San Diego, CA -- As corporations across North America embrace the life-challenged as cost-effective labor, many are turning to vampires to manage their newly-zombified staff.
"We always had a terrible time keeping our third shifts properly staffed and supervised," says Don Frites, owner of the O'Burger diner chain. "The new crop of vampires has been great. They're sharp, efficient, and we can partly pay them in cow blood from our affiliate slaughterhouses. Normally that stuff would just go right down the drain, and now it's keeping our night managers very happy."
Ed Rudge, Outreach Director for Cybermantic Staffing Solutions Inc. (CSS), says the corporate demand for vampires has increased nearly 1000% over the past year.
"Electricity is cheaper at night, so it makes sense for businesses to have third-shift zombloyee crews working factories and assembly lines, cleaning, trimming corporate lawns -- the possibilities are endless," says Rudge.
"But zombloyees present unique management challenges: they're not very bright, and they crave living flesh. Normal managers stand a good chance of having their heads cracked open when their z-crews get hungry. Vampires are in demand largely because they don't smell very good to the zombloyees. The z-crews listen to vampires instead of trying to figure out how to get to their sweet, juicy brains."
Financial analyst Bentley Chazworth says corporate vampirism is no passing fad.
"Domestic zombie workers are cheaper than most overseas outsourcing options. With a couple of buckets of cow brains and a vampire, you can run a windowless zombie call center around the clock. But you've got to have that vampire," he says.
"Unless you have a degree from a top school like Harvard, the job market's pretty tight for live workers," says Chazworth. "If you're a student in a state college MBA program someplace, becoming a vampire is definitely the way to go if you want a career in middle management."
Eve Hart, a night supervisor for a San Diego software firm, claims that CSS misled her during her recruitment.
"Even though I'd heard horror stories of new vampires being sick for days, CSS promised my transformation would be painless. I'd rate it right there with my root canal, so... eh.
"But there was a lot of other stuff they should have told me about," she insists. "The sun thing, sure, I knew about that, everybody knows that. I've always been sun-sensitive, so no biggie. But they told me my body would be practically maintenance free, and that's a load of crap.
"After a couple of days, I stank like spoiled blood. Ew. So I hopped in the shower, and I got totally burned all over! Nobody warned me about fresh running water.
"True, my period's gone -- total yay -- but I still have to shave my legs and get my hair cut. That's, like, totally maintenance-y."
When asked if she regrets becoming a vampire, Hart admitted that she did not. "But I still feel like they weren't straight with me. And when my contract's up, if I ever see my counselor in a dark alley -- well, dinner's on him, if you know what I mean."
Baron Olaf Würgerov says that he enjoys his newfound career as Overnight Overlord for the Hawt Shawpz customer fulfillment center.
"In olden days, I used to much enjoy putting villagers' heads on spikes," Baron Würgerov says. "I only sometimes get to do head spiking now, but you know, this job lets me assert myself in very positive way. I am much growing as person."
Baron Würgerov agrees that his transition from haunting subterranean Berlin to working for a U.S. corporation wasn't without a few snags.
"At weekly meetings, nobody want to sit next to me. It was all the rotted fluids, you see. After 1000 years living with rats, these little things you do not notice," Baron Würgerov shrugs. "So I learn about dry cleaning and Altoids. Is no big deal after all."
Business trainer Laura Loveblut, author of Who Moved My Spleen?, stresses that new vampires need to educate themselves to stay competitive.
"Knowing the ins and outs of being a modern corporate vampire is like knowing how to dress properly for an interview, or knowing that you shouldn't slaughter the secretary on your way out of the building. It's simply not your prospective employer's job to tell you these things," says Loveblut.
"Will you still have to shave? Will you have to shower? Most definitely," she says. "Being undead doesn't mean you've left behind the expectations of the living world.
"You'll be able to see yourself just fine in any mirror, unless it's backed in real silver, and last I checked Pottery Barn didn't stock many of those," says Loveblut.
"You will have to worry about burns from unusually clean running water or from water contaminated with trace silver. I tell my new vampire clients to invest in an elective ion exchange water filtration system for your home. It takes out the silver, and puts in just enough crematory ash to de-purify your supply. Braun makes a good model called Midnight Bathworks," she says. "And after you shower or shave, be sure to use a good moisturizer to prevent flaking."
"And kids, do yourself a favor: get those old silver fillings taken out of your teeth before you make an appointment with your campus vampire rep to have yourself turned."