“Where have you been?” Tara Bull barked at Linda Stay as she hovered over her desk.
“I had trouble driving in this weather and barely made it in. We got a foot of snow overnight and it took me over an hour to drive 25 miles,” Linda nervously explained as she set her purse and keys down on her cubicle desk.
“Well, I don’t have four-wheel drive and I made it just fine” Tara snipped as she berated the beleaguered Linda over her five minute tardiness. “I will mark this as a failure on your bi-weekly production report because attendance needs to be at 100%. You will not qualify for your hourly bonus this pay period. This is unacceptable.
Before Linda could react, Tara snapped “get on the phones!” and sat at her desk down to nom some breakfast burritos.
At 11:00, everyone could not wait to get off the phones. Yes, it was a dreaded production meeting which mandated the entire corporation’s presence, regardless of position, an award ceremony which invoked memories and emotions of high school assemblies. However, the collectors would do anything to get off the phones, even for an hour.
“I will get straight to the point. We need to increase production,” said Mr. Mack E. Avelli, Credit Recovery Associates (CRASS) Chief Executive Officer. The crowd erupted in laughter when Tara Bull ripped one and crapped her pants.
“Did I do that?” asked an embarrassed Ms. Bull.
“We need to get more bullish!” said Mikey as the crowd continued to giggle.
“Silence!” Mr. Avelli shouted and the room went dead, as if you could cut the tension with a knife.
“Since nobody made production, the employee of the month award is going to go to the person who ranked highest on the quality metric. Without further ado, I present this award to Mrs. Linda Stay.”
The crowd cheered and clapped, that is everyone except for Tara. She went back to the washroom and filled the toilet, clearing everyone from the stalls and all employees within a 25-foot radius. Don’t light a match!
“I mean you made the top of our production metrics. Good job, keep doubling down on debtors and you will do just swell here at CRASS.”
Robbie flashes a thumbs-up to Sybil and dances back to his cubicle.
“Ding.” Everybody gets the same email.
From: “Mack. E. Avelli” [firstname.lastname@example.org] To: “CRASS Corporate Listserv” [email@example.com] Friday, October 25, 2022 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 and money is time!
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. Think of all the fun things you can do with that!
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 dog bones because she likes to eat them during her breaks.
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 in between calls, jogging in place, beeping his watch to check his heart rate.
“Eeep!” The email all CRASS employees have been awaiting for has arrived.
“Who changed our notification sound to a wild eep?” Robbie asks.
“That was probably Dorian,” Sybil sighs.
From: “Dorian James” [firstname.lastname@example.org] To: “CRASS Corporate Listserv” [email@example.com] Thursday, October 31, 2022 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. That’s so deep. I love Elvis. You are a real winner!
Dorian James Art Director Extraordinaire Credit Recovery Associates (CRASS)
The CRASS staff is upset…except for Robbie. He is smiling away, taking calls and collecting his Form 4s from all the bonuses he gets collecting on fake debt. Robbie is grinning ear to ear and cannot wait to rub his trophy in the faces of the collections team 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. You’re not my type. 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? Yeah, ya little twerp! See what it’s like?” Sybil says to a beleaguered Dorian.
Deerfield, Illinois-born drugstore chief, wacky inventor and barfly Wally Green is playing solitaire at The Gaslight after the nice lady in heels rejected his moves. Apparently his tall tales about wrongly losing the deed to Manhattan Island – after pirates had stolen it from his ancestors – was too much for her to handle. I wonder what she thinks of the air-horn inside his nose which blares whenever he blows it.
Wally Green has been notorious for his wacky inventions for quite some time. Some of his ideas have made it into his drug stores. Others failed to pass patent approval and almost landed him in prison.
Made from real fingers, this new organic health drink was set to be the new health craze, only it failed FDA requirements, and put Wally on several law enforcement watch lists.
This production-oriented, automated toilet would flush well ahead of schedule and make sure to splash its user, doubling as a bedde. As an added bonus, Toiliot would entertain people by making fart noises after flushing, much like Wally would when he blew his nose.
This computer program would require its user to type in their password correct the first time. Any error would result in electric shock and their account locking up immediately.
Do not look for these products at a Wally Green’s near you.
Dale Francis Davis moved to Kankakee, IL from Snowflake, AZ to seek work after his relationship with Juli-Irma went sour.
His two year engagement with his dear poopiehead, and fellow Snowflake, Juli-Irma went downhill rather quickly when Miss Juli figured out dear Dale’s tablet and mobile telephone password, “password.” In a fit of jealous rage, she discovered that he had one contact other than his mother and his buddies from the town saloon, a Sybil Kibble, and blocked her promptly.
She then destroyed both devices by throwing them in the toilet, perplexed why they did not go down the bowl when she flushed.
