As if the presence of political operatives, spies, double agents and saboteurs weren’t enough, we now have nepotism. The aisles of Bait & Switch store are rife with intrigue.
The new manager-in-waiting – who is really not waiting that much – installed her toy-boy boyfriend last week. He’s younger by decades, and of somewhat dubious provenance. He was on the phone to someone conversing about jail time and bail applications a couple of days ago; not the kind of milieu that inspires trust.
As you would expect, he’s acting not just as loverboy, but internal informant too. A snout, as the English would have it, with clear pathways to being a grass.
He’s taken a dislike to me, which has a couple of motives. The most likely is that he wants to needle me to the point of exasperation in the hope that I do something for which I can be fired. Ach, that’s not the worst thing. My disappearance would create a space for him to move up the (limited, meaningless) Ladder of Serfs. In turn, that means he’d be in line for more steps higher.
In time his relationship with her will disintegrate. He’s a nonce, a feckless dude on the make who is using her. She’s a dopey trollop with ambition and (in common with him I guess) is using him to an extent she would otherwise be unable. I’m talking sex here.
Furthermore, she’s gradually surrounding herself with associates and friends from prior jobs. In that sense, there’s a lot of mafia-style manoeuvring, a kind of retail power-grab that the Gambino family would recognize. Hard to believe all this is happening in a simple bait shop.
Despite that, a key to the way this will all implode is the background of discontent swirling around the store. Poor pay, wretched schedules, sky-high expectations and pathetic conditions make not for a happy group. Infiltration cannot by definition include everyone; those who are beyond reach are still a majority, and as even the biggest Kool-Aid drinkers go on, they too will become disillusioned.
It’s gonna be fun to watch.