• Jeff South

Cinncinnati Chili: A Corporate Tale

The walk from the car to office door is the longest part. At least Grover Cleveland Alexander thought so. A Corporate employee of only two years, Grover already felt mired in the daily drudgery of a desk job. Three years ago he was armed with the unbridled excitement of that first real job out of college. Now, he simply existed as one of the cogs in the giant Corporate machine. Lead Data Analyst used to be a nifty job title with a nice ring to it. Now, it was an empty identity that defined work that probably wouldn’t be missed if he just turned around, hopped back into his Nissan Maxima and drove it to nowhere in particular as long as it was away from this job. Then, he remembered he still had 48 payments left on the Maxima and sucked it up. No amount of motivational podcasts could change that.

“Hey, Grover.”

The sweet voice of Grover’s cubicle neighbor Gwen Belvedere greeted him as he plopped his backpack down. All he could offer in return was a flat smile and head nod in return. Gwen was the rare bright spot in this place and normally he would chat it up with her a bit before diving into the meaningless data analysis that awaited him.

Boring. Dull. Empty. Meaningless. That was Grover’s existence in the Corporate world.

Then, the email came that would change everything.

The message was from Reggie Marsh, a name unfamiliar to Grover. The subject line was “Project Cincinnati Chili Update.” Then, it was promptly recalled by Marsh.

It was all Grover could think about the rest of the day.

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