Shinra Inc. And Time Theft

By: Jason Tandro

Rufus walked down the hallway of the 67th floor of the Shinra Tower. He wasn't sure where he was going, but he knew there was a vending machine at the end of it.

"I want my snacky cake, I want my snacky cake, I want my snacky cake," he chanted as he moved with incredible motivation down the ever winding hallways.

He finally saw through a window a vestibule, and in it, a veritable horde of vending machines. Rufus ran his fingers along the 5 gil coin that he had been clutching this entire time. The smooth metal surface of the coin hungered for the slot of the machine.

He burst open the door and slid the coin into the vending slot.

"B4. Snacky cake!" Rufus chimed gleefully.

The snacky cake fell to the bottom of the vending machine and Rufus claimed his prize. He turned towards the exit tearing the wrappings as he did so, when he saw three men in Security uniforms playing poker with none other than Heidegger.

"Hey, are you guys on break?" Rufus asked.

"You might say that," Heidegger replied. "Want me to deal you in?"

"Heidegger you know the rules. No playing poker in the break room except during your break," Rufus scolded.

"But there is nothing to do. Nobody's been doing anything during the winter months now that Christmas is over," Heidegger scoffed.

"So, why sit at a useless guard post, when we can be in here, enjoying the cards and company of our friends?" Asked one of the guards.

"This is a waste of company time. And company time is company money," Rufus said, pounding his fist.

"These men are on my payroll," Heidegger said. "I'm paying them for this time out of my budget, which by the way you cut funding for back in October, so if I don't have a problem with this, I don't see why you do."

"Y-Y-You..." Rufus stammered. "How dare you question my judgment! That's it! Get in the conference room. And you three… get back to your posts."

"But I've got a Full House!" Shouted the guard sitting on Heidegger's right.

"I fold," the second sighed.

"Me too," the third assented.

"Damn it," the first moaned.

---

"Well, I guess I was wrong in feeling sorry for you all for having such stressful jobs," Rufus chided.

"When have you ever expressed sympathies for us?" Reeve asked, more to himself than the table at large.

"I find my head of security sitting around playing cards on company time. I hear rumors of my Turks spending their days in the gym and sauna, and Miss Scarlet has been taking several business trips to her condo in Costa Del Sol?" Rufus demanded.

"And my ski lodge in Icicle Inn," Scarlet tittered.

"This isn't funny!" Rufus shouts. "The only person who seems to actually do his job around here is Reeve."

"Well sir I pride myself on-"

"Yeah, whatever kiss ass. Listen, I think we need to effect a little change in company policy," Rufus begins.

"Oh sweet merciful…" Tseng rubs his eyes.

"I am knocking all the administrative staff from Chief level on down to hourly pay!" Rufus exclaims.

"What?!" Scarlet shouts, her voice becoming more shrill with each passing word. "But I've worked hard to reach the point where I could be paid for doing nothing!"

"And in my case I've never worked an honest day in my life and I'm way too old to start now," Palmer whined.

"Actually sir,that would severely increase the amount of work you would have to do, because you would have to personally monitor the time cards and payroll accounting," Reeve explained.

"You see, this is why I need a vice president…" Rufus sighed. "Okay… well I don't really care if you guys get off, but what would happen if every employee in the company acted the way you do?"

There was a pause.

"What do you think most of us spend the day doing?" Tseng asked. "We're a monopoly. We can do nothing but the bare essentials and people will still come to us because they have no other choice."

"You personally made 5,000 gil every minute you spent searching for the vending machine last year," Reeve added.

Rufus nodded. "I think I know what you're getting at."

---

"Snacky cake, snacky cake!" Rufus chanted. He tossed his 5 gil coin in the slot, took out the cake and tore into its wrappings. "Thank you, consumers!"

[Author's Note: This is dedicated to all us proud members of the world consumer culture who have continually tied personal self-worth to the obtaining of pointless possessions and have thoroughly tied the world economy to Santa's ass. Go team!]