This is the 92nd in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.
The Head Hunter Letter, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 3rd March 2013
Word count: 705
Info: Woohoo this story gets me past the quarter mark. Going to do a top 5% when I hit the big one double zero.
To my successor,
I am a corporate head hunter, photographs of my many success stories line the walls of my office.
No, I don’t work in recruitment, directly anyway – though thanks to my efforts plenty of people have gotten promotions and new jobs. The focus of my job is quite literally hunting people and bringing them low, destroying them. I mostly do work in the private sector, it’s less morally ambiguous.
If you’ve got a problem boss, maybe he’s an arsehole, maybe he refuses to retire, or maybe it’s a colleague or a competitor compromising everything your trying to build, (usually a bank balance, if I’m being honest), and you don’t care how it happens, I can fix it. Scandals, controversies, on personal and professional levels are my specialties. I sniff them out and expose them, and if there’s nothing, I’ll create one. And I do all this at fairly competitive rates, and with the utmost discretion. Except for the pictures on my wall, but they’re only ones that I feel wouldn’t undo my good work, I might be an egotist, but I’m not mad.
How did I get into this business? Well it started a few years ago, I was a corporate schmuck. For nearly ten years I towed the company line, did everything that was asked of me, yet I had risen as far as I was going to get. There were too many settled people higher up the ladder, those that weren’t were either job swapping in to new areas, or were consultants that effectively filled temporary holes I couldn’t seem to fit into.
It was troubling, and the job market didn’t look better elsewhere. I needed some luck if I was ever going to go further and get my rightful reward. Luck wasn’t on my side however it seemed, so I decided to create my own. What I needed was an event that would cause rock the ladders, knock a few people off, give room for those ahead of me to move up, and thus clearing my way.
So I started researching, going over reports, looking for that singular perfect storm that would effect everyone but me.
I found out, examples of insist trading, the people my reports implicated were juicy enough, though I had a moral pang at the realisation some of the people named were friends, I swept that away with the justification that they hadn’t included me in their pocket lining. There were enough people not mentioned to make it hard to tell who blew the whistle, it seemed perfect.
So I submitted my evidence, reams of data internally and externally, sending it to watchdogs and the news media.
Then I waited. The first hints of trouble brewing were quite exciting.
The first cull was ruthless, and I successfully moved upwards a couple of rungs on an interim basis. I thought this was my chance to prove myself. Unfortunately my actions had unintended consequences, new upper management decided that the whole management structure needed a clean sweep, I was suddenly facing redundancy. My oh so clever scheme had back fired on me. Suddenly I was surplus to requirement, and I wasn’t even afforded the opportunity to move back down. Older and wiser I suspect it’s because they didn’t trust the people that were left, they knew someone had blown the whistle after all.
I negotiated my redundancy, did quite well out of it, all told. I took that money and invested it in training courses and setting up my business. A decade later I’m closing in on my third million, and it will soon be time to retire. I’ve had many successes since my first attempt, and I like to tell myself I help keep these businesses fresh, and bring countless opportunities to the deserving.
I write this letter to the future owner of my small company, in the hope they might understand better. The case files I leave will give you the head start I never had, and maybe they will guide you on your way.
I shall be living the high life in some sunny tax haven near the sea, reaping the rewards finally for years of effort.
Good luck to you the next head hunter.