Sunday May 17th, 2015

The exercise:

Write about something or someone that is: efficient.

We had one heckuva thunder and lightning storm overnight, the remnants of which lingered throughout this morning. So we stayed inside until after lunch, as that was when the rain finally stopped for (mostly) good.

Kat and I took Max into town for tea and coffee and groceries before returning home for dinner. Despite waking up before six this morning, Max wanted to dig in the dirt in the backyard after dinner so we joined him - though our digging was more like weeding, and more concentrated in our herb and veggie boxes.

He is fast asleep now though (it's just after 8:30 as I type this), and I am crossing my fingers that he'll find a way to sleep in a little bit later tomorrow morning.

Mine:

"Hello?"

"It's done."

"Who is... oh, it's you." I allow myself a moment to gather my thoughts. "That was much faster than I was expecting."

"Like I said when you hired me... I'm very efficient." The man's voice is devoid of emotion. It gives me the creeps.

"Well... that's great. So the matter has been taken care of?" I feel stupid even asking, but some part of me needs to hear the confirmation.

"In its entirety." I don't like the way he said that.

"My home is back in order?" I'm chewing on my bottom lip. I know I am. But I can't stop it.

"Clean as the day you moved in."

"And my kids?" Why am I even asking?  Probably because I don't trust this man that I've never met face to face.

"They were the cause of the problem - they confessed as much."

"Confessed?"

"Yes. Rest assured, you will not have this problem again."

"How... how can you be so certain of that?" Stop asking questions, idiot. End this conversation already.

"The children have been taken care of."

"What... what does that mean? What exactly does that mean?"

"Like myself, you will not be hearing from them again."

And, just like that, the line goes dead.

3 Comments:

Greg said...

The storm sounds like fun, though I guess not many people like them quite the way I do :) And letting Max believe you're all playing in the dirt when you're actually weeding is definitely a neat trick.
Hmm, that is quite creepy as stories go, for all that there's a lot of efficiencies going on there. I like how the person on the other end of the phone is only concerned with being efficient though, regardless of any other consequences :)

Efficient
"But, what I like, totes want to know, is, like, are we efficient?" Maggie simpered at the end of her sentence, evidently thinking this was charming.
"Of course we are!" Harriet crossed her arms, bingo-wings aflap. "We've got a process for everything, and everything is in a process."
"Hear, hear," muttered Sally, probably the first time in Maggie's memory that she'd agreed with Harriet. Normally the two women – as alike as chalk and cheese: one fat, the other thin; one blonde, the other a redhead; one Northern, the other from the West Country – were as agreeable together as well.
"Ok, like, so how about the expense, like, forms?" asked Maggie, virtually gasping at the end of her sentence.
"You go online–" said Harriet.
"On the intranet!" said Sally.
"–On the intranet," Harriet glared at Sally, but only briefly, "and from there you access the HR portal. That directs to the password protected pages on the intranet, where you request access to the expense form calculator, and that then directs you to the secure pages in the HR Portal."
"Everything's logged!" said Sally, returning the glare. "So we know who's doing it all all the time!"
"Then you download the form," said Harriet, "and open it in Excel and change the date to the dates that you're claiming expenses for. You save that, and upload it back to the Portal, so that it knows what you're doing and can create a directory for you."
"We need the directory so we can find all the expenses claimed at the same time," said Sally sounding smug.
"Then you download the file from the directory, open it in Excel and fill in the numbers," said Harriet. "Save that, and then open it in Word, so that you can fill in the reasons. Save that, upload it to the directory, and then download it again and print it out. Take it to your line manager and get them to sign it. Take that to Janice," Janice waved," and she'll scan it into the system and email it to you. Upload that to the directory, and then go to the HR Portal again – via the intranet, as we already explained – and click the Submit button to tell us that your expenses are awating approval."
"And that's like then like done, like?" said Maggie, her face a picture of dismay.
"No, that's just the beginning," said Harriet. "You might want to sit down for the next bit."

ivybennet said...

Heh, I like that you've sort of continued your interview prompt here (or at least that's what I thought of).

Efficient:

I glanced at the numbers on the reference sheet, then the numbers on log, and back to the numbers on the reference sheet. Check.
Reference, log, reference. Check. Reference, log, reference. Check
Reference log reference, check. Reference log reference, check. Reference log reference, check.
Reference log reference check reference log reference check reference log reference check referencelogreferencecheck referencelogreferencecheck referencelogreferencecheck
Still, some part of my mind wondered if all my years of schooling and all the potential I was once told I possessed were being completely utilized in this job.

Marc said...

Greg - yeah, so much subterfuge goes on in this whole raising kids business. At least the way I'm doing it...

'Bingo wings aflap' - good lord. That's incredible :D

Also: that process seems like it would fit right in at several offices I've worked in.

Ivy - hmm, that's also a possibility. I hadn't intended it that way but I could see how it might fit!

And... I've definitely had *that* feeling in various jobs I've held :)