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Super-Short Storytime: “The Pit of Success”

Welcome to Super-Short Storytime, lovers of literature and fans of fiction!  I am Eduardo Soliz, the author and narrator of the fantastically frank tale that you are about to hear.

Like other folks who fashion fiction, inspiration for my stories often comes from real life. This particular tale was inspired my time spent in the corporate jungle. This story is part of “Nine to Five Lives,” a free e-book which can be downloaded from, this big business brief bears the title of: “The Pit of Success”

Alan was particularly glad to be at work today. After months of working overtime, finishing projects ahead of schedule, and just a little bit of schmoozing, he had been deemed worthy to be promoted to work in “The Pit.” The Pit was a special area where the best of the best worked on secret projects that represented the future of the company.

As he struggled to hold up a cardboard box that held his personal items, Alan held his badge above the doorknob to the entrance to the Pit as he had been told. It was a nondescript door that he had walked by every day without ever thinking about what was inside. A click sounded as the lock released. Alan balanced the box on one hand and used his other one to quickly open the door.

He entered the room and closed the door behind him. But for a single light that was above him, the room was completely dark except for some blinking LED lights scattered about. A voice suddenly came from the ceiling. Alan recognized it as belonging to the supervisor that he had conducted a phone interview with the week before: “Leave that box by the door, Mister Johnson. You will not need those things here.”  It said.

Alan did as he was instructed. He nervously looked around for somebody, but the office appeared to be unoccupied. As his eyes adjusted to the darkness, he saw rows upon rows of cubicles, just like in his previous office.

“Please proceed to your new cubicle, Mister Johnson.” The supervisor’s voice said. A small light turned on in the room. Alan started to make his way towards the light. As he passed by the other cubicles, he noticed that each one contained an egg-shaped pod just large enough to hold a person. Alan recognized a few of the names on the name tags as former coworkers that had been promoted before him, much to his chagrin.

“You have gone above and beyond your peers in your devotion to this company, Mister Johnson. You will now become a part of the company as you had desired. Take your seat and join us.” The voice said. Alan peered into the interior pod and hesitated.

“This isn’t what I had in mind. Does everyone have to sit in these…things, here?” Alan asked, looking up at the ceiling.

“It is necessary to make you part of the company. You are free to return to your previous position if you wish. We can always find somebody else to fill this position.” The voice answered.

Hell, no. I worked too hard for this. Alan thought. He climbed into the pod. The leather seat within was surprisingly comfortable; he relaxed as he settled into it. Without warning, the pod closed above him. A screen built into the pod’s wall lit up and a keyboard and trak-ball slid in front of him from the side. Well, this is kinda neat, Alan thought as he logged into his terminal and started to work.

Alan noticed an odd flicker occasionally coming from the screen. It annoyed him at first, but it eventually became oddly comforting. He continued working and quickly discovered that he could do everything inside the pod, even attend meetings. He only left the pod to go to the bathroom and eat lunch.

Hours later, the clock on Alan’s computer screen indicated that it was time for the workday to end, but he had no desire to leave. Alan barely overheard his former coworkers leaving through the hallway and thought about his home and family for a moment, but the thought was quickly squelched by the messages that had been delivered to him by the hypnotic series of flashes that he had been subjected to on the screen.


“There is work to do.” Alan softly said to nobody as he typed away. A message flashed on his screen: technicians would be coming in an hour to make him one with the pod so that he would never have to leave at all.

Alan smiled.


This company definitely brings new meaning to the term ‘human resource,’ and this is one future that I hope never comes to pass. This has been Super-Short Storytime! Visit eduardo soliz dot com for more stories and free e-book downloads, and remember listeners, always keep that work-life balance!


So Long, And Thanks For All the Laughs

Today is the last day at my job.  This is usually a cause for celebration, but in this case I’m not one hundred percent sure that I will be going into a better situation next week.

On paper, everything sounds better: a chance to start over in my preferred field, more money, and the opportunity to work with some good people I worked with in the past.

As much as I like to harp on the fact that I have never worked in a workplace where software development was done “the right way,” I am just as much to blame for my atrophied skills.  While I have dabbled in programming after-hours here and there, I never really dived into it as much as I probably should have.

Despite years of programming experience, I will be starting my job next week as an entry-level programmer.  In fact, the possibility exists that I might be reporting to some of the guys I was ‘above’ in the past.  That doesn’t bother me much; it could be argued I have been starting over every few years with each new job that I’ve jumped to.

My experience has always been that people who say “money doesn’t matter” either have more than enough of it or not enough.  I’ve been in both situations, and while I won’t be making quite as much as I did last year, the ends will have an easier time meeting now.

The company I will be working for is a subsidiary of one I used to work for (and absolutely hated). Both companies share the same office space, so I will see some of folks that I used to work with in the past.  I’m looking forward to that, but on the flipside, some of the folks that I didn’t get along with are still there too.  I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

What sucks is that the only bad thing about the job I’m leaving was the job itself The temporary thing sucked too, but I can’t begrudge them for that.  I leave behind the best boss I have EVER worked for, and I’m not just saying that because I’ve had a bunch of crappy ones in the past.  Unlike the taskmasters, micromanagers and bullies I’ve dealt with, Susanne sees the human side more than anyone that I have ever worked for.  That sounds like an odd thing to say, but trust me, there are too many managers out there that see everything (including people) as numbers and nothing else.  Frankly, I’d rather be “that guy that brings in cookies every so often” than Employee #867640-2.

My co-workers are a bag of mixed nuts which is a very good thing.  Too often, people get ‘assimilated’ into their workplace to the point where they start to act alike, turning the workplace  into a weird cross of 1984 and The Stepford Wives.  I try to buck the trend wherever I go.  Its not like I can stop being me for 40 hours a week, or even want to.  The workplace I am leaving has a great bunch of folks that aren’t afraid to be themselves and a boss that lets them do just that.  As crazy as it sounds, they are real people and I will miss them dearly.

Best of luck to all y’all.

It was fun.