Copyright © 2018 Don Clark
Another Day at the Office
Where Riley Justice Attempts to Stop an Activist Investor’s Slashing Attack on the Bottom Line
Accounts Receivable is seemingly as immeasurable as the cosmos itself. Walking its maze of office-lined corridors, filing rooms, and vast tracts of cubicles, no end is to be found. One could only theorize what lies at its perimeter. If that last lonely desk was found, would the junior accountant there fold in upon himself?
Accounts Payable, on the other hand, has known boundaries. It’s like a small city-state of medieval times. Too powerless to do anything of note, too profitless for its surrounding larger rivals to bother with. The head of Accounts Payable is well aware of his fiefdom’s shortcomings. His stunted staff works tirelessly in the fields of past-due invoices. Warding off threats of legal action; parrying the thrusts of contract breachment.
At department-head meetings, the Accounts Payable Head complains that he’s undersized by a factor of three [there is no truer truth]. He details the backlog that seemingly has no end. He relays scores of complaints pouring in from all communication channels.
His bosses nod and make idle promises.
The A.P. head speaks authoritatively of lawsuits and bosses’ bosses are forced to comment.
And every three months a critical mass of vendor complaints travel the communication path of bosses’ bosses until they reach the Vice President of SomethingOrOther.
This smoldering legal fire must be smothered before it leaps into flames!
Groans were loud and frequent as select Accounts Receivable staff were pulled from their dual monitors & well-ordered file storage, and temporarily transferred to Accounts Payable.
The department the office forgot.
In Accounts Payable, the bewildered accountants were confronted with stacks of boxes full of month’s past due invoices, supporting documentation, and a dizzying amount of receipts. It’s only their assured temporary status in the department that allows them to check their sledgehammer impulse to sprint from the building.
Riley Justice, as nimble on the analog adding machine as its digital cousin, was temporarily placed in a cubicle literally made of those past-due invoice boxes. Formerly white cardboard yellowed from age, marked by ancient water stains, coffee rings, and blotches from too many lunches eaten at the desk. Or, as it were, lunches eaten on a makeshift table of old boxes.
Now it was time to empty those boxes, pay those invoices, and neutralize vendor complaints. Hundreds of complaints, perhaps more, certainly thousands of invoices. And just a half-dozen accountants.
It’s a task worthy of some beleaguered second-tier ancient god. Like Precipice or Dauntless.
If those are even gods.
Riley Justice doesn’t know. Riley Justice can’t remember much of the world outside the cubicle of boxes. Riley Justice had seen sunlight for only a few slim minutes each day for weeks. Riley Justice was going a little stir-crazy, speaking so much in the third person in that prison of boxes.
Meals were brought in three times a day, bathroom breaks given four times daily. Promises of extra overtime pay were frequently hinted at, but never committed to. Each day was the same, never-ending, indiscernible from those before.
Then, sometime in the third week of this, during that early-afternoon, post-lunch sleepy time, the rhythmic chatter of adding machine calculations was broken by the shattering of glass. It’s those fancy plate-glass doors breaking!
Shouts of “Stop Immediately!” carried through the Accounts Payable department. In strode a smartly-dressed middle-aged man.
Who is this intruder?
There’s 32 pages packed with fun and adventure! Written by Don Clark, included in this pocket sized (4″x6″) volume are three stories. Two Riley Justice action-packed tales that turn the accounting department into a ninja-like battleground, and one bonus tale that defies logic to the point you’d think it was fabricated!