AW Flash Fiction — Circle — 3/6/11

Circular logic

Image by jieq via Flickr


I was in a hurry for this one and working in the family room with the television blaring and various conversations in process.  I make no pretense as to its quality–it’s not among my better pieces.  The concept is cute but don’t complain if it gives you a headache.  LOL


“I want that report on my desk in four hours, McGee!” Delaney blasted McGee’s face with spittle as he barked his demand.

“I can’t prepare the report until I get the statistics from Olson,” McGee whined.

“Then you better go kick his ass into gear.”

McGee trudged down the hall to Olson’s office. “I need those stats, like NOW, Olson! Delaney’s on the warpath.”

Olson rubbed his face and neck. “I can’t finish the stats until IT fixes my computer.”

Imitating his boss and mentor, McGee thrust his face into Olson’s. “Then get your ass down to IT and tell them to move it!”

Olson’s face burned as he watched McGee stomp off. He picked up the phone and called Jones in IT.

“Jones! Where’s my friggin’ computer?”

“Whoa, curb the ‘tude, dude. I was working on it but an emergency came up that took priority.”

“I need it now!!”

“Chill. I’ll see what I can do.” Jones disconnected and immediately called Smith.

“Yo Smith, you got Olson’s laptop diagnosed yet?” Jones clicked on another minesweeper square as he chatted.

“No can do, Jones. It needs a new motherboard but management cut the budget for that part type. We’ll have to order a new computer instead.”

“Uh-oh. Not good, my man, not good.” Jones clicked another square and exploded a bomb, thus ending his game.

“Not my fault. Delaney’s orders.”

Jones called Olson and delivered the bad news, who in turn delivered his own version of bad news to McGee.

McGee shook his head but finished his report and took it to Delaney with ten minutes to spare.

Delaney flipped to the executive summary and read:

“Cost-cutting measures have included the elimination of replacement parts such as motherboards. Thus far, the measure is estimated to result in a net increase in operating costs of $200,000 (cost of a new laptop less the cost of a motherboard).”

Delaney glanced up at McGee, his brow furrowed. “What the hell kind of computer costs $200,000?”

“The kind that requires three levels of management approval to replace, sir. The laptop is $2,000 but the cumulative loaded payroll costs to prepare the paperwork and massage it through the system adds another $198,200. A new motherboard costs $200, so I deducted the savings for that.” McGee pointed to the figures.

“Remind me why we cut the budget for motherboards, McGee?”

McGee rolled his eyes to the sky as he tried to dredge up the memory of how it had been explained. He cleared his throat. “Garfield in Finance said laptops were so cheap now days that it wasn’t cost effective to replace fried motherboards any more and IT could cut staff if they didn’t have to do that type of maintenance.”

“How many staff did he say he could cut?”

“Five sir, for a savings of $198,200 in payroll costs and benefits.”

Delaney nodded. “Effective immediately, funds are hereby restored for motherboards. Tell Smith to retain his staff.”

“Yes sir.” McGee smiled and backed out of Delaney’s office.

Delaney kicked back in his chair, pleased with an analytical job well done. He drafted his report to the Executive team that said:

“Decision to cut motherboards re-assessed and reversed with estimated savings of $198,200 in overhead allocations.  In addition, by retaining five highly skilled FTEs, we can expect higher engagement scores on this year’s Employee Opinion Survey.”

4 thoughts on “AW Flash Fiction — Circle — 3/6/11

  1. Hey C ~~ I don’t know if I’m correct in saying this , but I get the sense that spontaneity is one of your strengths when it comes to creative writing ? Are you more pantser than plotter ?
    I enjoyed your take on the prompt !

    • I think you pretty much have me pegged correctly, Mish. I do try to plot…but inevitably my best stuff comes directly from my fingers and not my brain. LOL But, it’s easier to get away with pantsing for flashes than for novels, that’s for sure. Plotting is still a discipline I’m trying to master. Thanks for the compliment on the piece!

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