Article: 261381 of talk.bizarre From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Nathan Torkington) Newsgroups: talk.bizarre Subject: TGB 2 Date: 1 Dec 1995 11:08:37 GMT Organization: Interchangeable Antipodeans, Inc. Lines: 92 Message-ID: <email@example.com> X-Background-Noise: The Judybats X-Category: Original Status: O X-Status: I was a programmer, but more than that, a desperate programmer. I had been out of work for three months and was despairing of ever finding a job. The ad from Kurivikkaran Technologies caught my eye, and when the skills they wanted almost exactly matched the skills I had, I knew I had to give them a call. When I joined, they said "this is a religious company. We don't require you to convert to join, but we do want you to know that participation in certain of the practices is required of all employees." I got a manual detailing the practices, but was bored of it by Chapter 2 ("The Morning Chants"). I shared a cubicle with a good-looking woman (Alice), had a fast new PC, and the work was interesting. I was happy. For a while. The "practices" the interviewer had spoken of were, at first, harmless. We all stood outside our cubicles in the mornings, and chanted some Indian exhortation to the gods. This was intended to divinely boost productivity. I don't know about that, but it got us focussed and this could only have helped productivity. At lunch, in the cafeteria, no beef was ever served, and when once I brown-bagged a Philly steak sandwich, I was chastised and docked the day's pay. Apparently there was something in the manual about it, but who reads manuals? I was starting to wish I *had* read the manual. At the end of my first month with them, Kuruvikkaran conducted an analysis of the company, intended to assess where we were and how we would fare in light of recent market trends. They brought in a financial analyst, two `futurists', and a priest. Yes, I kid you not, a priest. After a week of having to tender timesheets, debugging records, receipts and feedback cards, we were all summoned to meeting room four, where the priest was to present the findings. My first clue that this wasn't going to be the usual "all's well, chaps, but must tighten belts, buckle down, nose to the grindstone and all that, pip pip, what what" speech was when I saw the priest. He had traded his Armani suit for a simple white robe. Then I saw the goat, tethered in the corner of the stage, and *really* started to get nervous. I turned to the guy beside me to ask what was going on, but he shushed me. Looking back to the stage, I could see two other white-robed men standing behind the goat. At a word from the priest, they came forward and I could see one had a small knife, a dagger almost, in his hand. As the priest kneeled before the goat, one man grabbed its head and pulled it back while the other cut its throat. I gasped, sickened. The priest thrust his head forward and began drinking the blood, which spilled from the goat's neck over the priest's face and onto the polished wood floor. I was about to leave, disgusted, when the priest began to speak in a loud, deep voice. He talked of market trends, consumer awareness, customer service and commitment to quality, in answer to questions posed by his assistants. Finally, he stopped talking and we filed out. I returned to my cubicle, unable to work or to do anything. I kept seeing the drained goat and blood-drenched priest in my mind, and could hear again his imposing growl. I vowed to learn more. I couldn't find the manual, but I did find this sentence in James Frazer's "The Golden Bough": ... among the Kuruvikkarans, a class of bird-catchers and beggars in Southern India, the goddess Kali is believed to descend upon the priest, and he gives oracular replies after sucking the blood which streams from the cut throat of a goat. I searched for more information, but to no avail. Then, last week, things came to a head when Anne was summoned to her manager's office. She says he wouldn't say exactly why, but she has to wear white all this month, abstain from "intimate relations", and avoid eating beef at home. We both figure this is too weird, and we're going to leave Kuruvikkaran Technologies as soon as we can. So that's how I came to be unemployed again. I don't suppose you know of any companies hiring programmers like me? I can and will do most anything, but with just one proviso: no religious companies. Know what I mean?