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You can tell everything you want to know about him from the way walks: short clipped fast steps, his heels pounding the floor with a slap. He wears the corporate casual wardrobe like a uniform. His khaki Dockers pressed to a crease in the front, his oxford shirts in several solid muted colors, afraid to show any personality. It’s the same thing every day of the week. He is completely ordinary in every way, except one. He’s compensated for a complete lack of charisma and talent with longevity. He is where is he is because he’s stuck around, moving to management when the technology surpassed him and he couldn’t keep up. He knows the words, and tries to pepper his audience with them, hoping they won’t ask him to explain what any of them mean. He knows his days of walking his zip-zip heel slapping way through the halls are numbered and tries to look busy by inventing projects with important names. To justify his salary, he must keep busy. He must keep track of numbers, whether they mean anything or not. The spreadsheets and reports pile up, highlighted in a pastel rainbow according to a indiscernable color code. He is the bane of our existence. He stays while those who do real work drop like flies around us, caught in “budget cuts” and “restructuring”. We whisper and point and wonder, why not him? He does nothing. He makes more than three of our former colleagues combined. We sit, we wonder, we seethe.

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