Kirin-Ricky Reflection

2023-08-06 • pagii saddle-point fiction

KIRIN, December 2, 2018

What is the reason for this dread I'm feeling?

Is it the uselessness of what is asked of me? How can I know that it's useless?

Let me start with what I do know, and try to reason from these premises.

What I do know, without a shred of doubt, is that Ricky is an idiot. When I stare into his bulging eyes and that unhinged grin, I know-- I know deeply, viscerally-- that he cannot be a fully conscious being.

I can imagine Ricky's development: incubated in the chemical vat of an underground, business school laboratory. One of those "business schools" that only offers part-time online certificates for the vague and useless fields, like "business administration".

Underground, in that lab, they planned it. Operation R.I.C.K.Y: Can we, the members of Pheonix Future Business Leaders Academy, create the perfect "business administrator"?

The lab technicians toiled day and night, with not enough time, and not enough money, under the watchful and miserly eyes of their own "business administrators" and "project managers". The conditions forced them to take shortcuts.

They injected Ricky's veins with blended copies of airport stall entrepreneurship books, the ink penetrating the nuclei of his cells, writing "Getting Things Done" right into his DNA. They stitched the voice box of a dead car salesman into his throat. Bio-engineered his sebaceous glands, so his hair, without any external product, is always greasy, and always flat. They sanded his torso, head, and fingers into perfect rectangles. "Stocky", but not fat. Square palms with thick fingers incapable of fine motor control-- only loud claps, finger guns, and pats on the back.

But... God, I don't know. What if if I'm just an asshole? What if it's a brilliant idea? What if I'm the idiot? Am I too quick in judging Ricky? Do I have some "unconscious bias"?

What if HR software you can run on a flip phone is what will enable the rise of the Global South? What if Ricky wins a Nobel Prize?

If Ricky wins a Nobel Prize, he'll definitely get promoted-- maybe even to Assistant VP of Internal Tooling. And if that happens, surely I'll get promoted too.

I entertain the daydream. Ricky shakes hands with the world's leaders at an elite conference in Sweden. Ricky projects our flip phone HR software onto a stadium-sized mega-screen to the sound of gasps, then thunderous applause. Can you even stream video on a flip phone? Maybe I can pitch that idea!