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09 October 2014 @ 11:18 am
LJ Idol Season Nine: "The Metrics of Hell"  
The Metrics of Hell
lj idol season nine | week 24 | 690 words
The Cupertino Effect

x-x-x-x-x

To: The Legion of Imps
From: Your Dark Overlord
Re: Business Metrics



Attention, all imps!

The third-quarter results are in, and there has been a sharp decline in the overall numbers for vexing, injustices, and thwarting. This cannot continue.

Our work is not limited to tempting the weak and tormenting the damned. We also have a larger duty, a calling, to bring widespread misery to the living. It is here that our statistics have suffered.

Consider this an incentive—or a warning—for this final quarter: each of you must double your last-quarter performance numbers, or you will re-experience the horror of what Hell can truly be.

Level One imps may wish to focus on smaller embarrassments such as the inappropriate respelling of words on electronic devices, memory-blanking during public speaking, locking keys inside cars, uncontrollable flatulence, et cetera, et cetera. Additional vexing, such as disappearing and reappearing parking meters, is always welcome.

The rest of you know the kind of work I expect of you. Think big! We had the entire world panicking over the Y2K bug. I want to see more of that kind of persistence and innovation.

The top fourth-quarter performers will receive a pass on the intermediate-level punishing of their choosing—or an invocation of it, should they prefer.

Get out there and make some trouble. Fear my unholy wrath!


~*~


To: The Legion of Imps
From: He Who Is All To You
Re: Mid-Quarter Summary



The half-term results are back, and there have been marked improvements over the previous quarter.

Thwarting and vexing are up sixty-percent, although bald injustice is below quota. I know you have it in you—small claims courts meet five days out of seven, and those things are a bonanza! There are also students waiting to flunk courses on technicalities, evidence files to be stolen, and qualified applicants to be overlooked. The opportunities are there for the taking.

We have already had several key success stories. You have infiltrated GPS units and caused people to become lost, and removed all traces of multiple employees from company databases right before payday. Excellent work!

One of the forge-floor imps glitched a travel company's software so that customers were sent to the wrong locations—the Paris in Texas, and the Moscow in Idaho. My assistant minion, Goatshanks (Top Employee for Hell-cycle 4377^29.64), is keeping track of the travelers who didn't spot the mistakes in time. Forgetting to read the fine print is exactly the kind of weakness we can exploit many times over.

Imps, the path to becoming a demon is a long one, and this is where it begins. Go forth and rain down destruction, or you will find yourselves demoted to wraiths and confined to the slime pits, possibly forever.

All hail Me, your liege and leader!

~*~


To: All Rotten, Cursed Imps
From: His Horned Majesty
Re: Grave Transgressions



Your mission for this quarter was to afflict humankind, and while many of you have succeeded, one of you has committed an unforgivable act.

These majestic horns, these cloven hooves, this gloriously spiked tail, and the fire that burns within me are manifestly NOT HUMAN. There can be no confusion as to this simple fact.

To the imp who replaced my throne with a milking stool and a whoopee cushion, do not imagine that you are unknown to me. I am the Supreme Ruler of Hell, and I see all that happens! Indeed, at this particular moment I see that you're beginning to grasp the trouble you are in, and are regretting not paying attention during orientation.

Pustule-gobbet The Lesser, you are hereby assigned to spend eternity as a dung-dwelling worm. You will be devoured daily by my Messenger Ravens, returning and beginning the process again each cycle. Be assured, it is most unpleasant.

As for the rest of you, let this be a lesson and not a distraction. There is more to be done as we close out the quarter, so sharpen your wits and expand your sense of mischief.

Revere and fear me, underlings of the Underworld, and know that I am watching all that you do.

Now, get back to work!



--/--


If you enjoyed this story, you can vote for it along with many other fine entries here.

 
 
 
adoptedwriteradoptedwriter on October 9th, 2014 06:27 pm (UTC)
Great take on the prompt! AW
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Beelzebothalfshellvenus on October 9th, 2014 06:45 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you liked it. :)
gratefuladdictgratefuladdict on October 10th, 2014 04:56 am (UTC)
I love it!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Beelzebothalfshellvenus on October 10th, 2014 05:07 am (UTC)
Thank you! Now you know who's really responsible for unfortunate autocorrected spellings and many of life's other annoyances. :D
Jemima Paulerjem0000000 on October 10th, 2014 05:09 am (UTC)
Aw, poor imp, all he did was follow orders. Even if not quite to the people he was told. ;)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Beelzebothalfshellvenus on October 10th, 2014 06:04 am (UTC)
It seems very much like Satan that, while he would have a sense of humor, it absolutely would not apply to anything regarding himself! The nerve!

