Robbie’s Singing the Bathroom Blues

Kankakee, Illinois’ worst Elvis impersonator, Wally Green’s drugstore clerk and evil narcissistic abuser Robbie Hurlbutt has a huge crush on Midnight Supremes lead singer Gothic Diana Ross. After all, she is an impersonator also, and he wants to make a huge impression on her. She has a gig coming up soon and he is scheming to find a way to connive his boss, store owner Wally Green into letting him hang up her show poster at work to promote her music as he thinks it will somehow make her like him. 

”Hey Robbie, have a look at these paper towels I invented just for my store: Half the size, twice the cost. All the frustration when you go to rip off a sheet, thanks to me!” boasts a balding, squat, rotund Wally Green as he tips his fishing cap.

“I know, boss, let’s put them on a groovy display table near the front of the store so the suckers — I mean customers — will think they are getting them on sale.”

“Great idea! I am glad I thought of it!” Wally exclaims with glee, throwing his stubby arms into the air.

“Well…now that I, boss, thought of such a splendid idea, I have a favor to ask. This band is really a gas and I want to hang up their poster for their upcoming show at the store,” Robbie says to his superior with bedroom eyes, dreaming of Miss Gothic Diana Ross, the only Boss he could ever want.

“Naw. Get back to work. I need you to make production metrics this time. Start selling people some pills they really do not need.”

Credit Recovery Associates (CRASS) Lead Debt Collector Sybil Kibble comes into Wally Green’s Drugstore to buy an iced coffee and a bag of dog biscuits for lunch as she forgot hers at home.

“Ehh. Out of order again. Must be that half ply toilet paper,” Sybil thinks out loud.

“Your washroom is on the blink?” Robbie asks, aghast.

“Yeah and I am in a hurry!” Sybil shouts as she makes her way over toward the men’s room.

“Do not go in there!” Robbie commands Sybil.

Sybil walks by Gothic Diana Ross in the men’s room, who is looking in the mirror, applying her jet-black eyeliner. She pinches a huge loaf in the stall next to Wally Green, who is busy whizzing away in the urinal. Sybil flushes but does not clean up the mess on the seat, flinging the door wide open with her arm. She makes a beeline for the sink and spots Diana sarcastically chortling away at the Gothic Diana Ross and the Midnight Supremes poster on washroom wall.

A befuddled Robbie struts into the men’s room. 

“I TOLD YOU NOT TO COME IN HERE!” Robbie shouts at the women. “THIS IS THE MEN’S ROOM.”

“Get back to work, Robbie, the ladies’ room is closed. Take down this poster while you are at it and apologize to our customers.” Wally Green tells his employee Robbie.

“I am sorry IF I offended you.” Robbie smirks.

“Get lost!” Diana and Sybil chant in unison as they leave the bathroom.

Sybil buys her lunch and heads back to work. Wally sells lots of paper towels and Robbie is put on temporary janitorial duty until he improves his customer service skills. But don’t lock him in the bathroom. He thinks he is Elvis.

CRASS Cubicle Contest

“You are number one!” Team Leader Sybil Kibble tells new part-time Collections Representative, Robbie Hurlbutt.

“I know,” Robbie smirks.

“No, I mean you made the top of our production metrics. Good job, keep doubling down on debtors and you will do well here at CRASS.”

Robbie flashes a thumbs up to Sybil and swings back around to his cubicle.

“Ding.” Everybody gets the same email.

From: “Mack. E. Avelli” [bigmack@crass-llc.con]

To: “CRASS Corporate Listserv” [all-crass-l@crass-llc.con]

Friday, October 25, 2019

Subject: Cubicle Decoration Contest

We here at CRASS care about employee stress. Therefore I, as your polite and tenderhearted Chief Executive Officer, am extending an entire thirty minutes (:30) to participate in the company cubicle contest (CCC). Be creative in decorating your cubicles and have fun! You are not required to use your lunch for this event, but we encourage you because time is money!

The winner will be selected by our very own art director, the lovely and talented Dorian James on Halloween Day.

The prize will be a trophy to display in your office. Have a spooky good time!

Regards,

Mr. Mack E. Avelli

CRASS Chief Executive Officer

The collectors get to work making calls and decorating their cubicles. Robbie Hurlbutt, a local Elvis impersonator best known for an Internet meme featuring a scowling lady unhappy with his nursing home performance, covers his cube with Elvis record covers. Dale Davis covers his walls with ghouls and goblins. Sybil Kibble covers her supervisor cubicle with devil dogs.

It is a cold, windy Halloween day in Kankakee and it is starting to rain. “If you don’t like the weather here in the Midwest, wait five minutes,” Dale jokes to Sybil.

“Eeep!” The email all of CRASS has been waiting for comes in.

“Who changed our notification sound to a wild eep?” Robbie asks.

“That was probably Dorian,” Sybil sighs.

From: “Dorian James” [dorian@crass-llc.con]

To: “CRASS Corporate Listserv” [all-crass-l@crass-llc.con]

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Subject: Cubicle Decoration Contest Winners and Losers

Sybil: Your design lacks thought and maturity. It is not what we are looking for.

Dale: There is no art development and it basically reads like a rather puerile joke.

Tara: You are obviously a 13 year old drama queen…Grow up little girl.

Mack: Several of us discussed your design and did not like it. Not everyone likes what I make. It is not personal.

Mike: You need to get used to the fact that not everyone is going to like your work and move on.

