The Corporate Ladder
by Randolph O. Mann

Linda asked, “Courtney, what do you think you are doing, for heaven’s sake?”

“Oh, good morning Ms. Browne. I have been commandeered.”

“You have been what?

"By order of an Executive Staff Member in good standing, this morning I have been temporarily commandeered, called into service.”

"I know what commandeered means, Courtney, what I would like to understand is why I have found you here this morning standing on the fourth rung of a six foot aluminum ladder in the Department Supply Room completely nude, clutching the fire extinguisher sprinkler-head, and shaking your exposed bottom at the security camera?”

“Oh, that would be so I can provide a good visual for the Twenty Four Hour Monitor Technician. Any time the image is beyond the focal point, the lights in this room will be turned off signaling me from off campus to activate the motion sensor that initiates all of the optical modifications in the screening progression.”

“Oh really? Could it possibly be that the motion sensor operates only the lighting in this room?”

“That is what I thought, Ms. Browne, but apparently this particular sensor is a Dual Mode Actuator and has been connected to both the florescent lighting application in this room and the twenty four hour screening progression from off campus.”

“Great. Have you provided everyone with ‘a good visual'?”

“Only the System Maintenance Technicians that have been inspecting the condition of the undercarriage with respect to my unfettered chassis, once every ten minutes.”

“So everyone has been allowed to see you like this?”

“Well, no, except from time to time I should expect periodic Familiarity Visits from the Pinnacle Value Assessment Team.”

“And how are they connected to this ‘Project'?"

“That's what I wanted to know, too. I was told the Assessment Team retained custody of the venture funding resources until compliance with the prerequisite regulation policy is established and the obligatory disbursement can begin.”

“That sounds a little convoluted to me.”

“That is what thought too. But I was reassured that the Executive Staff at T. Winston INC are acquainted with the intricate nature of this enterprise and my full cooperation and due diligence is anticipated at the very top corporate echelon. So I just shut up and did as I was instructed.”

“That was your big mistake, Courtney. Now let’s get you down from up there and back into your clothes.”

“I can’t, Ms. Browne.”

“And why is that?”

“My clothes are not here any more.”


“Yes, the Assessment Team Emissary was required by Departmental Regulations to confiscate all of my superfluous attire for laboratory analysis and detailed nuisance verification by the concerned speculate personage.”

“So you just stripped for this Emissary, and you didn’t object?”

“Of course I objected, Ms. Browne. Until the Assessment Team Emissary assured me that full public exposure should not be necessary as he was a skilled operator, receiving his training at Oxnard’s School of Hard Knocks, graduating Johnnie-Come-Lately with high marks in penmanship. I was assured any resulting nudity would only be introduced using a very limited and gradually escalating process.”

“Courtney, can you please describe this ‘escalating process’ for me?”

“I’m not in any trouble, am I, Ms. Browne?”

“No, Courtney, you are not in trouble. All I want is your version of this incident for my report.”

“Gladly Ms. Browne, before the Emissary got me in position on the ladder he confirmed that my ‘C’ cup bra size was ideal and would qualify me as the perfect test subject because of my impressive upper body mass distribution. So we were able to commence with the Testing Curriculum. But we exposed some Perfunctory Tribulations, and after conferring with Center of Operations it was recommended the mother of pearl buttons in my blouse could be causing a disturbance. So the Emissary joined me on the ladder stabilizing it while I removed my blouse. A Pastoral Clearance could not be established and the Control Center suggested the zipper on my skirt could be grounding the current, so with the Emissary beside me on the ladder he was able to lower my zipper and remove my skirt while I retained tactile contact with the sprinkler head. Unfortunately this did not Decipher the Conundrum and Headquarters wondered if the underwire support of my bra might be the basis for a short circuit so the Emissary released the bra clasp and dropped my brassiere into the garment bag. This improved the reception somewhat but Harmonic Static was still audible and it was suggested the silk fibers in my panties were the source so the Emissary took them down with him out of range. Apparently distancing the silk fibers found in my panties caused an Adrenalin Spike to rise and the testing was able to begin.”

“I’ll just bet it did. Did that Emissary happen to offer any theories how this type of extraordinary protocol could be explained at the Department Staff Meeting I must attend this afternoon?”

“That is funny, he said you would ask that question. So he recommended I should relay to Mrs. Browne... I didn’t know your were married...”

“I’m not!”

“Well anyways, The Emissary suggests that you should address this matter in a similar fashion as the business travel voucher issue was conducted.”

“Did the Emissary happen to give you his name?”

“I think he said... Randolph.”

“Randy, We need to talk!