Digging in the Heels

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
What happens when you try to engineer a cooperative society? People happen.

Submitted: February 12, 2019

A A A | A A A

Submitted: February 12, 2019



We are in a corporate conference room in a remote area of Washington D. C., USA. And the name on the building is, Problems Solving - Unlimited.

There are two dozen people clustered in several groups of three to five. And then there are two people sitting all by themselves, but still near enough to be considered part of the congregation.

At the far end of the room a door opens and four people, one woman and three men, enter the room from an adjacent office.

The man with his hair pulled back in a man-bun, sporting a Bow-tie and a sports-coat, raises his voice and says, "All right people, settle down!

I am your Facilitation Manager, Mr. Lions."

Mr. Lions waits for the talking to subside, and then the three other people that came in with him take seats at a nearby table.


After the room grows quiet, Mr. Lions states, "I know you are all very excited about being chosen to take part in this social experiment, so let's get down to brass tacks.

The office manager, Ms. Whitfield, will hand out your confidentiality forms.

Please make sure that you have Initialed on the lines highlighted in yellow, dated everywhere there is blue highlighted line, and singed in the spaces provided; two full signatures are needed, one at the center and one at the bottom of the last page.

While that is taking place, I'll turn the podium over to our Team Leader, Stanley Straw.


Stanley stepped up to the podium, he was a tall man and somewhat Scarecrow-ish in appearance.

His sandy brown hair looked as if it had not seen a brush in some time and the fact that his tie was half untied just added to the look of a very haggard man; possibly overworked and very tired.

Stanley attempted a smile but it didn't fit with the overall ruffled appearance; nonetheless, he tried.

"Good morning everyone," Stanley said.

Then he continued with, "As you may know, we here at "Problems Solving - Unlimited," have been fighting an uphill battle. Our attempts at unifying the country have failed on every front; so we have decided to take a whole new approach.

You have been chosen because of your commitment to duty, also, your belief in the ideals of a having a unified society that doesn't suffer from constant conflict and the inability to get things done.

So, with those things in mind, this unit will attempt to do the opposite.

And before you ask, No, this is not an exercise in Divide and conquers; we would rather call it Divide and Separate. That is, we will attempt to divide the country into like minded sections that see the same goals and attack the same problems in a like manner."


A hand goes up from among the recruits.


Stanley sees the hand and asked, "Yes, --- Brenda, you have a question?"


Brenda questioned, "Are you saying that you want to forcibly move people around, relocate them?"


Stanley laughed and replied, "Heavens no, that would be illegal as well as impossible.

Instead, we would like to convince people to relocate on their own, using employment and political like-mindedness as a draw."


Another hand went up in the room.


"Yes, ah, --- Hector, what is the question?"


Hector asked, "Isn't that segregation?"


To which Stanley replied, "Only if it is racially motivated, but this wouldn't be."


Still, another hand went up in the room. It was Mohamed and he stated, "People from all political spectrums will jump at the chance at better employment. So how is that going to work?"

Stanley thought for a time and then replied, "I guess that we would have to selectively pick and choose according to the political climate of the target area."


Another hand went up, it was Marsha and she said, "That is just another kind of discrimination. Right?"


Suddenly a woman named Trisha stood up and shouted, "Forget this job! I'm not working for anyone that wants to discriminate against anyone!"

And with that said she tore-up her confidentiality forms and walked out!


From that moment on there was a constant battle going on in the  conference room over people's rights, discrimination possibilities and probabilities, political and economic ramifications, etc., etc., and so on.

Arguments worked their way into near physical confrontations and some applicants were screaming profanities at one another.

By the time both hands on the wall-clock were straight up the program was canceled and everyone was sent home.


With all of the applicants gone, Stanley looked at his coworkers and said, "Well, that's the last group.

Fifty randomly chosen groups taken from fifty randomly chosen cities, and each city randomly chosen from a separate state, yet the outcome is always the same. They can't even hear an idea without arguing and digging in their heels in defiance.



D. Thurmond / JEF


© Copyright 2019 D. Thurmond, aka, JEF. All rights reserved.

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