“Process models and procedures. Process models and procedures.” the Antiquarian mumbled to herself as she shuffled along the walls of binders. “Not much call for that these days.” She hacked out. The Antiquarian rustled down the aisles with tremendous certainty. She was the lone Archivist for the Company and the knowledge of this domain was hers alone. Her smoker’s cough did not bode well for the future retrieval of information from the archive.
The Rational Man ‘s contract was to sell the idea of quality management to the Executives of the Company. He was promised the best and brightest for his Quality Team. More like the beasts and blighted, he thought. The hunt for statistical data was exhausting but the Rational Man was beginning to appreciate the value of his unusual team members. The Fossil knew everyone after thirty years with the Company. Weasel Boy and Weasel Girl knew or could find every bit of ‘dirt’ on everyone the Fossil knew. Between the three they were able to locate and pry out enough statistics to do a performance baseline. Now it was time to review existing documentation.
Fearing that all of these vintage documents would lead to a trip down a thirty year old memory lane, The Rational Man left the Fossil behind. Although the Artful Dodger had avoided all work to date he appeared physically fit and could lift boxes which would be his most useful contribution to date. The Punk, who disdained anything prior to her two-year career, actually wanted to see the physical manifestation of the age of the Company.
To describe the Company archive properly would require channeling the spirit of Kafka. It was a huge, daunting symmetry of shelves packed with boxes and paper.
The Artful Dodger had found Nirvana.
The Rational Man could actually see his mind working for the first time since he joined the team, maybe in the eleven years since he has been with the Company. I could get lost in here every day and still get paid.
“When did you folks join the Legal Department?” the Antiquarian asked.
“Um, actually we’re part of a Quality Team.” The Rational Man responded.
The Antiquarian stopped. “Really?” She was genuinely surprised. “Only the Legal Department ever comes here, every time the Company is sued. Something new before I retire.”
She resumed her journey.
“You can’t be old enough to be retiring.” the Artful Dodger exclaimed, barely containing his enthusiasm. The Punk rolled her eyes.
“Oh hush.” the Antiquarian actually blushed. “I’m old enough to be your mother.”
“No. A sister maybe.” The Punk paled. The thought of anyone over 30 mating was revolting.
“Oh yes. I’m supposed to have an assistant but …” she waved her hand. “I told HR I would be gone soon and need a replacement.” The Artful Dodger actually skipped in the aisle. “Here we are. If the young man wouldn’t mind removing that box.”
The Artful Dodger smiled and pulled out the box. He removed the top and peering inside it he stated, “As I thought, well-organized.”
“Thank you.” She blushed again. “Now, do you have your SNA-9F10U form?” the Antiquarian asked. The quality team members stared blankly at each other. “You must have it approved by your Director and VP so you can check –out documents.”
“Um, we didn’t realize….” the Punk began.
The Rational Man had a sudden vision of a two-week delay while the form, strapped to a more than usually lethargic sloth, migrated through the authorization process.
“Do we really need that form? I promise to bring these back as soon as we are done.” the Artful Dodger pleaded.
The Antiquarian looked at him for a moment. “OK. You are such nice people.” She smiled directly at the Artful Dodger. “I’m sure everything would be fine.”
The Rational Man rooted through the treasure trove of documents while the Artful Dodger and the Antiquarian were discussing the finer points of filing and Human Resource transfers.