2 September 2003 | Vol. 3, No. 3


This is an outsourced text. The authorial voice known (or, for the most part, unknown) as Ptim Callan has outsourced the creation of this short story to a multinational contracting agency whose name could not appropriately—tastefully—be given here. Ptim Callan determined that his to-date successes have been more in the line of business and less in the line of fictioneering. Testifying to his habit as a successful businessman, Callan decided to further specialize, to outsource his less successful endeavors in favor of the more successful ones. Just as a corporation learns to distinguish a sustainable core competency from an expendable resource drain, so has Callan. In his work life Callan removed employees from unnecessary areas, allowing outsource agencies to perform these same tasks. Manufacturers, creative agencies, development labs, all these organizations could better serve the needs of Callan's corporate employer than its own human and capital resources were.

Callan has pursued this same strategy to a lesser degree for years. He pays a housekeeper and a gardener and a tax accountant and a financial consultant. All these experts are examples of individual specialization, of a person recognizing where his strengths lie and where the investment of dollars in an employee will go further than investment of his own time and need to learn. But the real masterstroke was to apply these same principles to all aspects of his personal life. Now Callan has a professional driver to take his car out on weekends, a charming guy who dates women on his behalf, and a nice fellow who calls his mother. This piece was generated by a slave-wage ghostwriter whose talent for writing outclasses his talent for business as Callan's for business does his for writing. We hope you have enjoyed this piece. After all, Ptim Callan paid top dollar for it.

About the author:

A recent Pushcart Prize nominee, Ptim Callan's fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in over twenty literary magazines, including Mississippi Review, ZYZZYVA, Third Coast, and Fiction International. His independent films have been screened at major film festivals. He took his English degree from UCLA where he studied writing under Robert Coover and John Barth. His first name is pronounced "Tim." Read more of his writing at www.ptim.org. He can also be reached at .

For further reading:

Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 3, No. 3, where "Story" ran on September 2, 2003. List other work with these same labels: fiction, flash fiction, experimental, metafiction.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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