Article: 261381 of talk.bizarre
From: (Nathan Torkington)
Newsgroups: talk.bizarre
Subject: TGB 2
Date: 1 Dec 1995 11:08:37 GMT
Organization: Interchangeable Antipodeans, Inc.
Lines: 92
Message-ID: <49mnnl$>
X-Background-Noise: The Judybats
X-Category: Original
Status: O

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
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
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?