All pranks are not created equal, clearly. :D

Edited at 2014-10-10 06:04 am (UTC)
(no subject) - jem0000000 on October 12th, 2014 12:46 am (UTC) (Expand)
Es'kaeska818 on October 10th, 2014 06:02 am (UTC)
A much needed laugh from me with this piece!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Beelzebothalfshellvenus on October 10th, 2014 06:04 am (UTC)
Yay! Always good to make someone laugh. :D
cindy: jared laughingtsuki_no_bara on October 10th, 2014 05:04 pm (UTC)
one of the level one imps has clearly latched on to "leaving the house and forgetting one's keys" as a way to advance, because i KEEP DOING THAT. >.< this whole thing is really fun and clever, but i especially love that someone pranked satan.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Beelzebothalfshellvenus on October 10th, 2014 05:21 pm (UTC)
because i KEEP DOING THAT.
Argh, that's one of the worst everyday "oops" ever! I see you know the grief an imp can bring. :D

but i especially love that someone pranked satan.
There will always be that one guy who is not entirely clear on the goal... it's Dilbertness in Hell!
Lisameridian_rose on October 10th, 2014 06:09 pm (UTC)
:D
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Beelzebothalfshellvenus on October 10th, 2014 06:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Rebeccabeeker121 on October 10th, 2014 07:02 pm (UTC)
Now I want to sign all of my emails with "Fear my unholy wrath!"

This is fun.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Beelzebothalfshellvenus on October 10th, 2014 07:54 pm (UTC)
As you should! Boy, if only that were an acceptable business practice. :D

So glad you enjoyed this. :)
crisp_sobrietycrisp_sobriety on October 10th, 2014 09:20 pm (UTC)
Hee! Very cool. And very in the spirit of the season!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Beelzebothalfshellvenus on October 10th, 2014 11:19 pm (UTC)
Thank you-- I'm glad you enjoyed it. :D
Every Day Above Groundmallorys_camera on October 10th, 2014 10:09 pm (UTC)
Of course, hell is a bureaucracy. :-)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Beelzebothalfshellvenus on October 10th, 2014 11:19 pm (UTC)
I often think the reverse is also true! :D
mamas_minionmamas_minion on October 11th, 2014 01:08 am (UTC)
Very amusing take on topic
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Beelzebothalfshellvenus on October 11th, 2014 08:27 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :D
Donnellejexia on October 11th, 2014 06:45 am (UTC)
Heehee! Nice job.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 11th, 2014 08:28 pm (UTC)
So glad you enjoyed it. :D
rayasorayaso on October 11th, 2014 04:01 pm (UTC)
This was wonderful, and it made me laugh as soon as I saw "imp." I enjoyed the form and the different signatures. I also loved the whoopee cushion - what a great (and stupid) way to torment the Great Horned Beast! I also loved the idea of applying metrics to Hell -- satanmetrics.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 12th, 2014 08:21 pm (UTC)
When I thought about who might be tasked with this kind of work, "imps" seemed appropriate-- much as I would have liked them to be minions!

Hell seems like a place that should have paperwork, given that paperworks and business metrics ARE a form of hell. And given Satan's pride, well... he has a reputation to uphold!
Laura, aka "Ro Arwen": Impishroina_arwen on October 11th, 2014 04:41 pm (UTC)
Very creative! (And yes, I *had* to use this icon!)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 12th, 2014 08:21 pm (UTC)
Haha! A totally different kind of imp-- the less obnoxious kind. Mostly. :D
☾witches on October 12th, 2014 03:27 pm (UTC)
this was such a fab read :D
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 12th, 2014 08:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you-- I'm so glad you enjoyed it. :D
Ink Well: Hurley Ticketpenpusher on October 12th, 2014 07:38 pm (UTC)
It's a difficult world, or so it's IMP-lied. Still, wouldn't the person in charge of hell have some sort of sense of humor? Playing a practical joke on The One Who Clops has to be admired!

Fun times! (Except for those marked for the Fourth Quarter.)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 12th, 2014 08:24 pm (UTC)
Still, wouldn't the person in charge of hell have some sort of sense of humor? Playing a practical joke on The One Who Clops has to be admired!

OH no. The Devil is much like bullies or other stuffed shirts-- things are only funny when they happen to someone else! In which case, they're a riot. But not when the target of humor is His Horned Majesty (or almost any CEO) himself.

I think business metrics make almost everyone's life hell. Except for beancounters, since they're who tend to come up with those things!