Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Short Stories: The Demotion

A mere week ago, Todd Robison held an important position within the company; he had been the assistant director of a major project, with responsibilities, respect and the ability to contribute in a greater capacity than most of his colleagues. Now, thanks to one mistake, Todd had been demoted to a regular employee and moved to a less significant project.

Todd's benefits had been slashed immediately: his pay was halved, his security clearance reduced to the lowest tier, his company tools revoked and he was banned from any company parties for the remainder of the year. Only his awards and list of achievements remained intact, although the latter was amended to include his recent failure. He was still regarded as a "valuable member of the company", hence the demotion rather than termination.

Neither the loss of privileges nor the reduction in pay was the worst part of Todd's newfound troubles. What he despaired of the most was being regarded as a persona non grata amongst his former colleagues, many of whom he worked with on a daily basis and often for hours on end. They all knew him to be a decent, hardworking and reliable person, and they had deep respect and appreciation for him, but almost overnight they had transformed from enthusiastically greeting Todd whenever he walked into a room to ignoring him. He understood their new attitude, since his error had reflected poorly on them, but it upset him nonetheless.

After a particularly difficult day at work, Todd returned home to consider his options. He was sorely tempted to quit, because if he were to be permanently be held in contempt it would be impossible for him to function effectively at the company; it would also be unhealthful for him to work in a hostile environment. Alternatively, if Todd remained he could regain his former prestige, but that would require a considerable amount of hard work, which would be in vain if there were no hope of redemption.

For now, the decision would have to wait. It was a Friday and Todd did not have to return to work the next day. Not in the mood to make any tough choices, he prepared himself a small meal and retired for the evening.


My objective for The Demotion was to write something without unnecessary plot elements or "clutter", such as the Todd's project, the name of the company he worked for, the exact reason he was demoted and his decision whether to quit or remain (which is meant for the reader to decide).  This piece is purely experimental and supposed to be short.

In regards to the name "Todd Robison", I intended to call the character "Todd Robinson" but I misspelled it and preferred the new name.

Let me know what you think!


  1. Well written. I can't wait to read more. :)

  2. This is very well written. The only part I don't like is having to choose the conclusion myself :) I wanted to know what Todd did!

  3. Hi Jessica, Rebeka and Betsy. Thanks for the feedback! I really appreciate it! :) Yes; because of your input, I am in the process of writing a second part. It's not being posted tonight, but I will get it completed soon. I wrote this in the meantime:

    Thanks! :)