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Fran The Feral Faerie

Updated on July 13, 2014

Fran The Feral Faerie - A Corporate Fable

This is a short treatment for a book I plan to write. It tumbled out of me one day, fast & clear, like a stream.

It was great fun to link all the corporate jargon I'd encountered to in my HR career to the ephemeral world of the wee folk.

The characters fairly wrote themselves, which is always a rush for an author. When it's done, I hope this fable will give business people pause for thought. I also intend it to be a ripping yarn for all readers.

To this end, I warmly welcome your frank feedback!

Fran the Faerie was pissed off.

Her boss, Guido the Goblin had just outlined the latest in a litany of Draconian continuous improvement initiatives.

This one took the cake: Advanced Tooth Harvesting - what the hell were they thinking? It wasn’t enough that some kids always pulled their fangs ahead of time for extra pocket money. Now management wanted faeries to force the issue with the rest of the infant population. It was obscene and insane, and watching the Board of Elders roll over on the ethics issue had been nauseating.

Naturally, it was all about money. Now a public company, Faerie Corporation’s shareholders were demanding a greater return on their investment. Seven percent organic growth was the new target and they were struggling to make two. Gone were the days of doing good deeds for their own sake. Economic rationalism had finally dribbled down to the Wee Folk.

Goblin Consulting had done their research well, aiming their business re-engineering pitch at the heart of faerie raison d’etre with devastating results. Every faerie wants to do good; any system promising greater good for effort expended was therefore guaranteed to fly.

Subsequent globalisation had united countless faerie populations - creating communication and distribution networks and economies of scale unprecedented in corporate history. Monopoly on a unique spectrum of goods and services was achieved virtually overnight, at minimal cost, with zero redundancies.

The Goblins had initially taken a conciliatory line. Now they were using accelerated vesting share option equity to tighten the screws. Fee for service was the new order and non-value added activities were being shut down or radically restructured.

Due to the nature of their operation, tooth faeries had always run at a loss and been cross-subsidised by their colleagues.

Goblin Consulting revolutionised this process after a controversial High Court test case.

While teeth were deemed to be organs under law, the voluntary nature of their surrender (as evidenced by placing them in a dedicated vessel - often with a written waiver) meant the owner-nominated collection agency was free to dispose of recovered units as it saw fit.

What the faeries didn't know was that children's teeth were the chief constituent of 'Star', a psychotropic drug that brought back the sleep of childhood - deep, safe, healing and filled with wondrous dreams. Physically innocuous but psychologically addictive, every adult human craved it nightly after just one hit.

The Goblins had developed Star by leveraging their extensive nocturnal expertise. All that remained was to integrate a reliable upstream source of materials. On attaining a controlling interest in Faerie Corporation, the creation of 'Tooth Division' was the goblin's first major restructuring initiative.

Operating as a wholly owned subsidiary of Goblin Consulting, Tooth Division purchased all teeth collected by the faeries at a price which covered operating costs, remittances to children and a modest goodwill stipend. In return, tooth faeries (or 'Field Operatives - Tooth', as they were now called) ceded policy control to Tooth Division.

Star's street price represented a 10,000% mark-up on the cost of production. Thanks to a sophisticated batching system and use of retired supernumerary goblins, the unit cost of magic was negligible.

Given this phenomenal profit margin and the global nature of the operation, sourcing teeth even one day earlier meant money in the bank through streamlining the Just In Time system and consequent gains in inventory turns.

As founding Head of Tooth Division, Guido the Goblin had always planned to introduce Advanced Tooth Harvesting (ATH).

It was just a matter of timing.

A black Mercedes Kompressor, a penthouse with woodland views and a briefcase made of ‘Enola Gay' bomb door components were testament to his business acumen.

Fran was a young Faerie Liaison Officer attached to his office - intelligent, idealistic and tech-savvy. Guido fancied the wings off her but she had repeatedly and brutally turned him down. For revenge, he teased her with company secrets and taunted her over the systematic disempowerment of her species.

Fran disliked him as much as a faerie could, staying at her post solely to find a way to derail the soulless juggernaut Goblin Consulting had created. Now it was crunch time.

Fran was a Class 1 Field Operative - Tooth. Cross trained, industry certified and peer accredited, it was her job to translate Tooth Division policy into Faerie Corporation reality. Though Fran had never been overly fond of human children, she was adamant that ATH was going too far.

Of greatest concern were the nebulous definition of 'advanced' and the assumption that child vendors, by dint of their initial act of supply, signalled intent to render all their teeth to Faerie Corporation. Under the most extreme interpretation, ATH guidelines suggested that the timing of tooth recovery was at the sole discretion of the collection agent.

Put simply, this meant Tooth Division could order the harvesting of commercial weight teeth while they were still in the heads of their owners.

Expecting Fran to pick this up, Guido had been ready for her challenge. He effusively reassured her that as good corporate citizens, Goblin Corporation would never allow its agents to breach vendor rights. The only teeth to be gathered 'pre-release' would be those in imminent danger of dislodging naturally during the night of collection.

He further argued that such pre-emptive action was justified on safety grounds, citing a recent exhaustive study of infant mortality through tooth-triggered asphyxiation.

Fran was unconvinced; everything the Goblins did was mercenary.

