When the Da died, we knew the jig was up. That’s when I took the job here at the Bureau. No more the free and easy life living off his largesse like before, no. Popcorn and pie and another round for your man down at the end of the bar? No, no more of that ever more. All of us needed to go out and depend on our own selves now instead of him, and for myself, well, truth of the matter is, I took the first position offered me. Something to do.
I found myself here in the back offices, working for the Deputy Effectuator and all. This is years ago now, back before the bewildering decades of mergers and acquisitions, spinoffs and layoffs that have continued down to the present day;— simpler times, when the Bureau was part of some other concern entirely, some sort of publishing house, or maybe it was financial services.
Suddenly it became common to come to work and find all the previous letterhead gone, removed overnight and a new and unfamiliar outfit seemingly in charge, though the Bureau’s routine was barely affected. Paychecks drawn on a different bank, parking slots reassigned, that sort of thing. For awhile there I remember a fashion for names starting with X, or Z, or some other unlikely letter, and we had a pool, an office pool, you see, where you could wager a small sum on the date a new consonant would rule us.