supermouse: Simple blue linedrawing of a stylised superhero mouse facing left (Default)
[personal profile] supermouse
Prompt: "When I took this job, I didn't expect there'd be so much paperwork."

"Well, it's health and safety, innit?" said my new mentor, peering into the insides of his sandwich.
"Health and safety?!" I knew my voice had gone shrill, so I lowered it again and hunched back over the computer monitor. On the glass walkway above, workers glanced down before going back to their work.
"Seriously?" I went on. The bloke nodded as he chewed.
"But we're minions!"
"Insurance," explained the man. I paused in my typing and stared at him. He swallowed a mouthful of tea and went on. "Life insurance. A minion dies, you've got to get a replacement in, there's the training..."
"Widows and orphans?"
"Oh yeah. You need to go into format, click 'wrap text' where it's ticked there, and then click it again, sorts that out. Dependents though, yeah, not so much a problem with your basic minion. Filtered out at interview. People have kids and they start worrying about the future of the world, suddenly they're pratting about instead of putting the wiring in where they should, leaving doors open for sympathetic outsiders... cuppa? Mine's gone cold."
"Ta," I said automatically, holding my cup out. "But people die all the fucking--"
"Language. Overlord hears all, knows all."
"Sorry. All the blood-- all the time. Tyrion Blaine went straight into the shark tank, no messing, and you can't tell me he's okay, I saw the bits."
"Yeah, but he's not employed here is he? Not our problem."
"But he took six of our lot with him. That's why I'm here. No biscuit, thanks. I'm watching my sugar."
My mentor stirred both mugs and placed one down carefully next to the machine.
"More for me then. Yeah, crap day yesterday, especially that one with the scar. Her and me had a bit of a thing going, but you can't get attached, not in this job." I couldn't see his expression, just the countdown that had taken up the whole screen in front of me.
"So yes," I said, swivelling round to face him after enough time for him to regain his poise. Behind him, the destructotron was gradually taking shape as the larger pieces were swung together. I noticed all the workers had on nice bright hard hats. It was all very smooth. "They died. Sorry. But yeah. How's the insurance then?"
"Enemy action, innit. They didn't die tripping over a spanner someone left carelessly lying on the floor, did they? Didn't bang their heads on an unmarked low beam. They got shot. Well, except that skinny bloke, what Tyrion did to him was uncalled for. He never did no harm to nobody, not if you don't count as he designed a few bits for him upstairs. And we had to shut that entire corridor down, hazmat materials everywhere, nightmare. I can still hear him screaming too. Shark tank was too good for that self-righteous bas-- Language. Beg pardon, miss."
"None taken. Yeah, I see what you mean. Not our fault."
"Exactly. We made it a real pain in the derrier to get here, we're covered. Tyrion had to find out we even exist, then he had to go through about twenty different people to get an address, we slipped up on the baggage handler but it can't be helped. And then we're not exactly on a main shipping lane, you can't just order pizza and hope someone leaves the door open. Keep out signs as soon as he set foot in the jungle, in twelve languages. And he had to do that whole business to get in, six hours hard work even if you're him. So he got in, made a mess, killed a few people and we're covered because we did things properly and it's not our fault he had a bit of a bee in his bonnet about world domination. But now we've got to sort out resupply, claims, the whole mess. And reschedule a bunch of work and our best project manager's done for."
"Is she? I thought she came out okay. I saw her clamber out of the pit, she had all her limbs and fingers and everything."
"Stress. Don't look like that, a job like this, after a while it gets to all of us. Oh, nice. It looks very nice with the head on, dunnit?"
We both sat there and watched the final stages of the destructotron construction. It had missiles for a crown. It was beautiful. I became aware after my colleague did that a little yellow light was blinking and a low beep had begun sounding behind me.
Anyway, that's your five minutes," he said, nodding at the light. "You'd better get back to it."
"I still think there's more paperwork than there should be," I grumbled, but I got stuck in. In today's job market, when you have a truly good employer, you do your best.

Date: 2014-05-07 04:05 pm (UTC)
cunobaros: Silly swordsman (Default)
From: [personal profile] cunobaros
To coin a phrase: Writer, I lol'd.

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supermouse: Simple blue linedrawing of a stylised superhero mouse facing left (Default)
supermouse

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