Friday, 15 April 2011

Ztaffing levels


April is zombie month on The Twisted Quill, ZTAFFING LEVELS is the third of the five April zombie #Fridayflashes.

* * * * *

Derekson finished placing the implant into the back of the zombie's skull, then sealed the incision with superglue.

“Okay guys, we got another one, start counting your bonuses.”

Permastaff had been snowed under with work since inventing, and patenting the electronic gadget that could turn zombies into workers. The product couldn't perform anything complicated, but the hard-wired implants, and the pulses they emitted, enabled the zombies to absorb and follow simple commands. They made perfect packers, line workers, labourers, and could perform a myriad of other types of repetitive work.

The people at Permastaff were rich, the money was flooding in, their product was snapped up just as quickly as they could make them, the demand was staggering.

Manufacturing companies couldn't buy enough of these workers, workers who worked twenty four seven without lunch breaks, toilet breaks, holidays or wages. Workers who never bitched or complained, who never went on strike, who were never off sick. Oh yes, they were expensive to buy, but one initial payment was all that was required, three months later the unit had paid for itself and from there onwards it was all gravy.

There was no need for these companies to employ expensive supervisors or managers any more either, the zombies didn't require any overseeing, just one semi-skilled tech could keep them functioning correctly.

Over a period of time Permastaff grew and began to take on production-line capability, the zombies were fed in at one end, progressing through anaesthetics, cleansing, incision, insertion, testing, clothing, and eventually to despatch.

* * * * *

The boardroom of Permastaff was almost empty, at one time it had held thirty five executives, managers, and directors, now there was three men in the room, each of them a one-third owner of the company.

“Gentlemen, if you would like to open the folder before you, this is the final draft of 'Operation Replace', the papers explain the alteration of the staffing levels to the finest detail. It will be far more cost-effective to use zombie workers on our production line instead of humans, it is forecast that production will increase by sixty two percent, at a third of the present cost. Any questions?”

©2011 Stephen. J. Green.


  1. I normally not a zombie story person, but this one was really creative and thought provoking. Took it to whole new level.

  2. I never thought about using superglue or other adhesives for zombie upkeep. Even if it's just to repair your own maintenance, it's a good idea. By the end it might be a roving ball of storebought chemicals.

  3. Getting replaced by a zombie. We've all been there, right?

    Very creative, Steve. I'm enjoying zombie month, and I'm not usually much of a zombie reader.

  4. @Lara - Thanks, I'm glad you liked it, I hope you enjoy the rest of the April #zombieflashes.

    @John - I think a staple-gun, and some duct tape may come in handy for heavy duty repairs. :)

    @Chuck - If these creatures existed, my own job would possibly be on the line too. :)

  5. Ah, the tragedy of corporate politics, always looking out for the bottom line, trying to please the stockholders. In the end, we are all "units" to the board.

  6. I wonder if the three remaining executives at Permastaff aren't eyeing each other rather cautiously at this point. Very creative and probably the scariest Zombie story ever!

  7. 'Any questions?'
    Yes, where is everybody? Creepy. I'll be taking a long look at my colleagues next week.
    I'm liking zombie month.

  8. Very original. I like! Pretty scary, too.

  9. Really digging on this line of fiction, Steve. Farm those zombies! Put 'em to work! Great area to explore the "taming" of these things. Looking forward to more.

  10. Ah who would stand in the way of progress eh? I liked it even if the idea was a bit scary.

  11. The Marxist in me can't help but picture those greedy corporate types rubbing their hands at an unlimited supply of undead workers. Ethics be damned, they'll be buying off the politicians the moment the zombie apocalypse kicks off.

  12. Hey there Steve - loved sticking their skulls back together with super glue. Somehow, in the middle of a Zombie invasion I figure there would be some annoying profiteer looking at the bottom line - the gits.

    Of course operating efficiency would improve by over 130% if the upper management were entirely replaced by self-regulating, 24HR Z-workers with the 'spreadsheet plugin' and the 'Z-easy cappuccino app'.

    Could they come with a built in mp3 player?

    Very much enjoying your zombie themed month :)

  13. Nice one, Steve. =)

    If they're not careful I can see a whole new kind of hostile take-over not too far off... ;)

  14. Hi everyone, thank you for reading.

    @Stephen - In reality, that is the sad truth of much of the world, the money comes first.

    @Harry - I think they would have good reason for being a bit nervous, them and everyone else in the world.

    @Justin - Where is everybody, indeed. The trouble with something like this is it has a tendency to snowball, who knows where it would end once started?

    @Sonia - Hi, and thank you, the idea scares me too. :)

    @Reginald - Glad you are enjoying these stories, mankind has found his own way of replacing himself.

    @Helen - Hi Helen, and welcome. Who indeed? The little man would have no chance, would he?

    @Jason, money makes the world go round, but in this case the end result may be more far-reaching than just the profits, eh?

    @Stephen - Haha! I like your suggestions, especially the built-in MP3 player. :D

    @John - Thanks, if the zombies could be trained to just a slightly higher level, mankind could well become totally surplus to requirement.

  15. Thinking individuals replaced by zombies. I liked the story, but I thought you preferred to write fiction! :D

  16. Hi Catherine, I love your comment, it really brought a smile to my face, thank you. :D

  17. Ah, when you mentioned the Permastaff production line, I wondered how long it would take before zombies were introduced to that too!

    It reminds me of the end of Shaun of the Dead where zombies are trolley boys at Asda. Good stuff!

  18. Thanks Icy, when I wrote this I was pretty sure that some of the readers would guess the ending before they got there.

    It was a natural progression from humans making the product, to the product making the product.

  19. Fun, I had visions of the 3 execs in bermuda shirts and shorts. Wonder when they'll elect to put zombies in executive positions.

  20. Thanks Aidan, I think the execs are already worried about that one. :)

  21. how is I manage to think of "droids making droids, oh what next?" (as said by c3-po) when faced with the product making the product line

  22. Hi Jason, well, y'know, business is business, the most cost-effective route is usually the one followed regardless of the human cost.