
The Invisible World: René Magritte by Nick Bertelson
Honk for Jesus by Mitchell Waldman
01-04-2011
Red's Dead by Eli Richardson
The Memphis Showdown by Gabriel Ricard
Someday Man by John Grochalski
01-01-2011
I Was a Teenage Rent-a-Frankenstein by Tom Bradley
Only Love Can Break Your Heart by Fred Bubbers
10-01-2010
Believe in These Men by Adam Greenfield
The Magnus Effect by Robert Edward Sullivan
Performance Piece by Jim Chaffee
07-01-2010
Injustice for All by D. E. Fredd
The Polysyllogistic Curse by Gary J. Shipley
How It's Done by Anjoli Roy
Ghost Dance by Connor Caddigan
Two in a Van by Pavlo Kravchenko
04-01-2010
Uncreated Creatures by Connor Caddigan
Invisible by Anjoli Roy
One of Us by Sonia Ramos Rossi
Storyteller by Alan McCormick
01-01-2010
Idolatry by Robert Smith
P H I L E M A T O P H I L I A by Traci Chee
They Do! by Al Po
Full TEX Archive
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Management Case Study 17: Down East Chicken

By D. E. Fredd

pelicans in Pacific Beach, San Diego

"Itís fast food! It tastes like fatty shit! But itís cheap enough for your sorry welfare ass! Now get out my face, motherfucker!"

I was in what constitutes my office, a five by six foot cell next to the walk-in cooler. The bellowing voice was Carlos Sanchez, my volatile day shift supervisor. Iíd written him up many times for going off on customers and had dozens of heart-to-heart talks. When he took his meds, he had half a chance at being human. I loved him like a brother, but the current confrontation sounded like there werenít going to be enough Family Value Buckets in the whole Down East Fried Chicken Chain to bribe my way out of central divisionís learning about this debacle. I grabbed my keys and headed for the front. As I reached the prep stations, I heard chairs slamming, multi-lingual swearing and a couple of screams. My ass was going to be in a rubber sling. In fact, forget the ass; please, god, donít let me do hard time.

I burst through the swinging doors to the "order and pickup" area expecting blood on the walls, a few dying customers twitching on the floor and Carlos, he of the many gang tattoos, beating a senior citizen couple to death with a tray of "Crisp 'n Spicy." But, instead, there they were, my beloved lunch hour crew in a semicircle around our biggest table in the dining room. At center stage was a huge box of donuts and a few lighted candles on a lopsided cake.

"Happy birthday, Captain. We had you going didnít we?"

Carlos stepped forward, shaking his prescription bottles like maracas. "Some trick, huh. Hey man, you should've seen the look on your face when you run around the fucking corner. Anyway, we just got together and put up something else to make you fat besides chicken. And when Buh Buh comes on at four, she gonna take your forty year old bones into the cooler and give you her personal birthday present, guaranteed!"

Of course, at that exact moment Carol Graves, one of the big wheels from the New England district, walked through the door for her bimonthly inspection.

                                    **********

pelican, Pacific Beach, San Diego

My birthday celebration was summarily canceled. Mai-Lee Song had hung a ďClosed cuz (sic) of power offĒ sign on the door, which took all my imagination to explain to Carol. I also didnít have the heart to tell the crew my birthday was last month or that I was forty-four. Iíve always been a form over content type of guy anyway. By two that afternoon I was sufficiently chewed out and sentenced to a private meeting the next day with Carol to go over my continued relationship with the company.

                                    **********

They call me Captain (or Cap). I saw the movie Dead Poetís Society a long time ago, and thatís what Robin Williams asked his students to call him. Itís from some poem. I thought Mr. Frazier was way too formal; my first name too informal and boss was certainly out. So I picked Captain and itís stuck.

For five years Iíve been the manager of a Down East Fried Chicken franchise on Route 1 just outside of Saco, Maine. Most managers are promised a move up the ladderóa new store in a more profitable location, maybe a position with the suits in division headquarters or a slot on an inspection team. Not my career. If you follow baseball Iím like a forty-four year old minor leaguer who just keeps hanging on in Double A ball because he loves the game. Except I donít exactly love the chicken business.

I joined the navy when I was seventeen, made a career of it for twenty years, then took my retirement. I was last stationed at the Portsmouth, New Hampshire shipyard, and the duty was light enough for me to work part time. I was assistant manager at a Down East outlet in Seabrook, New Hampshire for a while and then was given the managerís job in Saco when I got out. We do a steady business. When the suits look at the bottom line, nothing good or bad jumps out at them.

We open at eleven and close at ten. Iím in the store most every hour. There are three shifts: eleven to three, three to seven and seven to ten. I use part timers for the short shifts; full-time people usually work longer shifts. Iíve got three supervisors. Mai-Lee Song came on board three months ago. She understands English but only ever says "Thank you." My buddy Carlos has been with me the longest. Buh Buh usually comes on in at noon and helps me close. Her last name is Bustee. She has a huge rack and, to top it all off, she stutters, one of the few women to be so afflicted. The day she started, nervous as all hell after many years as a stay-at-home mom, she stuttered her name when anyone asked. It came out as Claire Buh Buh Bustee. That evolved into Buh Buh which links very nicely sound-wise to her last name.

pelican, Pacific Beach, San Diego

My relationship with Buh Buh is not very complicated. I am a recovering alcoholic and one night, after a run-in with a district supervisor, I was having a bad time. She drove me to her trailer unit and we had sex to take my mind off the Jim Beam demons. She is fifty with two grown kids out in the world somewhere; a card of the proper sentiments shows up during the holidays. When she has the blues, which is quite often, she calls me up and comes over to my small apartment. I donít think weíve ever been out on a date, exchanged gifts or done anything more endearing than a peck on the cheek after a quick slam bam, thank you sir or madam. And weíve never done it on company property despite the rumors Carlos initiates.

For part time help, I get a lot of mothers who want the first shift. Many are unreliable because, as they plainly state, their kids come first and the minute one gets sick they have to call in. After three thereís always the high school kids, a series of employment headaches and irresponsibleness all unto themselves.

My waking nightmare is corporate inspections. When I started we were supposed to have one announced visit a quarter. Theyíd tell me theyíd be there on the 15th and be done with it. But now they can drop in anytime, my birthday party a case in point. And donít think youíre off the hook if they inspect on Tuesday; theyíve been known to do it again on Thursday. Itís like making it past a state trooper along the turnpike and figuring youíve got clear sailing because theyíd never station another two miles later. Wrong!

My performance reviews are bloody battlefields. Needs improvement for me is like an "A+" for someone else. My staff goofs off. Twice while the district team was visiting, drive thru orders got screwed up. A diabetic received regular Coke, and the bathrooms were dirty. My birthday celebration was probably the last straw. I figured the meeting with Carol (The Undertaker) Graves would be a mere formality before hitting the unemployment office.

                        **********

pelicans, Pacific Beach, San Diego