Human Resource – A Free Short Story!

All right, guys, a bit of a warning with this one. It’s … dark. Very dark, especially if you stop to think about it. And grim.

Worse still, it’s not entirely untrue.

A bit of background: I wrote this story after my second frustrating workplace injury and experience dealing with Worker’s Comp and my part-time job’s Human Resources department. If you’re interested in hearing the details about that, you can check out this post here, which is all about how I acquired the injury and the recover I underwent. But the short of it is that within days I was already feeling like I had when I’d had my knee injury. In other words, very much like my company just wanted to practice horse medicine and shove everything under the rug.

In my frustrations, I ended up writing this short to blow off a little steam. It’s dark. It’s grim. And, worst of all, it’s actually pretty true, and like most good fiction, that makes it all the more alarming.

The microphone monitoring tech? That’s real. A certain massive mega-conglomerate retailer patented it last year and has already started rolling it out into stores. It monitors all employees at all times. And yes, they do warn that ‘certain problem words’ can trigger an automatic, computer-driven firing. Boop, a text to your phone, go home, you’re done here.

That’s what scariest about this story: It’s really not that far off. The tech involved here is very real, and already being rolled into the workplace much in the same way you see it in this story. It’s just all in one package, and seeing the sudden jump from where we are now to where we may be in five, ten years really does seem jarring, compared to coming in to a new bit or piece every day.

Am I worried we might go as far as this story? Well … in a way, yes. We were once already there, if you know your history of what jobs used to be like before labor laws were put in place.

But I’ll stop waxing on it now. You’re here to read a story. So, without further ado, I present to you Human Resource. Enjoy!

And try not to let it depress you too much. I can tell you it was therapeutic to write.


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Metro Contest Entry – The Ride

A bit of a forward, first, by way of explanation.

This story was written for 4A Games’ 4ALives Metro 2033 contest. The goal was to create something (a story, piece of art, etc) set in the universe of Metro 2033 (which I had just recently beaten at the time the contest was announced). Interested in exploring the Metro universe, I spent some time thinking about it and then put together this experimental little story as an exercise in my talents (and I am aware that the series is based on a book series, but alas, I have not read them yet).

Enjoy.

Oh, and as you might expect … just a small language warning. It’s the Metro, after all.

 

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Anniversary MEGA-Sale!

WHOA! Unusual Things has been on the web for one year this Wednesday! Which means sweet things for this week’s collection of posts, like a Reddit AMA this Wednesday to mark the one-year date!

But you saw MEGA-Sale and clicked this right? So a MEGA-Sale (yes, I’m going to keep capitalizing this like it’s the 90s) you shall receive! On everything. For the entire week. Over 320,000 words (1100 pages) worth of fiction.

That’s right, all through this week, starting today (Monday) through Friday, every single thing I’ve published is on sale. Starting at 25% off, and jumping all the way down to free. Had your eye on Dead Silver? Been waiting to snatch up a copy of Unusual Events? Now’s the time.

Hop on over to my Amazon.com page to check them all out at once (note, however, that due to a strange, and in my opinion dumb, quirk, that page does not show sales, you have to click each book to see the sale). Or, if you’re so inclined, use the Books page here on Unusual Things!

The clock is ticking, so grab ’em fast!