A few days later, Dale hit the road to interview for his new position as a Collections Representative at Collections Recovery Associates (CRASS) in Kankakee, IL. He pulled out his new phone and confirmed the time. Today was the first day of the rest of his life.
Dale thanked Ms. Sybil Kibble for the offer, shook her hand and gladly accepted the job.
Sybil will do anything to make a buck. Spotting an ad for an MLM company, she gives it a go. “If the girls at Credit Recovery Associates (CRASS) can sell essential oils, I can do it too, only better!” Sybil tells herself. “There is a sucker born every minute.”
Wanting to outdo the competition, Sybil creates her own oil to sell. “Essential Snake Oil” Sybil dubs her new concoction, and she labels it “made from real snakes.”
What Sybil does not tell plan to tell her potential customers, is that her product contains no snake content at all. It is made from 100% Canola oil.
“I cannot wait to rip people off! With all the money I make, I can buy lots of dog food for dinner! Yum!” Sybil plots in her head.
The following day, Sybil heads to the cheapest grocery store in Bourbonnais to get canola oil. Customers looking for the best deal from nearby Manteno and Sybil’s hometown Kankakee look puzzled as a conniving Sybil fills her cart with gallons and gallons of canola.
As Sybil approaches the cashier with her cart, she can barely move, it is so heavy.
Sybil loads her stash onto the conveyor belt, and the clerk immediately gives Sybil the stinkeye. “You are sure buying a lot of oil there, girl! Are you frying up a bunch of fish?” The clerk giggles, unaware of the scheme Sybil is trying to cook up.
“Okay, ma’am, that will be $413.83.”
Sybil gets out her Wally Green’s credit card.
A few uncomfortable seconds pass, which seem like hours in Sybil’s mind.
“What is the matter?” gasps Sybil.
Sybil’s heart sinks.
“This cannot be. Run it again!” Sybil snips.
The clerk ran the card two more times.
“Get me your manager!” Sybil screams.
“I am the store manager and owner.”
“Why was my card declined?” Sybil asks defensively.
“NSF – Insufficient Funds. Pretty bad for a bill collector like you. There was a time I was down and out and you called my house relentlessly, usually at dinner time. I could not afford to make my payments because you doubled the amount you would accept. Now you are broke. What did you need all that oil for any way? Are you you going to oil a snake or something?”
Sybil backs away with her head down and slowly heads out the door, and to her home alone, in Kankakee.
Meet Kankakee bill-collector Sybil Kibble’s favorite neighbor and her wacky sons, The Hurlbutts.
On the right is Damien Ulysses Hurlbutt of Bourbonnais, IL. He is the 46 year old neckbeard son of Pearl Hurlbutt.
Communal narcissist Damien is divorced because he verbally abused his ex-wife Lori, to whom he only refers as “Grimace”. A shopping addict and hoarder, he would rather sleep on the floor and on top of his boxes than furniture, because he spends all his wages on impressing co-workers and single ladies when not buying useless crap he does not need. He mops up the lake he creates every time he showers with his moldy socks. Prone to outbursts and wearing socks with his $125.00 sandals, Damien thinks he is a hit with the ladies…yeah, no.
Damien works as a clerk at the local multiplex’s ticket counter. He offers free movie tickets to local and online young ladies in his feeble attempts to woo them. He snores incredibly loud due to his innattention to his diagnosed sleep apnea. He blocks his sleep doctor’s telephone calls on his flip phone so he can avoid dealing with it.
He loves to sleep and wishes he could sleep more, however he spends too much time lying awake thinking up new ways to emotionally swindle people. Damien was last seen outside Area 51.
In the middle stands Kankakee’s very own Pearl Josephine “PJ” Hurlbutt. She wears the same muu-muu inside and outside the house, every day of the week. She even had worn it into her call center job at CRASS, before she retired. Sybil Kibble thinks PJ is “just swell” and considers PJ her best friend.
On the left you see Robbie Roy Gary Hurlbutt of Kankakee, IL His mother PJ likes to brag about that time in Gary, Indiana when Robbie was conceived.
He is the 43 year old son of Pearl Hurlbutt and brother to Damien.
Robbie is a ladies’ man, Elvis-obsessed and is as big a hoarder as his brother Damien. He has a room in his apartment just for his record collection. He is 42 and never married; covert narcissist Robbie would rather “make love to the audience” at the Kankakee County karaoke bars because the women with whom he has been in relationships eventually have figured out his con game. When he is not committing love-fraud, petty criminal Robbie pals around sociopath Pat Splatt cooking up ways to rip off innocent people for fun and profit; ideas inspired by his father N. Ron Hurlbutt.
He is thoroughly convinced he is the reincarnation of Elvis and has an intense fear of being locked in a bathroom.