Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Short Story #5

I remember Buzzard Lady, much as I'd like to forget: a stick of a woman, with a hard buzzard face & a sharp buzzard like walk. She never seemed to have much to do of any importance, preferring to wander about like the commandant in some WWII film, issuing orders & squelching any sign of creativity or intelligence that might threaten her hold on us or her position within the organization. Flattery was the only thing that Buzzard Woman responded to, whether the flattery of those within her control or the flattery of those she was trying to control. Day in & day out, she would pick at the bones of those who either threatened or ignored her superiority. Only those who gained her trust, through flattery & a kind of false friendship, escaped the carnage. The Weasel Child was one of these. No personality of her own, she would choose that of whomever would help her most towards her goals. She was the perfect friend for the Buzzard Woman...

This is another free writing exercise, that was never finished. It was written many years ago, based on real people & real circumstances. Have you ever been in a situation like this? There are unhealthy or abusive business situations, just as there are unhealthy personal relationships, after all, you're still dealing with other people. The potential for good & bad still exists. The people who are good in personal situations are most likely still good in business circumstances. The people who are bad in business are probably not the easiest people for their friends or family to deal with. I can say, in the case of Buzzard Woman, that she 'divorced' one of her children (& a husband), that she had a room in her home that was for show only, not for family, not for visitors, only for show. It's interesting how parallel her personal & professional lives where. I've met others who seemed to be nice, no matter where they went, their niceness did not prevent them from effectively growing a business. You don't have to be ruthless to succeed, in fact the opposite can be true, customers can sense a cheapness in character & in practice. They will stay away. No one, for instance, wants to watch an employee get yelled at, in public. No one wants to purchase a cheap product, like food that has been left out too long, because it would be a  waste to throw it away. My first job was for a man who would pull product out of the waste bin & put it back out (true story!) or something from an inferior manufacturer, that falls apart right away.
So, what are your thoughts? Your experiences, either as an employee or a customer?  SAM

Photo: "Two Webs" by samsstuff
Property of the author, please do not use without permission


Unknown said...

Oh my! Visiting from SITS. I don't like buzzard lady at all. Who acts like that? So creepy!

Unknown said...

She was not very pleasant, was she? Sadly, the food service industry (this was an espresso bar) seems to have many Buzzard Ladies (& men) & Weasel Children. I'm not sure why.
Thanks for stopping by!

Waterrose said...

What a great "story" and observation. I have met many buzzard people in business. It does seem initially that they are getting ahead faster, but I think they fall behind soon afterwards...because who wants to do business with people like that? How do they keep customers?