One afternoon, when I was leisurely drinking my tea, I suddenly felt that my cup was fighting to evade my grip. Closer examination, however, revealed that it wasn’t my cup at all; it was my hands, having been terrorized by a pair of claws that that had arrived to replace them, that were trying to escape.
“Not again!” I thought, and decided that this time I was going to file a complaint.
My spoon gave a busy signal first, and then gave no dial tone, and I realized that a visit in person would be necessary, so I dived in. Fortunately enough, I could easily reach the cube of sugar, which was still lying at the bottom. The complaints department, on the other hand, seemed to have moved and I couldn’t find it anywhere.
A little blue fish approached me and asked for the way to the technical department. But having missed my tea, I felt hungry and swallowed it. This seemed to somewhat upset his big brother, who appeared from behind the corner, and ignoring my unsavory flavor, gulped me at once.
I knew I was heading in the right direction when I saw a Complaints Department sign shimmering from the back of his throat, and I started tracing the arrows on the floor.
Down the spiraling stairs I went, and up the dark corridors, until I found myself facing a locked door, who rudely refused to let me in. I was about to retrace my steps, when my claws, eager to prove themselves useful, scratched their way through the unfriendly door to the other side, where I was attacked by champagne corks, balloons and a group of women who insisted on kissing me all over.
“Surprise!” they called, blowing the trumpets.
“Welcome to the accounting department,” said an accountant-looking woman. “You are the first person to have joined us since the freeze in human resource,” she said, and with a sweep of her arm cleared a space for herself on a big mahogany desk and set on it opened legged.
“We are your family now,” she continued, pulling me towards her, with her eyes glowing. “So make sure your report is on my desk by seven tonight.”
“But I’m only looking for the complaints department,” I said faintly.
“The complaints department?” she shrieked loudly, attracting all eyes in my direction, making me wish I’d never uttered the words. “He wants the complaints department!
“We are not good enough for him here. Let’s show him what we do to people who are after the complaints department!” she cried and kicked me straight through the wall into a small room, where I crash-landed over a machine, whose jammed cogs started to heat up to my touch, while humming cheerfully to themselves.
“Thanks for the lift,” said the small slimy blue fish, jumping out of my mouth. “Keep the change,” he continued, handing me a dime.
I wanted him to stay and introduce me to the machine, which seemed too shy to make my acquaintance. But he vanished in the crowed.
As conversation seemed impossible under the circumstances, I started staring the walls, hoping to find my way out. One brick after the other I tapped, until I found what I was after.
“Exit,” said the brick, and smiled temptingly.
“Could you please open up for me?” I asked. But she kept quiet, and only her widening smile indicated she’d heard me. I tapped her again, and she opened straight away, and I could see half a dozen sulking people sniffing roses in disgust.
“No more complaints!” they shouted when they saw me. “Can’t you see we’re closed now? Take a rose and go away.”
But as I noticed that the roses formed the words ‘Complaints Department’ I decided to pursue the issue for which I’d come.
“When will you open again?” I asked.
“Tomorrow, It’s always tomorrow,” came the reply.
“It’s only a small issue.” I insisted. “Look, I was having my cup of tea, when all of a sudden my hands decided to escape, and left me with these,” I said, making my claws visible.
“A very nice pair of claws… osprey’s I should say. They look just fine to me.”
“But I don't want them. I want my hands back!”
“You think that you’ve got a problem, don’t you?” they grumbled. “Look at these roses, for instance. They don’t even smell. And they are all fresh. Do you really think that we can keep listening to your complaints under such conditions?”
“But…” I said, feeling embarrassed to have been so selfish.
“Listen mate, one more word from you and you’re the manager here. Then, all your complaints will be dealt with by our internal affair department,, where they’ll be given a special clearing priority, just over there,” he said pointing to the dust bin in the corner.
“But …” I said again.
“That’s done it. “Starting now, you’re the manager. And if you don’t want us all to be going on a strike, you’d better do something about these roses straight away,” they said, and pushed me into a manager’s soft-leathered chair.
As a manager my claws turned up to be of great value, so I decided to keep them, and withdrew my complaint altogether. And this was the beginning of my professional life.