Shinra Inc. And Benefits

By: Jason Tandro

Authors Note: Another funny moment in timing. I just got my health care card in the mail yesterday.

--

Rufus was going through a stack of papers a mile long, and loving every second of it. This most unusual change of mood had less to do with the fact that he was testing out a new antidepressant drug called Smilenex, and more to do with the fact that this massive pile was a listing of all his personal benefits and perks.

Tseng walked in, and Rufus glanced up. "Morning Reeve."

Tseng glanced behind him, expecting to see Reeve standing there. Rufus chuckled genially and waved him in.

"Sir?" Tseng asked.

"Sorry, force of habit?" Rufus nodded. "What's up?"

"Well I was wondering if you could review the health care plan for the Turks. Reno and Elena in particular have been griping about the fact that you don't cover certain procedures. Reno needs work on his shoulder and Elena needs to be looked at by a chiropractor."

"Well, I would but frankly there's not a whole lot of room in the budget for an improvement right now."

Tseng rolled his eyes. "There has to be something. The co-pay for prescriptions is 100 gil! Don't even get me started on what the deductible is, especially for a procedure like that!"

"So what? My co-pay is 500 gil and my deductible is 10,000."

"Yeah, but you earn about 17,000 gil an hour," Tseng forced himself not to add "you overzealous bastard" to the end of his sentence.

"Look, that's my right as the president. The directorial staff doesn't even have that many benefits or perks. Well except Palmer. Although he considers a free pass to use the elevator a perk."

Tseng raised an eyebrow. "He bought that?"

"Dude, it was the best joke you ever thought up," Rufus laughed. "He forfeited dental care for that!"

Tseng tried not to think about Palmer running around without a care for dental hygiene and pressed the point. "Look, we need help out there. Why do you have such great health care? We're the ones putting our lives on the line for you."

"Because I can," Rufus smiled darkly.

"That does it!" Tseng shouted. "I didn't want to resort to this, Rufus, but I've organized the Turks, and we are going on strike until our working conditions improve!"

"You're striking over a few hundred gil in medical expenses?"

"It's not just health care! We want more vacation time! We want a retirement plan! We want the employee incentive programs!" Tsengs voice changed from one of indignation to that of bewilderment. "And for some reason Rude really wants a Gold Pass to Gold Saucer. He said something about having season tickets to the event square."

"So he wants to watch poorly produced plays during his vacation time?" Rufus asked.

"Search me. Look these are our demands. Talk to us when you are ready to negotiate!"

Tseng walked out, and Reeve, carrying his usual stack of paperwork, walked in. Tseng shot Reeve a nasty look and then took his leave.

"What's got him upset?" Reeve asked.

"They want to improve their benefits or else they're going on strike," Rufus chuckled. "Like that'll last."

"Oh. Well you know that's funny, because the SIA, tower food services, housekeeping and the directorial staff have also joined the strike," Reeve said.

"Wait what?!" Rufus demanded. "Reeve-"

"I know, I know. The conference room," Reeve groaned miserably.

---

Sitting in the conference room was Reeve, Rufus and Palmer. They were also the only people currently in the Shinra Tower, as the massive workforce of a couple thousand people were picketing in Sector 8.

"Okay, so the demands are as follows," Rufus said. "They want a health care plan which has a 500 gil deductible and 25 gil co-pay, which will cost the company," Rufus ticked some numbers off on a calculator. "25 million gil a year. What the heck?"

"Perhaps we'd have money for it if you relinquished some of your perks in its place. For instance you spend 28 million gil a year of company money on your-" Reeve stared at Rufus's list of expenses, and was clearly taken aback. "Haircut Insurance?"

"How do you think I keep my hair at this length all the time. I get a haircut once a day," Rufus explained.

"How is that even possible?" Reeve asked.

"I contracted a company to design tiny robots that constantly trim and clean my hair. It's awesome!" Rufus laughed.

"Oh… so you don't have lice," Reeve clapped his hands together in understanding.

Rufus nodded. "Yeah, I suppose I can get rid of them. Thanks for the Arm & Hammer by the way."

Rufus made a check-mark and Reeve scratched something off on Rufus's paper.

"Okay. Now a company dental plan, extra week paid vacation, and Rude's Gold Pass. That comes to, another 18 million," Rufus explained. "What else should I cut?"

"Hmm. Your security entourage consists of women who were, ahem, hired on an hourly rate, so that comes to about 5 million right there," Reeve said.

[Author's Note: See Shinra Inc. And Security]

"Oh damn. I had a date with one of them tonight," Rufus realized.

"Who was that?" Reeve asked.

"Uh… the redhead," Rufus shook his hand irritably. "What else?"

"Well let's see. It says here you pre-book rooms for your vacation days at every hotel in the world… and never cancel once you've made up your mind," Reeve read. "That comes to 4 million a year. Why in the world do you do that?"

"I never know where I wanna go. My first year as Vice President I wanted to go the Icicle Inn to see Santa Claus during the winter. I said, I'll book a hotel a little closer to the date of arrival. They'll have plenty of rooms," Rufus's eyes slowly filled with tears. "And so I called them up. And they didn't have any rooms. So I called the other hotels in the area. They didn't have any rooms. They all said I'd be on a waiting list if somebody canceled," Rufus was now gasping back tears. "But nobody canceled and I missed my chance to see Santa Claus."

Rufus put his head down on the desk and started sobbing profusely. Palmer glanced at Reeve with a quizzical look across his fat face.

"Is it just me or is he getting dumber every week?" Palmer asked.

Rufus pulled himself together. "Fine. I'll j-just take my c-c-chances. But if I miss Santa again, on your head be it, Reeve Tuesti!"

Reeve nodded. "Fine. Now we can convince most employees to take a dock in their pay to cover these expenses, but that only comes to about another 1.5 million a year. So you're going to have to accept the fact that next year we'll be 7.5 million less than we were this year."

"Whatever. Let the greedy bastards have what they want," Rufus pouted.

"Are you still ticked off about that, let it go," Palmer chided. "And by the way, you need to have maintenance take a look at the elevator. Two women got on the other day without an elevator pass! What's the point of having one?"

--

Everybody returned to work, and two weeks later the mood in the tower had improved considerably. Rude walked into Rufus's office carrying a small stack of files.

"Hello Reeve," Rufus groaned. Rude shot him a questioning look, but Rufus shook his head. "Never mind, so I heard you took a vacation and used that Gold Pass. Why did you want that so badly anyways?"

"Oh well the event square has all kinds of good stuff. Like for instance when I went, there was an adorable play starring Santa Claus and-"

But Rude stopped talking. Rufus had a cross between a mournful countenance and a death glare across his face.

"Santa?" Rufus asked.

"Uh… well I mean it was obviously just an ac-"

"Santa?! No!" Rufus cried loudly. He then pounded the air with his fist, and as Rude took cover near the stairwell he shouted. "I'll get you Reeve Tuesti!"

"You wanted to see me sir?" Reeve asked.

"Oh, hey Reeve, what's up?" Rufus asked casually, retaking his seat.