BZ Signal Forever

by: Brandon Hackbarth

Geoffrey was an as-yet-unidentified level-three offender living in the upper-Midwest who worked in the private sector and had every intention of repeating what he referred to as his “physical yum-yum” if he could only find the right girl but hadn’t had any luck so in the summer and fall of 2012, he’d taken to writing chapbooks instead.

His most recent, titled “Chapter ONE: Pigs—Chapter TWO: Fibers—Chapter THREE: Speechless—” was a good laugh and at the very least catered to/fed his obsessive compulsive tendencies. Even so, chapbooks had ultimately nothing to offer but a sampling of his individualistic pangs of non-hunger, his lack of context. They merely slaked his thirst for the absurd and perverse.

He worked in quality assurance for a second-tier market research firm and was in the process of printing/modifying portions of the aforementioned chapbook on his companies Lexmark X854e MFP while eating lunch and texting his roommate, Paul: “fuuuun looking scene, but any 3some BGG needs to have the 2 G in 69 while B pounds both holes. that’s standard 4 excellence. but that double dog scene is probably the best I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen a lot. got 2 get back to the fresh meat, mang. save some stir-fry.”

The allusion to “fresh meat” was in reference to the trainees, as Geoffrey was conducting an orientation session for a group of prospective call-center interviewers. Training consumed quite a large portion of his professional life and he hated it: the training sessions, the trainees, the rigmarole, everything. The firm he worked for had an incredibly high rate of turnover, and at times he felt his position translated into something more akin to running a factory floor or human abattoir than a second-tier though nevertheless profitable firm/office space.

Although he cultivated a pleasant, somewhat passive demeanor amongst his colleagues, he had no workplace friends and hadn’t any intention of nurturing the potential for such a relationship. At around 12:00pm CDT, Geoffrey had concluded the training segment pertaining to call disposition, and was beginning to feel the lack: “In time you will all understand the dispositional jargon: ‘VM’, ‘DVM’, ‘DS’, ‘PUHU’, ‘OOO’, ‘OOT’, ‘ASST’, ‘ATTY’, ‘RSGD’, ‘RFCP’, ‘RF’, ‘DS’—Oh, that’s right I already mentioned that—‘GVM’, ‘NR’…does it sound like I’m repeating myself yet?”

He called one hour for lunch and it was now 1:05 p.m. CDT. He finished printing a certain passage from “Chapter TWO: Fibers—” and made his way back into the conference room. All five of the trainees were already waiting for him. Geoffrey took a seat and almost imperceptibly studied each of the trainees’ faces in turn while table-tapping free-rhythm. Nothing special: he thought to himself that the conference room’s ambient temperature was quite cool in comparison to the rest of the office space, that meat was stored in cool places, that he liked the sound of searing meat, and then realized he wasn’t really interested in writing chapbooks anymore.