Work Ethic by Bernard Heise

Upon the horrifying discovery that the citizens’ needs were met and their appetites sated, the regime moved quickly to avert a moral crisis.  Consultants were engaged to create the slogans: “If you don’t work, you don’t eat,” “Happiness is best pursued through work,” “Arbeit macht frei.”  Musicians set the words to music, designers made banners and signs, and filmmakers created public service announcements.  Teachers taught the work ethic in public schools; pastors proclaimed it from their pulpits. Corporations bid on contracts to move the Rocky Mountains further east.  Seawater began being shipped from the Atlantic to the Pacific, first by tanker truck and then by rail.  At the same time, crews started working on immense pipelines which could perform the task more quickly.  In Kansas and Arizona, work brigades and prison inmates were digging holes.  The dirt was shipped north to fill the lakes of Minnesota in alphabetical order.  Professionals were employed to write books that nobody wanted to read; linguists translated them into every language; and critical theorists discussed their implications.  Everyone sent annual reports to Washington for analysis and appraisal. Hovering above them all were the bureaucrats and experts, who set the objectives, quantified the data, measured efficiency, and evaluated performance.  And when the good citizens went home at the end of the day, bone-weary and depleted, they ate microwave dinners in front of big screen TVs and listened to reports read by qualified personnel which praised their accomplishments, criticized their failures, and encouraged them to do better.

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5 Comments

Filed under Bernard Heise

5 responses to “Work Ethic by Bernard Heise

  1. guy

    “Professionals were employed to write books that nobody wanted to read; linguists translated them into every language; and critical theorists discussed their implications.”

    I know a business just like that.

  2. Great satire. Maybe this is why no one’s ever satisfied. :D

  3. Doesn’t sound like much fun.

  4. A dystopian utopia. Great satire. Peace…

  5. Pingback: Week #17 – Busy at work « 52|250 A Year of Flash

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