17 September 2016

The rise and fall of Mr. Shah

His tenure at the company was brief. His tenure at the company was spectacular.

Possibly he is not remembered by the others at all, by now. I remember him.

This is the story of Mr. Shah.

I never knew Mr. Shah. He officed behind the heavy wooden door at the end of the hallway. It was the same heavy wooden door our previous supervisor had officed behind before our previous supervisor was moved to the new Dallas location.

We arrived Monday morning to find the heavy wooden door already shut.

We heard the bangings and the hammerings that come with moving into a new office. Slightly more noise than we’d expected, to be honest. Yes, more noise, yes, but still, we knew Mr. Shah had arrived.

The emails began immediately.

Each of the emails was signed “Mr Shah”. There were many of these, with instructions. The instructions bore little in common with the jobs we had, up until then, been performing.

I worked late that Monday. I remember. Mr. Shah was still arranging his office when I left.

Tuesday, the arguments on the phone began.

They were probably arguments. From behind the heavy wooden door at the end of the hallway came a voice, hoarse and pained, like a man lost in some remote place wailing for rescue. It might have been in the Finnish language, for I do not know Finnish.

At the conclusion of each argument, we’d hear the sound of the phone slamming down, then more banging and more hammering from the ongoing move-in.

On Wednesday, our IT guy contacted a friend from the next tower over, and using a telescope, attempted to peer into the office window of Mr. Shah.

The results were disappointing.

On Thursday, we received an email in which our job duties, our work hours, and even our individual offices were completely rearranged. Curiously perhaps, this email was bereft of punctuation and signed “shaw”.

I began to fear that panic would ensue within the office. Thursday, however, was payday that week, and upon seeing our direct deposits had occurred as usual, we continued to do as we were told to do. Told to do by Mr. Shah, I mean. Or maybe Mr Shah. Or maybe just shaw.

By Friday, he was gone, his office cleared of everything but a desk, an orthopedic chair, and a single scrap of paper upon which someone had scribbled the word “VANQUISH”.

I sent everyone home.

Later, I received an email from our new Dallas office. It announced the impending arrival of a Mr. Khan as our new supervisor.

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