As a kid, I had dreams. Nothing big. Nothing unachievable. I just wanted to be a race car driver. I figured there were so many professional drivers out there racing in so many leagues that I’d fit in somewhere, anyway.
It sounds weird to say now, but I spent years mentally preparing myself to be a mediocre race car driver. I didn’t need to grab the checkered flag every time, I figured, but if I could manage to be just good enough to keep my sponsors happy, I could probably race cars for the rest of my life.
Do kids usually think about things like this? Maybe I’m weird.
Today, I work in the sales department at Niko Niko Loan.
It only recently sunk in that, at my age, I’d never be a race car driver. As a result, my performance this quarter was…well, let’s just say that it could’ve been better. I wasn’t exactly a model employee to begin with, but when the layoffs started, I just couldn’t make myself care anymore.
My boss called me into his office today to give me my performance review and my annual bonus. The last few months had been especially rough, and I was really looking forward to that bonus. I figured it would raise my spirits enough to coast me through the next few weeks, at least, until reality caught up to me.
My boss greeted me with a severe look.
“Son, you’ve been slacking off lately,” he said.
I swallowed. Seconds passed. I tried to think of something to say that would lighten the mood, but nothing came to mind.
“And sorry to say it,” he continued, “but we can’t afford to hand out big bonuses to people who can’t pull their own weight around here.”
“From now on, I hope to see better results out of you.”
I took the wad of cash he thrust at me — my bonus.
It was 200,000 yen.
Two thousand dollars, as thanks for a year’s worth of sheer hell. So much for that family vacation. And I guess those credit card bills are going to have to go unpaid for another few months. How am I going to break this to the wife?
I left the room in a daze, not really knowing how to react. After a few seconds’ thought, I knew that whatever I was feeling right now, I needed to say it to my boss’s face.
“The hell do you want?” he snarled. I froze and silently weighed my options.
– Tender my resignation
– Ask for temporary retirement
– Ask for a paid vacation
– Beat up my boss
– Kiss some ass
“Beat up my boss” was, obviously, the most appealing choice.
It…didn’t exactly go as planned. Not that I had a plan to begin with.
While I was still trying to mentally process whatever it was that had just happened, the local police force rushed into the office and beat me to death.
Sucks. But it happens.
No big deal. I’ll just go to the Continue Store and tell the old man there to give me another shot at life.
“What do you want to do?”
– Quit game
– Resume game
– Beat up the old man
Still feeling a rush of adrenaline after ripping my boss in half and pounding him through his own desk, I attacked the poor Continue Store guy. Not nice, I know, but I wasn’t exactly myself at the time.
I’m not sure that I would’ve acted any differently even if I knew that the old man was hiding a shotgun behind the counter.
I guess I can blame this on Monday.