The companies in these stories are fictitious. Any resemblance to real companies, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
"You've read the contract?" his voice was brusque, businesslike, not quite what she'd expected after reading the fine print in that contract. She half expected a few snickers, or at least a leer.
"Yes," Melody paused searching for words, "your methods are, to say the least, unconventional! Do you really expect me to sign a contract like this? Something like that belongs in an adult book store, not in corporate offices!"
"Am I to understand that you no longer wish to do business with our firm?" he started stuffing papers back into his attache case.
"I didn't say that!" Melody had negotiated a lot of tough deals on her climb to CEO of ABC, but nothing like this had ever come across her desk. "There are just a few points with which I wish to take issue, particularly in the more... pornographic sections!"
"The contract is non-negotiable." he stopped stuffing papers long enough to look her in the eye, "We have not achieved a %100 success rate, with 0% recidivism by allowing our clients to dictate the terms of the agreement. You hire us because we are the experts. If you cannot accept the terms of our agreement, we cannot help you."
Melody took a moment to reflect on her position. She had worked hard to get where she was. CEO of an up-and-coming tech firm was no mean feat for a woman. Now, though, it was all falling apart around her. When the dot-com bubble burst, it had hit ABC hard, and if she couldn't find a way to turn things around, her career would be in the toilet. That glass ceiling that she had fought so hard to break through on the way up would be no impediment at all on the way down. She had tried everything to turn the company around, but the economy and an increasingly hostile board had conspired to turn every effort into disaster.
Then her old college roommate had told her about Success, Inc. She wouldn't go into great detail, but the roommate did say that, although their methods were unorthodox (strangely, she blushed when she said that), their record of successes was unblemished. Having read the terms of the contract, Melody now understood why her roommate had blushed about this unconventional consulting firm's methods. Her biggest problem now was deciding whether her success, and her company's, was worth the price.
"You realize that what you're asking me to sign is little short of selling myself into sexual slavery!" she argued with the man as he snapped the latches shut on his attache.
"'Indentured servant' is probably a better metaphor." He replied without humor, "We need to know that you are 100% committed to the success of this program, but the steps for redeeming yourself and 'buying' your way out of indenture are clearly laid out within the program. Once you have taken personal responsibility for your company, you will begin seeing some changes. As you progress, and achieve program milestones, the demands on your body will be reduced accordingly, until you are once again in charge of your fate."
Melody was up a creek without a paddle and she knew it. It was this or the shit-heap, career-wise. Still, she looked for a small glimmer of hope.
"And if I change my mind later?" she asked.
"The contract is unbreakable." he said, "Our attorneys have spent many hundreds of hours poring over the language to ensure that. Once committed, you must complete the program. It will be difficult for you, Ms. Carter, but running a corporation is not supposed to be easy. In the end, however, you will be in great demand as a CEO, here and throughout your industry."
"I guess I really have no choice..." she dragged the discarded sheaf of papers reluctantly toward her.
"Certainly you have a choice." the consultant said, "One always has choices. Sometimes, taking the more difficult path is the best choice, sometimes it's not. If you become our client, we will help you understand how those decisions can be made rationally."
Reluctantly, Melody scrawled her signature on the bottom of the last page, and initialed each page of the contract.
He signed in the appropriate blank and handed the sheaf of papers to the silent, black-clad young lady next to him. Without a word, she left the office.
"So what happens now?" Melody asked, not sure she wanted to know.
"Here are the principles under which your corporation will operate from now on, with detailed explanations of the reasons for each item." He slid another sheaf of papers across her desk, "Memorize them, understand them, commit to them, then sell them to your Board of Directors."
Melody started scanning the papers as the consultant sat silently across from her. The first page contained a list of ten items. Many were just common sense things, though she had to admit that ABC had not followed some of them. Others would be a tough sell, but she thought she could pull it off without too many changes.
As she was scanning the other pages, the black-clad young lady returned with the original contract and two copies. She slid one across the desk to Melody, handed the original to the consultant, and placed the second copy in her own attache case.
"This is Ms. Owens," the consultant said, opening his case to insert the signed contract, "she is the associate assigned to your case. She will implement the stage one protocol."
With a final snap of latches on his black leather attache, the consultant turned on his heel and was gone. Ms. Owens followed him to the door, locked it, and returned to stand, arms crossed, looking down at Melody.
Melody, shocked, stared uncromprehendingly at the tall blonde woman before her. NO ONE orders the CEO of a company to strip!
When she didn't move, Ms. Owens went to her rolling case and removed a riding crop. Without another word, she slashed the crop hard against the side of Melody's left breast. The brunette cried out and covered the spot where she was struck with her left hand.
"Strip!" the woman's voice hadn't changed.
"You can't do this!" Melody cried, "Get out of my office!"
SLAP! The crop slashed across the inside of her right breast.
"You've read the contract. For the next few months, you have no say over what happens in this office. Strip!" still the young blonde's voice was unchanged.
"B-but, I thought... !" Melody stammered, aghast. What had she gotten herself into?
SMACK! A patch of her sensitive inner thigh flesh turned white at the impact then flushed deep red.
"The problem, Ms. Carter," said the impassive blonde, "is that you DIDN'T think! You have run this company by rote ever since you were chosen as its CEO! Never once did you turn your brain on and THINK about what you were doing! Now strip, or I will get the whip and shred that fine Saks outfit you're wearing right off your back!"
Faced with the reality of what she had agreed to, Melody stood and removed her blouse and skirt, placing them neatly on her chair. Thanks to her daily workouts on the treadmill in the corner of her office, she still had a figure to be proud of. She turned defiantly, in bra and panties, to face her tormentor.
WHAP! The crop left a patch of fire on her right flank.
"Strip!" Ms. Owens reiterated.
Flushing to the tips of her toes, Melody reluctantly unhooked her brassiere and freed her firm, generous breasts from its confinement, then slipped her lace panties down her long, slender legs.
With a sweep of her arm, Ms. Owens cleared the top of the mahogany desk, knocking phone, picture frames and papers to the carpet.
"Up!" she commanded, "On your back!"
In tears Melody slowly complied, earning another couple of blows from the crop to speed her up.
"This punishment session is for your irresponsibility in running the company with which you were entrusted into the ground." the blonde said, removing her jacket to reveal a black bustier with red piping underneath.
"Your first lesson: How did your company come to be in its current predicament?" Ms. Owens demanded.
"Th-the economy collapsed with the dot-com bubble... ARGH!" Melody's explanation ended in a screech as the crop landed hard on her right nipple. She started to raise her hands to protect her sensitive breasts only to have them beaten back to her sides by the crop.
"Those are external stimuli, not causes. Causes come from action or inaction within the company." the blonde intoned in a classroom voice. "That is lesson number one. Lesson number two: The CEO is responsible for whatever happens within the company. When she fails to take the proper action, she causes pain and suffering for all. Under our guidance, you, as CEO, will now feel that pain personally each time you fail in your responsibility to your company. It is your responsibility to accept it and take appropriate action to correct whatever problems arise from your irresponsibility. For not bothering to understand the true causes of your company's problems, ten lashes with the riding crop. For failure to accept responsibility for them, one night with Hector!"
With arm raised for the first blow, Owens said, "Remember, this is punishment you earned. Accept it and it will go easier on you. Try to protect yourself from it, and you will wish you had never been promoted to this position!"
With that, the first blow landed on Melody's quaking abdomen. Her arms started to rise involuntarily, and with a tremedous effort of will, she forced them back to her sides.
"Count!" the blonde demanded.
"One!" Melody screamed, "Two!"
.... There is more of this story ...