Their cynical resurrection of the poetic term 'faerie' was a case in point.

Guido's slick briefing paper had recommended the rebranding solely to tap the emotions of the corporation's older, wealthier target market and to foster an image of olde worlde integrity and craftsmanship.

Fran knew it was all bullsh*t, but what could she do? Her individual bargaining contract was explicit. Failure to execute a legitimate Board decision meant instant dismissal and forfeit of superannuation benefits. And with Faerie Corporation the only halfling service provider on the planet, employment prospects were zero. Goblin Consulting had even cornered the freelance market.

It was enough to drive a hot-blooded idealist to distraction. Or even sabotage. In her rage, Fran suddenly conceived a radical plan. If she could preempt ATH with a publicised demonstration of its intrinsic horror, the public backlash could outweigh shareholder greed.

It was a slender chance, but worth pursuing. All she needed was an attractive, high profile toddler with one or more teeth that were not quite ready to drop.

Turning down yet another salacious Friday night invitation from her boss, Fran went home to ponder...

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Well, what do you think? - Your suggestions & comments will make this tales as good as it can be!

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    • PaulHassing LM profile image

      Paul Hassing 6 years ago

      @sirkeystone lm: You just keep coming with those beaut comments, James. An illustrated version would be fantastic. But I agree that I need to flesh it out more. Many thanks for reading and responding. :)

    • sirkeystone lm profile image

      sirkeystone lm 6 years ago

      I must see more! Awesomely structured, although maybe a bit too realistic? heheh Illustrated book? Novel? I think I see a graphic novel idea here. It would appeal to quite a few of the freelance networks!

    • PaulHassing LM profile image

      Paul Hassing 7 years ago

      @anonymous: Great to hear from you, Phil! Your analysis is spot on. This needs to be spun into a whole book. Based on positive reactions like yours, I may yet do it. Thanks so much for dropping by. Best regards, P. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Hey Paul,

      After 20 years in that (or a similar world..) it 'set my teeth on edge'.... I understand that it is about the jargon (and that is where a lot of the elegant black humour arises), but after having 'lived it', found this the toughest part. I imagine you would take us deeper into their realities and have a cautionary tale embedded within?? of the best things is I want to know what happens next! Keep up the great start!

    • PaulHassing LM profile image

      Paul Hassing 7 years ago

      @BFunivcom: A fair critique (and kind). Thank you very much for taking the time. :)

    • BFunivcom profile image

      Allan R. Wallace 7 years ago from Wherever Human Rights Reign

      A bit black and white, but well colored with humor. My crayons of understanding kept slipping outside the lines. In short (as befits faerie): nicely done.

    • PaulHassing LM profile image

      Paul Hassing 7 years ago

      You guys are so supportive. Thank you! :)

    • Amy Fricano profile image

      Amy Fricano 7 years ago from WNY

      go dad!

    • profile image

      GrowWear 8 years ago

      So glad I stopped in again; I had not given this lens it's well-deserved five stars!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I must say, your creative juices are in full force here--you've got my mind going on how to utilize the "Just in Time System"! What have you done to my brain? Brilliant work!

    • chefkeem profile image

      Achim Thiemermann 8 years ago from Austin, Texas

      "...citing a recent exhaustive study of infant mortality through tooth-triggered asphyxiation." Sounds like the type of argumentation that got us into the Iraq War. (And the "War on Drugs", "...on Terror", and anything that makes $$ for the poor CEO's.) Keep going on that one, Paul - and let us know when the book is out. 5*s and a hearty SquidAngel Blessing for your mind. :-)

    • Stazjia profile image

      Carol Fisher 8 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      I love it - and I want to know what happens next.

    • profile image

      MobyD 8 years ago

      You've made the unlikely bedfellows of faeries and corpspeak work quite nicely. I've lensrolled this to my Faerieworlds Festival lens, where it showed up on Explore Related Pages. Also lensrolled to my lenses on Spoonerisms, Ground Fog Day, Brian Froud and Wendy Froud. And of course it rates five stars.

    • profile image

      tdove 8 years ago

      Love the story! Thanks for visiting my foot tattoo lens.

    • profile image

      Bigmal63 8 years ago

      Hello, Fran the Faerie is brilliant. I relate to Guido the Goblin and I have it from a reliable source that he sleeps with Barbies in Toyland and treats them rather poorly. He is my sort of guy, slick, smooth, a player and on top of his game. Great story!

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 8 years ago

      I love it! You have a wonderful


    • profile image

      Tarra99 9 years ago

      Hilarious! ...I love your lenses...*****

      Thanks for popping into my new lens about Canadian expatriates & their fav.foods.

      Appreciated, as always.

    • profile image

      PosterChildSmile 9 years ago

      Well, aren't you a find on Squidoo. Go wild!

    • profile image

      adamnrave 9 years ago

      It's insanely imaginative. Well done! The corporate speak makes it a bit tough going sometimes. If there's a way you can keep to the theme but minimise the impact of all that awful business talk, I think it'll read easier. I'm only talking a 10 or 15% retreat into normal prose. If it becomes a book, put me down now for a preorder. :-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Once again, a nice spin on your lens. I find Feral Faerie to be entertaining also. Happy Squidooing! :-)

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 9 years ago

      OMG this is too funny! what an imagination...5*