I am Baron Von Richtoven, Pollstar.com’s VP of content and employee discipline. I control what you see. I control the horizontal. I control the vertical. I control the operators that prepare the dates for Paul McCartney and Vans Warped Tour 2002. I decide who lives and dies. I am the giver of donuts and pain.

As I stride past the processing cubicles, the jangle of my spurs sparks pleasure in most, terror in others. “You!” I shout as I walk up to employee #512, “You who found new dates for Pet Shop Boys. Good work. Have a cruller. You! # 610, you misspelled that venue for *NSYNC. Feel my wrath! Feel the sharp sting of my riding crop on your poor, poor, buttocks. For I am the giver of donuts and pain!”

I catch my reflection in the glass separating the processing pit from the conference room. I look with pride upon how the indirect lighting makes my custom tailored uniform shine and my boots glisten. I give out a jelly role to #491 for completing the Melvins itinerary in a timely fashion. And for the one who missed the Omaha date for 311, my cattle prod speaks my displeasure. Yes, I am the giver of donuts and pain.

I strut through the cube farm, watching the operators enter dates for Aaron Carter, O-Town and Usher. My right eye peers through my monocle at employee #716 as he plugs in a new listing for Nickelback. For doing a good job, I toss him a glazed, while at the same time I slap him across the face with my glove for failing to salute. For one must respect the giver of donuts and pain.

There are those who question my methods. They say my management tactics have no place in the modern work environment. They demand that I give out more donuts to the workers who process Anne Murray and Elvis Costello schedules, and less pain to the ones who accidentally transpose dates and misspell cities. But they are not in control. They do not understand what it is like to walk in my highly polished leather boots. They are not the givers of donuts and pain.

But someday I will leave all this behind, for even executives such as myself must eventually face the specter of mandatory retirement. And when that day comes, I shall put away the dates for Joan Baez and Ted Nugent, the maple bars, the brass knuckles, the blueberry cakes and the blackjacks. I will walk into that sunset knowing that my days as the giver of donuts and pain are at an end.

Then maybe I’ll get a job as a therapist or counselor. You know, something that will allow me to use my people skills.