A new entry in the Omicron Matter – Dispatches from the Team. John O’Malley is working with the Mollocots and their servants to install the Omicron drives. However, the lead Mollocot thinks his team is moving too slow and punishes the team. John’s protests only make the punishment more severe. That night, Ami Giggledust supplies a strategy that might help him with his project.
The Mollocot style of project management might best be described as “The beatings will continue until morale improves.”
One would think this sort of overbearing, “you will be successful or I will fire you” would have passed away with grey flannel suits. But I am certain we all have experiences with the “pointy haired boss” who is convinced that yelling at us will make us work faster. My first consulting job involved such a character – it did not work. But old ideas die hard as John O’Malley is finding out.
The subtitle of this section will become clear in the next installment. I’ve broken this section into two because there are two trains of thought. And…I could use a day or two to finish the typing on “Dispatches from the Team”. I have started writing the next chapter. You might also view the previous entry – it has some pictures I took from Costa Rica.
Thanks for your support. Look for more on Friday.
The Power of Peons
John stared at the screen he was looking at. He was supposed to be reading something by Jonathan Swift, but he found he had been looking at the same page for the last five minutes. He closed the view of the book. He rested his head in his hands and closed his eyes. After a moment, he shook himself, got up and headed out of his quarters for a walk.
The Mollocots were having the work done on a station not unlike Tau Ceti. Hallways separated quarters and working areas. The hallways were wider than Tau Ceti. But there was a dividing line in all hallways. There was a wide section for Mollocots and dignitaries such as himself. On one side was a narrow pathway that workers were expected to stay in or experience a reminder in pain. John might have chuckled at the idea of him being an Irish dignitary, but the supposed irony held no humor. He had seen a Menanggung stumble once and then writhe in pain until his co-workers pulled him back over the boundary.
John’s wandering took him to a pub. Inside he saw a familiar shock of purple hair sitting on a stool with feet barely reaching the foot rests. He sat down next to the Tymbrimi and waved to the Hoon bartender.
Ami Giggledust looked up from her drink, “Bad day?”
John moaned, “You have no idea.”
Giggledust shrugged and said, “You might be surprised.”
John shook his head, “You’re right. You see the same shit I do. Agbo Uroo decided that my team was moving too slow.”
Giggledust winced as she said, “Oh that is bad. It happened to me last week.”
John pinched his brow, “I tried to reason with her. She ignored me. Then I shouted at her.”
Giggledust shook her head, “Bad idea.”
John sighed, “I found out. Since she can’t do anything to me, she applied that heinous collar long enough to lay them out for 15 minutes. She only stopped after I apologized and begged her to let them finish.” He laughed hoarsely and his voice caught, “The four Hoon would not allow me to apologize to them. They said I was perfectly reasonable in my request. Supervisor Agbo Uroo simply found them lacking and so they must accept their punishment.” He crumpled a napkin in front of him and said, “I yell in frustration and they get the pain. Then they won’t let me say I am sorry.” He turned to Giggledust and said, “What did you do?”
Giggledust faced him and leaned in, “Have you been keeping good track of the time to do the work?”
John said, “Of course. Millicent told me how the deal works. I can only work so many hours – Thank God.”
Giggledust raised her glass, “Perfect. Let Agbo Uroo have her jollies shocking the servants for week. Then go to Zhaat Ussah and show him the difference. Show how many tasks you have left and how many hours you have left. We both know Agbo Uroo’s stimulation is slowing things down. Zhaat Ussah is not an idiot. He will see that too. Agbo Uroo will be reassigned. I will bet on it.”
He leaned back and squinted, “That works? Isn’t she some favorite niece or something?”
Giggledust smirked, “That’s how she got the job. But Zhaat Ussah has other masters as well, not the least is the council who wants these ships done.” She leaned back, “I’ve done it couple times now. Works like a charm.”
John shook his head, “But they keep doing the same thing with the same system.” He looked at his hands and said, “They know the system is flawed but they keep using it. They won’t switch in the face of evidence.”
Giggledust said sweetly with a wink,”Ah the innocence of philosophy and logic shatters against the cliff of evolutionary drive and political fear. You’re kind of cute with that lost look.”
John sighed, “Not the picture of an ally when I need someone to back me up fighting the status quo.”