You stab them, we slab them

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

A cynical and entertaining look at commission sales.


You Stab Them, We Slab Them



Donnie, the national sales manager did his best rock star walk into the war room promptly at 9:00 AM Friday morning.   Fifty-three male and four female sales associates knew the drill and went wild and made a raucous noise. 

“Good Morning, good morning.  Let’s settle down, we have some serious business to talk about this morning.“ said Donnie.  He wore a headset mic that made him look like a cross between a slick charismatic evangelist and a freakishly geeky science fiction villain. 

“I just don’t understand something.  You people are going to have to explain it to me.  Sales are down sixty-four percent this month!  What’s going on people?  Last time I checked people haven’t stopped dying, have they?”  he said and looked around the room.  The veterans in the room looked the other way and waited for one of the newbies to say something stupid.  It didn’t take long. 

“People can’t afford to die right now in this economy.”  said Bob, who had been with the company about a week. 

“People-Can’t-Afford-To-Die?” said Donnie and he started laughing uncontrollably for a few seconds.  “Anybody else agree with… I’m sorry what’s your name?  Never mind, get out of here.  YOU”RE FIRED! Get the hell out of my war room!”

Bob grabbed his briefcase and grumbled as his left the room. 

“Anybody else who agrees with Bob that ‘people can’t afford to die’  or has the ‘it’s a tough economy out there, give us a break’ mentality, can follow Bob right now! This is war people!  Start acting like soldiers.” Donnie said.

“There are more opportunities out there for us than ever before. People are more stressed than ever before. What do people do when their stressed?, they over eat, they drink, they smoke, they take more risks-  Are you getting the picture?”  he said.

Silence pervaded the war room.  Everyone looked down and pretended to be writing notes copiously. 

“Wow, this is unbelievable.”  said Donnie looking around.  “I was going to go over some advanced closing techniques with you all but I can see we need to go back to basics.  That’s OK, I am going to help all of you today, lucky for you. Give me some objections you’ve been hearing.”

There was still silence.  “Come on people, I can’t help you unless you open up to me.  Let’s have it.”  said Donnie.

“My customer said he was on social security and couldn’t afford to the upgrade from the pine box for his wife.”  said one of the reps.

“Are you really telling me Mr. Customer you can’t afford a small measly monthly payment for a beautiful mahogany casket for the woman who took care of you for fifty years?  Instead you want to bury her in a pine box?  Are you kidding me?  We have a slightly blemished floor model I can sell you for a slight discount.  Do the right thing, let me get the paperwork started for you, I know how hard a time this must be for you.-- Next objection!” said Donnie.

“Yeah, I’ve had a hard time getting customers to upgrade to our premium titanium casket liner.  They say it’s too expensive.”  said one of the woman reps. 

“Mr. Customer, our caskets are of the finest quality but without the additional titanium liner, the natural process of decomposition happens quickly.  I’m sure you don’t want worms and maggots feeding upon your loved ones body.  Let me do this, I have slightly used casket liner available from a recent forensic exhumation.  I can add that to your order at a substantial discount.  Then you can rest easy at night knowing your loved one will be safely locked away from the worms.  Let me get the paperwork started. -Next one, quickly people.” said Donnie.

“I had one guy tell me he was going to shop around.”  said one of the veteran reps. 

“What did you say to him?”  asked Donnie. 

“I asked him if it was worth saving a couple of dollars while his loved one rotted in the back room. A little guilt works. Use what you need to.”  said the veteran rep.

“Great!  Anybody else?”  asked Donnie. 

“We aren’t getting hardly any foot traffic through the doors.”  said a new rep.

“So what? Be proactive.  Get out there and find more clients.  Hospitals, nursing homes…hell, buy a police scanner and do a site visit to a fatality accident. I’ve done it and let me tell you, It’s awesome!  Somewhere someone is dying. Get excited about it people!”  said Donnie.

Donnie felt a piercing pain in his chest and suddenly he couldn’t breathe.  ‘I think I’m having a heart attack’ he thought to himself and collapsed on the floor of the war room.  He was dead within seconds. 

The room was deathly silent at least for a minute.  The sales associates were shocked.  Then the realization sunk in.  An opportunity had presented itself.

“I got dibs on Donnie.” said one of the newbies.

“Not unless I get to his family first.”  said another.

“Nice try fellas, I have his wife on speed dial.”  said the veteran.  “Looks like I make bonus this month after all.” he said with a big toothy grin.

Submitted: January 28, 2012

© Copyright 2020 dpardee. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



what a great short story a throughly enjoyable read :)... we have many posts you may not of read if you would like to come by to read some if you have time :)

Wed, April 18th, 2012 3:52pm


Thank you so much. I pop over to your page from time to time. I very much enjoy many of your selections. Have a great day. We had a death in the family so I haven't been as active as I usually am. Things will get back to normal soon. Hope all is well with you and yours.


Wed, April 18th, 2012 10:21am

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