Is it bad when the boss asks for drugs? I’m on a gig reviewing business documents. So I approach this question in terms of risk versus return on investment, ROI in biz-buzz.

My calculation is simple. If there is a game, I want to play, and people say there’s a game, a semi-secret-maybe-mythical employment competition called the Lovesport. To find out more, I tell Daisy it can be sorted. She smiles tight and glides away, dazzling me with the powerful aura of MoreCorp Silicon.

When she’s gone, I tap Wolf’s slot. He looks up and asks, “Was that tek talk?”

“No. She wants weeds. Problematic?”

He shrugs. “Not AFAICT.”

“Translate.”

“As far as I can tell,” he provides. “Or, forest eye can tell…sometimes, on the onlines.”

“Ok. Cute,” I say. “But stupid if you think it through.”

“So don’t, Ellipsis. Be a fool.”

“Why, Wolf? To yield more laughs?”

“If you must put it in investment terms,” he chides.

I must. The next day an offering is made. I’m surprised at ROI. Yields are immediate. Daisy wanders over after finding a paper cone of herb stuffed in her purse. She smiles sincerely for the first time, inviting me and Wolf to switch slots. “Hey koolio! You and boo should move near me. I’m lonely.”

“Kool,” I reply, trying to discreetly sweep notebook and pen into my cape pocket.

Daisy spots this and is curious. “Knows prose, huh? The Arts Old. Right on. Super kool!”

I neither confirm nor deny, not wanting to admit dated specialties to a representative of the corporation that owns the future, whatever she claims. (Because if prose is so kool, why’s it being controlled as an art old?)

Signaling to Wolf that we’re moving with a sideways thumb, I then turn it upright to say ‘it’s not bad.’ He gets up and gathers his stuff, offering to go out and get us bevies before settling in to slots beside the boss. Wolf winks quickly at me and smiles sweetly at Daisy. She approves, telling him, “Take my card. It’s on Uncle MoreCorp.”

Then she turns to me, instructing with a mean laugh. “Follow, Ellipsis, and watch closely as we fux with heads.” And she’s right. Reader resentment is palpable as we pass the small, sullen, competitive group of temps. Everyone’s mostly doing the minimum, which is considered maximization.

See, Too Long Don’t Read — TLDR — is a text reduction method innovated by biz-dev thought leaders for plus-what’s-up-minus-space-waste. It’s a spawn of the MoreCorp algorithmic perfect, Near Zero, or N0, also known as the formula that changed the world.

But corporate reverence for N0 has bred reader contempt for yes, and most of us try to do near zero, as literacy gigs are rare and the more we do, the less is left to reduce. For when we are toiling, registered professional readers relieve the world of works great and small, aggregating them in electronic spreadsheets … because, basically, writing is wordy and best concentrated to its essence or less.

Projects vary in length and subject — biz, histo, law, lit, medi, philo, tax, tek — everything must go. Or more precisely, get condensed to a sentence or so. This applies to spiritual guides, sci-fi, all the novelists in the alphabet, Allende to Zamyatin, the billions of opinions of the early inters’ innumerable bloggers, and the legal edicts of the single Super Judge on the Universal Mega Court today.

We get to the heart, the TLDR, because words waste data storage space, plus time. And time is money, and money is, well, everything, so the acronym is the ideal expression.

With brevity as the primary goal, each assignment presents a unique challenge to thoughtful readers. I, for example, once reduced the ancient Tao Te Ching to so near zero it nearly broke my heart. But more on that later. The thoughtless don’t give a fux of course, dismissing all the writings of yore with a cursory NR. That’s non-responsive, or not worth saving.

Less is more in TLDR, as evidenced by the motto Daisy shouts at readers as she leads me out the office door. “Reduction’s production y’all!”

She blows a kiss and waves at the hunched workers in their slots, all stealing sideways glances while trying to look like they are not watching us walk out. Daisy explains to me in a loud, plainly audible whisper that this cruel flirtation is just practice. “I’m growing sexpertise to monetize on it if MoreCorp ends up a no-go.”

“How so?” We exit the building to a blustery, gray Metropolis afternoon, bitter cold, trudge through slush to an alley where Daisy smokes a spliff and I puff a cig.

“Stripping,” she replies.

“Stripping?! Are you serious?”

“I’m never serious!” Daisy smirks. She’s tiny and tense, huddled in a hoodie, wrapped in a scarf, and stuffed in silver tektites (for running, not an office, unless it’s in Silicon where garb is not a signifier). Exhaling, she sighs, “But yes. Sex. Sells. Common knowledge.”

“Yes,” I say. “But you’re a regi-prof, text ed! Don’t you make bank at the world’s best corp?”

“I do. But maybe not for long.”

“What? The Lovesport?”

“Ahh! The Lovesport, that’s all anyone ever wants to know!” Daisy throws the roach into a filthy snowbank and turns back to the office, walking in silence. Ar the door, before thumbing the scanner programmed with her print, she turns to me and whispers, quietly this time though we’re alone. “I’m in it. Muthahellaplusfrigginsux.”

“What?”

“Shhh…”

Upstairs, we slide straight into our slots. Nothing to talk about but much to consider!

I am inspired but don’t tell Wolf immediately because his magical realism involves a higher proportion of real to magic than mine. He disdains hope as a delusional philo for the consolation of morons.

Still, if the Lovesport is real, then maybe we’ll be the ones to play — our metrics are meteoric.

Or maybe Daisy’s playing me. Everyone’s got an angle and a need, which is why biz-devers say that a project is like a microcosm of the universe, with all of us interconnected and dependent and ruled by executives.

Either way, it’s ok. I’ve been reading carefully and learning from the best, MoreCorp. Strategic partnership; I get it! Whether you’re a major corporation or a mere mortal scrambling to kick open its doors, people (organic or legal) need a connect.


Originally published at www.ephratlivni.com.

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