“He said he’s not here,” Kristy said as she walked into the break room.
“And you realize that sentence is self defeating, right?”
“Yes, Wally, it is. Self sabotaging, even. That’s something we know a little bit about around here, isn’t it?”
Eddie laughed. “You mean no time to talk about speeding things up because things are so slow we can’t spare the time it would take to fix it? Right.”
“Hey, Jabber-boxes,” Caleb said, sticking his head in. “Why aren’t you working?”
“Oh. Ok. Cool. Never mind.” Caleb turned to leave.
“Wait, I thought you weren’t here,” Kristy called after him. “It isn’t two weeks from Wednesday yet—you aren’t scheduled for a bathroom break.”
Caleb popped back in. “Aren’t you supposed to be just a little respectful of the whole boss thing?”
“Not when I’ve known you since I was six. You slept over at my house when we were little. You’re four months younger than I am.” Kristy smiled at him playfully. “You wouldn’t pull rank on me.”
“True enough,” Caleb smiled back. “But let’s change the way we’re doing things for a bit. Instead of hanging out here and checking back every twenty minutes to see if you can work, how about sitting at your desk trying to work, and only wandering to check in with each other every twenty minutes or so? Switch it up? Thank you.” Caleb was still smiling, but he clapped his hands twice when no one moved. “That was a hint, guys. Come on. Chop chop.”
“So, is Sudoku out of the question?” Wally asked. “While we wait at our desks, I mean?”
“Yeah, what would you like us to do while our computers are in deep thought?” Kristy said.
“Do what I do—organize your day.” Caleb threw his hands up dramatically. “I can be doing research, making notes or storyboarding about something else while the computer is busy. It’s all time management.”
“Unless your whole job is one thing and there is no other thing,” Eddie said dismissively. “I edit. My other projects are editing, so if my editing bay is busy, I cant work on the next project.”
Caleb paused. “Oh. Good point. Ok, when we meet in two and half weeks someone remember to bring that up—I think we can split a few things to make better use of our time.”
“What do you mean?” Eddie asked. “Like I edit and I also do something else, and the person who does that something else now will share editing with me?”
“Right. Then while your system is digesting you can be working on that other thing, and the other guy can edit while the other thing is stuck,” Caleb said. “It’s a good idea to vary up the day anyway. I think I read that somewhere.”
“Right. OSHA wants to avoid repetitive motion injury,” Eddie agreed. “But this requires talent, skill, and artistic instincts. I do not want to spend half my day on accounting so the accountant can spend half of her day editing in the name of saving time. You can’t just put someone in a chair and expect them to be able to bring the level of professionalism that is developed over years of mastery. Plus I don’t know a darn thing about accounting.”
“And he’s ridiculously bad at math,” Wally chimed in. “I will totally vouch for is inability to do accounting.”
“Come on, that’s a bad example and you know it,” Caleb said defensively. “I’m talking about more closely related tasks, just using the computer in a different way. Besides, I said we’d talk about it in two and a half weeks. If you think it’s a terrible idea you have time to come up with an alternative.” Caleb left the room.
“I have an alternative right now,” Kristy called after him.
“And I have to use the bathroom immediately or I wouldn’t have come out to begin with,” Caleb shouted back. “I will buzz past on my way back.”