I’ve received several letters from readers asking what it is exactly that Apparent Progress does. I realize the simple answer of ‘everything and then some’ is not all that helpful or informative, so I’ll try to walk you through some of the departments I have seen first hand on my delivery route. One caveat, however. I don’t have very high clearance and there are a lot of areas on each floor, and even whole floors, that I don’t ever get to see. I have no idea what gets done in there.
Anyway, the first floor is your pretty basic reception, security offices, genetic engineering and janitorial areas. Nothing much happens on the first floor, except for the occasional investigative journalist or hippy protestor getting caught and manhandled by the security robots.
Floors two and three contain the chemical and material sciences labs, as well as the particle accelerator. I only know of these from the signs, of course. I’ve never been in those areas. Well, I was in the lab once, but I’ll save that story for another entry.
Floor four is public relations and marketing. And the architectural design and hotel management offices. And, I think, the television studios. But access to the studios is highly regulated and I’m not even allowed in that series of hallways. Instead, I just leave any mail for the studio folk on the floor, under a book of haikus and watch in sickly amazement as the envelopes dissolve into the red carpet.
The fifth floor is filled with a cold mist and slithering shadows.
The sixth floor is toy and game development. It is also home to the psychology division.
The seventh floor is the cafeteria. (And, evidently, a mysterious previously-unknown-to-me lab).
Floor eight is home to the oil, gas and energy department. Also, the IT department lives somewhere on that floor. I’ve been told by those in the know that the IT eggheads are a nomadic people and never sleep in the same place two nights in a row. I’ve never seen them. What I do know is that whenever I complain about a computer in our office that isn’t working right, said malfunctioning computer disappears by the following day. They never reappear or get replaced. I’ve stopped complaining.
The ninth floor is a bit of a hodgepodge. It holds the weapons development department, retail management, real estate holdings division, the cryptography team and human resources.
The tenth floor is an exact replica of the ninth floor.
The eleventh floor is consumer electronics and women’s wear.
The twelfth floor is made to look like the interior of the Kennedy White House. There are no people on the twelfth floor.
Officially, the thirteenth floor does not exist, but I think we all know the truth about that now, don’t we?
The fourteenth floor is research and development and publishing.
The fifteenth floor is the pharmaceutical division.
I have no access to floors above the fifteenth.
So, that’s the dime tour of the Official Corporate Headquarters. There are, of course, unofficial corporate headquarters, subsidiaries, underground bases, inconspicuous fronts and satellite buildings (some are just buildings located elsewhere, some are actual satellites). Truth be told, the whole network is so vast and poorly documented that I doubt anyone knows the full extent of Apparent Progress’s reach, the corporate bigwigs included.
Anyway, I know that doesn’t quite tell you exactly what the company does, but I think it gives you a good outline of the sorts of things they have their fingers buried in and the diversity of their evil portfolio.
(photo by Steven Coutts on Flickr (CC BY 2.0))