Relations: McEmpire (online version)
Elizabeth Cohen 
Liz Cohen picked up a Magazine with a solid white cover and
128 blank white pages. She keyed a magazine code and date into the
back and then flipped it over to watch bemusedly as the liquid
crystal paper transformed the cover from an empty white rectangle to
the cover of People Magazine.
There was a close up picture of Sharon Shafer on the cover. Sharon
had been her old mentor. Much of what she knew about Relations had come
from Mrs. Shafer. Liz had worked directly under her at Omnicom and had
been her partner once on a McRonald's campaign that featured Hotcha the
video music star. The videomercial for Sizzle, Sizzle, Shake It! had been
number one on the charts for over a year. The videomercial was still
played in fact. It had to be some kind of record for the longest running
and most popular videomercial since the reorganization.
Gazing at the picture of Sharon Shafer, Liz rekindled within herself
the sense of pride she had from having played such a major role in
McRonald's ability to raise the capital to acquire Yum Brands and
Subway Inc. She felt like she had been personally responsible for the
world functioning as it should.
She broke with her tradition of examining the magazine sequentially from
cover to cover and instead flipped right to the article on Sharon Shafer.
The photos of her looked so young and beautiful even after so many years.
Mrs. Shafer had aged beautifully and looked as commanding and
charismatic as ever.
The article itself contained no new news to anyone who followed Relations
as carefully as Liz was required to. But she was glad that the lower level
Relations class workers would be reminded of what a benefit Mrs. Shafer had
been to the world.
Liz paused and took a leisurely walk over to the window which extended from
the floor to the ceiling. She gazed out at the new San Fransisco skyline.
All of the new buildings looked so beautiful to her. So uniform and
so perfect. The city of San Fransisco had been completely destroyed
in the war on miseducation. Very few inhabitants of old San Fransisco were
alive today, she was a rarity.
Liz Cohen had been born in what used to be the country of Vietnam and she
had been adopted by the Cohen family here in San Fransisco. She could remember
all of the ugly buildings and the big ugly bridge from her childhood. It was
all a mangled mash of colors and styles of architecture that didn't match. New
San Fransisco was perfectly uniform and unfailingly corporate. A city-sized
monument to corporate purity.
Her next stop on her leisurely walk around her office was the vanity sink.
She caught sight of her Asian features and cringed. She'd had her face
reconfigured as best she could. Her nose was now more narrow and her eyes
more circular and her complexion lightened. She could still tell that she
had been born Asian however, and she hated it. She took her long blonde hair
out of its pony tail and feathered it with her fingers. She was now surgically
blonde but she feared that her hair still had an Asian limpness to it. She put
it neatly back into its pony tail and washed her face and attempted to regain
Her serenity was what she felt gave her the edge in Relations work. High
level Relations was very fast paced and stressful and yet she had always been
able to tune out all non essential elements and find her calmness. She felt
that calmness was something she was especially proficient at selling.
The people wanted calmness yet none of them understood how to tune
everything out and get it like she could. So she would sell them the
image of calmness in consuming a McRonald's burger or a Taco Pizza.
And the people would go mad buying it with every dollar they could
That thought reminded her to get back to work. Calmness and serenety were all well and good but she was bordering on dawdling now. She had very important work
to do so she went back to her desk and set aside the magazine and took up her
For months she had been working on paystub design for Manpower Inc.
Manpower was the corporation that hired, fired and paid all of the
Laboring class in 1WG. Every week, every laborer in the world was receiving a
paystub with their cash that she had improved upon. She was individualizing
everything about the paystubs, from the ads they had on them, to specific
warnings and encouragements. For years paystubs had reflected specific
warnings based on what the worker had done wrong. And encouragements would
be vague accolades whenever it became necessary to take some of the
workers' rights away or add to their duties. But now Liz and the team
that worked under her at Rubicam Relations Intercontinental Incorporated were
engineering paystubs that admonished and encouraged based on the workers' own
psychological makeup. Workers who were more easily motivated by telling them
that they were stupid would get admonishments telling them that they were
stupid on their paystubs (and then there would invariably be ads for
Infocation educational products underneath --Infocation was Rubicam
Relations' parent company).
She was now working on personally tailored encouragements. The trial program
had worked fantastically and improved production by 1.33% vs. a control group.
This stood to make a huge impact on the CFT(Capital Flow Totals) of 1WG. Lots
and lots more money would change hands and land in corporate coffers. She was
doing the subtle work that increased the health of corporations across the
board. Again she swelled with a sense of pride.