Shinra Inc. And The Graveyard Shift
By: Jason Tandro
Author's Note: My new job is the Night Auditor at a local hotel. Art imitates life, it seems.
"Reeve," Rufus called. "Reeve!"
Reeve was leaning over the conference table, barely conscious. Rufus chucked a pen at Reeve, and it bounced off the top of his head. Reeve was so startled by this that he slid completely out of his chair and drew his sidearm.
"What? What?!" Reeve demanded.
"You were asleep during my presentation," Rufus hissed. "What's the matter with you?"
"I'm sorry, Mr. President. I've been working on and off graveyard shifts all week to catch up on our revenue statements," Reeve sighed.
"Graveyard shift?" Rufus asked. "Why not dump the work on one of your subordinates?"
"Like you do?" Whispered Hedigger.
Rufus caught what he said and chucked a pen at him as well.
"Well I, for one, think that delegation makes everyone's lives easier. Especially mine," Rufus nodded. "Look Reeve. I need you functioning during the day."
"But this work has to be done! There's no other way to catch up," Reeve stammered.
Rufus looked around the room. "Hmm. Well, how many more nights do you think you'll need?"
"Oh about seven, I'd say. Seven nights and I should be caught up completely," Reeve explained.
Rufus did some quick mental math and then slammed both his fists on the table. "Alright then, I have our answer! Tonight we'll all stay overnight and gangbang this thing."
"Wait just a minute!" Tseng shouted. "I don't understand half of that paperwork."
"That goes double for me," Palmer whined.
"And me," Hojo added.
"I understand how to do it, but I'm not terribly fond of the idea," Scarlet complained.
"Aye," Heidigger added. "What're we supposed to know about revenue reports?"
"Well it's basically just organizing them by date and making sure our numbers for each month match the numbers recorded in our books. It's just basic number-crunching," Reeve explained, seeming to embrace the idea.
"Alright then it's settled. Everyone take the rest of the day off. Get some sleep. I'll see you all this evening at 11:00 PM sharp." Rufus ordered.
There was a collective groan of disapproval, but they all filed out anyways.
11:00 PM. The only sounds were those from the nearby Midgar Sector 8. The last showing of Loveless had just let out, and Tseng met up with Scarlet at the Shinra Tower elevator.
"So, dreading this?" Scarlet asked.
"I'm a Turk. We're used to getting assignments at all times of the night," Tseng explained. "But I'm not exactly a fan of the work load."
"For real. You don't suppose Rufus would let me out of work if I slept with him?" Scarlet asked.
"Um… probably. But would you really want to do that?" Tseng asked.
"No, I'm just making sure I have all my options open," Scarlet groaned. "Let's go."
The conference room was littered with boxes. Revenue reports in seven neat boxes, each one labeled with a month from June to December. An adding machine sat next to each box.
Four large boxes of pizzas and several 2-liter soda bottles sat at the end of the table, with a box of ice and some plastic cups.
"Free food!" Palmer clapped his hands in delight.
"Yeah well, I figured you might need a morale boost," Rufus nodded. "Just save me some of the pepperoni."
Once they had been taught the basics of the job by Reeve, it was even more boring than it looked. They were each assigned a box. They would have to go through each receipt, invoice, and so on, and make sure that when it all added up, it matched the figures that their records indicated. These "goal" figures were written up on a white-board which was placed at the end of the table.
A black line was drawn down the center of the board. When they were done doing the math, they would write the number they come up with next to it. If their numbers were fine, then the job was done. If they didn't match, then that's where work was involved in uncovering the variance.
Tseng, Heidigger and Hojo seemed to take to the assignment well. Scarlet, Palmer and Rufus, however, had a bit more trouble as their heads weren't good for numbers. Reeve steadily ticked along in the box labeled December, and the first few hours passed without incident.
2:00 AM. The only sound that can be heard is the feverish torrent of clicking buttons on the adding machines, the running tape, and the scratching of pens.
Rufus, who is about a third of the way into the box labeled June, has come across his first problem.
"Damn it. I can't read this guy's handwriting. That could be a zero or a letter 'o' and this could be a one or a seven." Rufus cursed.
"I know, who filled these things out?" Scarlet whined, plucking away at the October box. "And why is this invoice written in blood?"
"What does it say?" Reeve asked.
"There's no figure. It just says 'some guys are coming'," Scarlet sighed. "Whatever."
"Oh that explains what happened to Dave from Accounting," Palmer nodded.
"What happened to Dave from Accounting?" Rufus asked.
"We don't know. His body is yet to be accounted for," Hojo chuckled at his own feeble pun.
3:30 AM. The slow, but steady Reeve finally stands up to deliver his triumphant tally mark.
75,982,443 gil in net revenue tracked, 75,982,443 gil recorded. Perfect to the coin.
"This is incredible! I never thought it'd get done so quickly. I mean I imagine you all probably still have a bit more to go," Reeve smiled. "How much longer are you all going to be you think?"
"Halfway through my pile, sir," Tseng said.
"Still stuck on Bloody McScribble's invoices," Scarlet whined.
"Oh, I got bored an hour ago and started doing Mad Libs," Hojo explained.
"You mean this wasn't just a meet and greet?" Palmer asked. "I've been eating pizza ever since you started rambling."
"You better have saved my ass a pepperoni!" Rufus shouted.
"And I've got about twenty more sheets to go," Heidigger explained.
Reeve crumpled the tape from his adding machine, and set his head down on the table.
Heidigger and Tseng have added their numbers. Tsengs also matched perfectly. Heidigger's were off by only a few hundred gil, and Rufus said not to bother hunting it down.
Hojo had gotten back to work and Palmer had just begun his work, but the others who had been working were ticking along at a decent pace.
Until Palmer revealed a little secret from under the table. A very large bottle of 80 proof vodka and seven shot glasses.
"I figured we might as well get this party started," Palmer laughed.
"It's 4:45 in the morning!" Reeve cursed. "And we're working here!"
But the work had ended, and Reeve knew it. They gathered around the bottle like a campfire and began knocking back shots.
5:30 AM. The sound of crickets began to slowly fade away. The dark sky loomed in, the proverbial darkness before the dawn.
Hojo had yet to drink, instead finishing his revenue reports and matching his numbers perfectly. Palmer's box hadn't even been touched and a highly annoyed Reeve sat down and began working on it.
"You're a workaholic Reeve," Rufus laughed in a drunken stupor. "No wonder you do this! This is awesome."
"It's not normally this rambunctious. Be quiet please I'm trying to work," Reeve hissed.
"Oh yeah, whatever. Okay, so you guys know the game. It's 'Never Have I Ever'. You have to drink if you've done what the person says they didn't do, okay?" Rufus explained. "Never have I ever stolen money from the company."
At this everyone in the room, including Rufus, took a drink, which caused Reeve to quake with anger and annoyance.
The sun had finally risen, and the slackers were now laying on the floor using their jackets as pillows.
"Well, I managed to finish what you all couldn't," Reeve hissed. "So it wasn't a total loss. Thank you Tseng, Hojo and Heidigger for actually completing your work."
"The best thank you is to stop talking and get me a pair of sunglasses," Tseng whined.
"I'm going home and getting some sleep," Reeve hissed.
"Good. Get out of here! And turn off the lights when you leave!" Rufus shouted back.
"Dude, don't yell!" Hojo moaned.
Reeve slammed the door on his way out, and the room went dark.
"That's better," Tseng sighed in relief.
"That was an awesome night," Rufus laughed.