Nells Andersower could handle anything that was thrown at, dropped on, or routed to him. Everybody in the company knew that. It just took a certain amount of time and constant reminding, since he was so busy.

“Hey Nells,” said the mail guy. “Did you set up the new internal routing system?”

“Not yet,” answered Nells. “But I can fit it in around 3:15 today. Will that work? Awesome possum.”

“Hey Nells,” said the shop steward. “Did you review the union contract?”

“Tomorrow, I promise,” said Nells. “Okay? Cool-e-o.”

“Hey Nells,” said one of the vice presidents. “Did you analyze all the companies on the potential mergers and acquisitions list?”

“It’s in your in-box. I didn’t put it on your chair. I know you hate that.”

Until one day, Nells exploded. Literally. Nobody knew it until that moment, but he wasn’t real. He was just an aluminum-plaster composite with a complex internal wiring system.

The vice president, the mail guy, and seven other employees witnessed the explosion, which had been much like a stepped on puffball mushroom. A bit anti-climactic, yet “dusty as all get out,” as the mail guy described it.

The vice president immediately promoted the mail guy. “Find out who made him. Have a dozen more made by the end of the week.”

As it was Thursday, and the end of the week was Friday unless the promoted mail guy wanted to work Saturday, he got on it immediately. It only took an hour for the promoted mail guy to discover that Nells had been created by an intelligent computer program that refused to create any more, since it had “been there, done that.” It was busy creating art, and the way it was going, wasn’t likely to do anything helpful to society for some time.

The promoted mail guy commandeered an empty corner office on the ninth floor and became the next Go To Guy. “It seemed a natural progression,” he explained. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to troubleshoot the customer relationship management database.”

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