Robbie: That is the best design I have ever seen. I love Elvis. You are my winner.

R,

Mister Dorian James

Art Director Extraordinaire

Credit Recovery Associates

The staff is upset with valid reason…except for Robbie. He is smiling away, taking calls and collecting his Form 4s from all the bonuses he gets from not accepting less than double what the debtors can afford to pay. Robbie is grinning ear to ear and cannot wait to rub his trophy in to the entire staff after he receives it.

Robbie continues to successfully make one call after another, when he gets a wide-eyed visitor.

“Hey there, fella!” an upright, confident Dorian James chants to Robbie as he is very happy to see him.

“Oh hey man! Thanks for picking me! Better than picking my nose ya know.”

Awkward silence ensues.

“That was a joke, ya know,” Robbie says nervously.

“Oh sweetheart, I am here to present you with your award.”

“Thanks, man!” Robbie says as he accepts his tiny, gold-tinted trophy.

“Oh, thank you honey. Not a problem at ALL! Hey Robbie, what ya doin’ after work? I think ya kinda cute and wanna take my number one man to dinner!”

“Wait, what?” a confused Robbie asks.

“Yeah cutie! I love your Elvis hair and your clothes! Let’s go out and do karaoke or something!”

“No way man. I quit!” An infuriated Robbie storms off the job and out the building.

Dorian feels crushed by the rejection.

“How does it feel to get rejected, huh Dorian?”

“Yeah you little reject! Now start walking in our shoes.” Sybil says to a beleaguered Dorian.

The staff all begin to laugh at Dorian and make their ways home. It is the end of a long, scary, stressful workday.

Happy Halloween!

I Wanna Speak To The Manager

“We need to increase our bottom line,” CRASS CEO Mack E. Avelli tells his entire staff in the board room.

“Size matters.”

Laughter fills the entire room.

“Our budget is only so big and we need to increase our revenue to exceed expenses. We could only give so much to the Optimal Club last year and we had to shortchange the Kankakee Medicine Pronouncing Competition, even though we had already committed. We need good ideas, only the best.

Dale raises his hand.

“I know. I have a really good idea. How about we do things the Dale way this year…”

Mr. Avelli sighs.

“No just listen up. I’m worth your time. How about we spend less money on charity? That way we will have more money for the things we need. It all makes sense. We can do things the way we have been doing them, or we can do things the Dale way.”

“That’s enough Dale. We need to look good for the community. Image is everything. Who will go next?”

“Maybe we can hire more people to cut back on overtime? I am swamped with purchase requests!” Linda Stay says.

“Nice idea, but work faster,” Mr. Avelli snarks.

Sybil raises her hand.

“Sybil Kibble! What is YOUR grand idea?”

“I know. How about we call up and say we are “Kristy” from Management. Ask the debtor to call us back. We have no Kristy working here. Block caller ID so the suckers will not know it is us!”

“Great idea Sybil! Change all scripts immediately and don’t forget to double down on every call, everybody!”

The collectors get to work.

Calls come in.

“I would like to talk to Crispy?”

“Crisco called. Hahahaha.”

“Is the Cisco kid? My router is stuck. Can you fix it?

“Yeah I hear I won a free trip to Frisco. When do I go?”

More calls roll in.

“Yeah I heard a manager called me. I wanna speak to the manager. This is Karen.”

Team Leader Sybil Kibble cannot keep up with the call volume. The Collections Representatives keep transferring all their calls to her because they keep asking for a manager. After all, the messages stated a manager called for them! 

The phone system shuts down due to Denial of Service, in other words a system overload.

“What are we going to do?” CRASS CEO Mack E. Avelli asks Sybil Kibble in her office.

“Act more ethically next time?”

They share a laugh.”

“Carrier pigeons,” Mr. Avelli smirks.

It is CRASS business as usual.

Do It Yourself Mike

CRASS Maintenance Chief and Building Manager Mikey Philips is a real do-it-yourselfer. In charge of security, maintenance, and all building operations, Mike wears many hats (not just fedoras). However, Mike has no problem ordering other people to do his work and often does the bare minimum to satisfy his job description, or less.

“Knock-knock. Hi Mike. It’s Clio from HR.”

“Come.”

“The ladies’ room garbage has been overflowing all day. This is an ongoing, systematic problem. Can you please look into it?”

“Do it yourself,” Mike tells Clio.

“You are in charge of building operations. Can you please look into it?”

“I am busy, do it yourself.”

Clio walks away and Mike picks up a newspaper.

A loud pound is heard on Mike’s door. Mike grumbles and crumples his paper.

“Who goes there?”

“Tara Bull from Accounts Receivable. I need to speak with you.”

Tara opens the door.

“Yes.”

“The vending machines in the breakroom have been busted for two weeks. Get on it.”

“Do it yourself,” Mike tells Ms. Bull.

“What is the status of my request I put in two weeks ago? I sent you three emails.”

“Can you do it? I am busy, got running around to do.”

Tara storms out.

Mike logs onto the DullerImage web site to order some essential snake oils and some dehydrated water, however his credit card is declined. “NSF, why is that?” Mike logs onto his Last Bank of Kankakee account and discovers he was not paid today.

Mike calls up Mr. Mack E. Avelli, CRASS CEO, to complain.

“Yes, hello. I just found out I did not get paid today. It is Friday. Why not?”

“I can pay you but you have to work to get money first. Want a way to earn money? Do it yourself, Mike.”