February's Disgruntled Employee of the Month: Milton Travis
Gary Newbrunswick: You have a pretty important job as the company's speechwriter, don't you? For whom do you usually write?
Milton Travis: If Mr. Brockie or Mr. White have a big speech to give to a civic group or the press, I usually jot down a few things, to help them organize their remarks.
GN: Really? Like what?
MT: I'll do research, try to make it sound like their particular styles. Moreso for Mr. Brockie.
GN: Why's that?
MT: With Mr. White, it's easier. Just keep it rather brusque and serious sounding, almost on the verge of beligerence. Well, it's kind of difficult for Mr. Brockie. I can't dumb it down too much, yet I have to keep it simple enough for him to understand what he's talking about.
GN: That does sound tough. I've had problems making up quotes in press releases for him because of that.
MT: I know, I can just put words in there and have the pronounciation guides, but if I make it too smart, noone will buy that.
GN: What about going "off script?"
MT: Oh god, don't get me started. Mr. White will usually start ranting at hecklers in the crowd or people he doesn't think are paying attention. But it's worse with Mr. Brockie.
GN: Yeah, the Rotary Club incident.
MT: Exactly! I had a nice speech all set- about the importance of corporations being involved in the community, moral responsibility, helping children- stuff they'd eat up. Well, he decides he wants to spice things up a little with a few jokes. The old jerk in the mailroom, uh-
GN: Gordy. Oh, that's where he got it.
MT: Yeah, from him. Thought it'd be funny, but he was clearly taking advantage. Brockie didn't know any better. This book of party jokes from Playboy published in 1978. -sigh- Didn't go over very well.
GN: Well, what were some of the more successful speeches you've written?
MT: Um... oh, Mr. White's testimony before that Senate hearing last May, Mr. Brockie's testimony at his last divorce.
GN: Oh, that was good. The crying bit, too?
MT: Yeah. I told him to think of how he'd feel if Helen got the comic book collection in the settlement. He almost cried a bit too much, but the judge bought it.
GN: What's coming up next?
MT: Well, we just had the State of the Company address. Announced 20,000 layoffs without anyone batting an eye. There are a couple of libel suits coming up, plus whatever press conferences dealing with paternity suits come up after Mr. Brockie's late winter holiday.
GN: Do you ever get sick of it?
MT: No, I'd always wanted to be a fiction writer, so this suits me just fine. Lying twenty-four hours a day to the press, elected officials and the general public is about the same thing.