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#29. The Managing Director

November 29, 2009


Nobody knows who he is.  Nobody knows a thing about him.  Indeed, nobody even knows if “he” is even a “he” at all.  All that is known is this: the Wisemen are the clandestine organisation that secretly rules the world, and it is the Managing Director who rules the Wisemen.

Ranked near the head of the Wisemen are the Senior Partners, half dozen individuals of unspeakable power who can shape the world to fit their own shadowy ends without having to answer to anyone.  And in their periodic meetings, this is exactly what they do.  Most of the time.  See, here’s the thing.  Whenever the Senior Partners meet, it is always in the same building, a nameless skyscraper with no recorded owner, no recorded date of construction, sat in the middle of one of America’s most populous cities yet somehow unnoticed by all who pass it, except for those who have been invited inside.  And in this skyscraper where the Senior Partners always meet, they always meet in the same room, on the second-from-top floor.  Now, this happens rarely, but on some pivotal occasions, a rumbling has been heard coming from the top floor above them, and something old and forgotten creaks to life: a dumb waiter, incongruously placed at the far corner of this modern boardroom.  As soon as the Senior Partners hear this rattling, the mood instantly changes from a display of confidence and posturing to one of humility, even fear.  They have been reminded they are not the ones in charge of this world after all.

When the rattling from the dumb waiter stops, the six Senior Partners will exchange nervous glances, until eventually one gets up and walks towards it.  Opens the rickety iron hatch.  And inside, they will find a folded piece of paper, upon which has been written a note in the most eloquent of handwriting.  The note is always brief, concise, but the point it makes is clear, and its authority is always final.  This is the way it has always been, stretching back decades upon decades – even the oldest of the Senior Partners remembers this happening when he was a young man, and the eldest Senior Partners back then talked about it happening for decades before that.  This is the only contact the Senior Partners of the Wisemen are permitted to have with the Managing Director.

On one solitary occasion, one ambitious Senior Partner resolved to meet his superior face-to-face.  There was no official rule against it, was there?  Only an unspoken one.  This brave individual waited behind after the meeting on the second-from-top floor of the skyscraper with no name, waited until the others had taken the elevator down.  Then, he took the elevator… up.  One floor.  When the doors opened with a cheerful chime, he felt an intangible but overpowering dread wash over him.  He couldn’t explain it, the floor he stepped out into was in itself unremarkable.  Dimly lit, plain designs on the walls and floors.  And one single door, at the end of the long, wide hallway.  One black door.  With every step the Senior Partner took towards it, he felt terror overcome him, as if his very soul was screaming for him to turn back to the elevator, run for it, run like there was no tomorrow.  He only made it halfway down the corridor when he had to do just that.  He got back in that elevator, and never spoke of his experience to any of his peers in future meetings.  And that is the closest anyone has gotten to seeing the face of the Managing Director.  A black door at the end of a hallway.

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 29, 2009 8:47 pm

    Hahaha – love it 🙂

    This is almost as good as Tom Cruise being the overweight over-the-top balding boss guy dancing around to gangsta rap. 🙂

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