[The Teaching Agency, 612 words, Genre: Mind Fudge]
* Image courtesy of Dirk de Bruyn
Art had been doing his best and at the end of the day, that’s all you really can do. Art was a big Thai man, he hardly spoke any English and that English that he spoke was broken English. Stewart, his manager, had found him and although Art already spoke the basics of English, Stewart promised to help improve his English. Stewart offered Art a job at his agency for finding English teachers for Thai schools. It was Art’s job to go into the schools and negotiate contracts with other Thais. Stewart’s job? Stewart’s job didn’t really exist. You see, Stewart was a sociopath of the highest degree. He would manipulate people into doing all the work for him. Meanwhile, Stewart would snort cocaine, fuck beautiful women and ride his motorcycle everywhere. Art and the other Thais were oblivious to Stewart’s secondary nature. You see, Stewart presented well. He wore an ironed shirt and ironed pants, a tie and spoke professionally. He knew how to manipulate people. He was not strong in any physical sense, but he possessed a fierce intellect.
Stewart had the Thai staff doing all the work for him and all he had to do was give a daily presentation anytime the agency required any new teaching staff. And there was always plenty of teaching staff. Thailand was full of foreigners looking for a job with their fraudulent TEFL qualifications. Was Stewart doing anything wrong? If he was so were all of the other teaching staff who thought they could teach English. So Stewart reasoned it out with an abstract morality, ‘If everything’s already fucked, then I’m not doing anything wrong then am I?’ All Stewart had to do was keep the real teachers out of the country by providing them more harsh working conditions than was usual.
Art and the other Thais, having never stepped outside of the country were totally oblivious to the facts. And so Stewart could get away with most things, practically everything. Some may have seen him as a sociopath, his friends called him a lover of life and to Stewart that’s just what he was. A lover of life. He couldn’t change even if he wanted to.
Art had to continue attempting to work with Stewart. Oblivous to these things Art had to keep on speaking to the schools and attempt to win government contracts. And Stewart… Stewart was malicious towards Art. What Stewart was aiming to do was the complete psychological breakdown of this large Thai man. What did Stewart gain from this experience? Difficult to say, perhaps Stewart had watched that movie ‘cruel intentions’ one too any times as a teenager.
Every time Art failed in gaining a government contract Stewart would approach him. Art sat in his seat and looked down in dismay. Stewart would place his cold hand on Art’s shoulder and gave it a tight, almost painful squeeze and state, “You failed me again Art, don’t do it again.”
Art, in this third world country was completely dependent on the job for his own livelihood. His life depended on this job and Stewart had the controlling power in the situation.
It finally happened, one day, Art broke down. He tore off his white shirt and started shouting out in Thai. Tears rolling down his face. All the other Thais tried to calm him down, but they could not. Art beat at his chest until it was turning red. Yelling out curses and insults. The police had to take him away.
And Stewart. Stewart kept his job, waiting for the next Art to come along.
The point being… Facism exists without a fascist government needing to be in power.