“Attention all employees, attention all employees. Please remember to have your ID pass visible at all times. Vostrom Incorporated will not be held liable for any injuries caused by security staff in the event of an unknown person in the building. Thank you.” Bill Nostrom flinched slightly at the sound of the tannoy system. The speaker was so close to the hard plastic bench he was perched on it was as if the brisk authoritative voice was shouting directly into his ear. Instinctively checking that his ID tag was on his person, (it was, as always, clipped firmly to the breast pocket of his cheap suit), Bill continued fiddling with his tie and waiting for the clock on the wall to strike 3. It was currently sitting at 2:58, and the second hand seemed intent on travelling as slowly as possible.
Bill had a meeting with the head of the regional marketing director, Duncan Hertzmann. Mr Hertzmann was a kindly old man, with a touch of senility giving his personality a bizarre mix of politeness and bluntness. Being called into his office usually meant bad news. Hertzmann considered himself a good bearer of bad news, a fact his yes men have been too spineless to refute. Outside the floor to ceiling windows, afternoon traffic roared and horns blared. Bill would sell his left leg to be in one of those cars right now, racing far far away from Nowhere City out into the leafy green forests. The blonde secretary interrupted his wistful daydreams, startling Bill. She had been sitting still for so long, flipping through a magazine, she may as well have become part of the furniture. “Mr Hertzmann will see you now,” she stated, with all the emotion of the automated tannoy. Bill straightened his tie, and stepped through the imposing wooden door.
Instantly his nose was assaulted by the pungent reek of cigars. Hertzmann’s office, although situated in the non-smoking portion of the 15th floor, always reeked of cigars, the stench having long embedded itself into the wooden furniture and shag carpet. “Ah, Bob! How’re you doing?” Bill had long ago given up trying to correct Hertzmann. He only bothered remembering the name of the movers and shakers in his department. This reminder only served to cause Bill’s stomach to drop further into despair. “Very good, sir. Thank you for asking.” Bill took a seat in the plush leather chair opposite Hertzmann, doing his best to inhale as infrequently as possible. “That’s great. Bob, that’s great.” Hertzmann’s expression told Bill that the old man hadn’t heard a word he’d said. “Now, I’ve brought you here to discuss your statistics. This quarter, you completed… 1657 sales, with a total pickup rate of 94.98 percent. Now how’s that look, Bob?” Bill gave Hertzmann a quizzical look. “I don’t understand, sir. Last I checked, my pickup rate was 96.60?” Hertzmann returned Bill’s look with a smile one gives when explaining something to a small child, or someone who is very dense. “One of your clients, a Mr Wendell, went bankrupt earlier this morning. His purchase has been cancelled. Now I know what you’re going to say. ‘Mr Hertzmann, that’s out of my hands! What could I have done?’ That’s not the attitude we like here at Vostrom. Be a go-getter, Bob! Nothing’s ‘Out of your hands.’ If you’re going to think like that, you may as well move to Fulgistan!” Hertzmann erupted into a wheezing chuckle. Bill’s face remained a stoic mask, not betraying his internal anger and confusion. The old man’s ramblings made little sense to him. Hertzmann’s cheery voice temporarily distracted him from the autoclave of emotions in his gut. “Now normally, this would be a dismissal. But, I like you, Bob. You’ve got a second chance.” The fire of rage in his gut was quenched slightly by the cool water of relief. “But of course, there’ll be a reduction in your pay. Standard for a breach of contract. Oh, and a new policy. Your medical subscription will be dropped from gold to silver. Still, better than nothing, right?” Bill’s heart dropped instantly. “But… but sir, I’m diabetic! What about my insulin? Silver won’t get me enough for the full month!” Hertzmann rose slowly to his feet, letting out the sigh all men do after a certain age when rising from a chair. Placing one arm around Bill’s shoulder, he led him to the door. Hertzmann’s gold watch felt like it weighed a tonne on Bill’s shoulder, and the ticking was deafeningly loud. “Now now Bob, what did I just say? Be a go-getter! I don’t want excuses, I want results. Let this serve as a motivator! Tell you what, if you can square your stats back up, I'll see what I can do to get you that gold again. No promises though, Bob.” Before Bill knew it, he was back in the waiting room. “Go get em, Bobby!” Hertzmann exclaimed optimistically, then slammed shut the ornate wooden door.
By DPR Velaheria
Bastaria, VCNA| 27th April, 2020
Electrical towers and networks to be upgraded and extended in the Southern province of Vörsa--
The Province of Vörsa, a major supplier of food and grains to the Central Granaries, is an important province, both economically and socially, but unfortunately it faces chronic power outages due to unfavourable conditions and outdated infrastructure, and has continued for a long time, i.e for nearly 2 years, until yesterday, when the Deputy chairman of the Red Brigade of the Central Beareu of The Democratic Republic of Velaheria, Mr.Röbert Fjörd, himself was sent by the party to organise the extension, repair and upgrading of the electrical networks in the province.
He said to the native people present there that, the networks would be repaired as soon as possible and the extension of the networks would start from the next week, The Current Situation would also be made less severe by upgrading the power grids which would increase the power outputs and would reduce chronic blackouts by 60%, The Extension and upgrades, would be made by keeping the party's decision of lowering power blackouts and increasing civillian power sourcing all across Vörsa in mind.
Irrigation systems would also be upgraded to increase the total area of land irrigated by the irrigation pumps, which would in turn increase the amount of grains cultivated in that area in the following years.
By DPR Velaheria
Velaheria to update its infrastructure networks and extend roadways
Glorious Comrades of Velaheria, The Velaherian People's party and comrade Ander Starinburg have made some announcements as per today, which fulfil some of our long sought objectives, which we all will march towards one day.
The party has said that it will extend the road networks streching from bastaria to koinsberg, to go towards Erfür, which has so long has had no direct connection to the capital of velaheria, and the revolution. The Roads will as per the party's comments improve transportation facilities and will make sure that velaheria is able to better sustain its internal economy it has so long held up. The roads will also help farmers and workers to travel to the capital and the port city and see the beauty of the motherland's heart for themselves.
The party has also commented that it would improve the infrastructure networks of velaheria by making the unpaved roads paved and by making the paved roads polished by tar, the railways will also be modernized, as the freight capacity of the rails would be increased and the trains would be modernized by importing more advanced engines, while domestically continuing to produce the bogeys. This modernization is said to help the proletariat or the working people to gain more productivity and work more for the state..
"Workers of Velaheria, unite"