Comms Lag

Cursing that would make a Marine blush blasted down the hallway. I poked my head out my office door just to verify. Yep. Coming from Adriana’s office. That meant that comms with HQ was down. Again. For the third time… today.

“Come out to the Jovian moons, they said. The pay is great, they said. Two years out here and you’re set for life, they said. Ha! It’s not life-endangering, just mind and soul destroying!” I muttered as I sat back in my admittedly comfy office chair.

I had to admit, the bigwigs at Solar Mining Corporation did go out of their way to make sure that all their employees, miners and admin staff alike, were treated like royalty for the duration of their contracts. Some of the best chefs on Earth worked in the kitchens and the food was amazing. There was a pub, just off the main dining hall that was open all the time to accommodate different shifts. There was a huge gym, that even had a state-of-the-art holodeck so you could fool yourself into thinking you were somewhere else (which you needed living on a airless moon orbiting a gas planet). The living quarters were luxurious and those that had families were encouraged to bring them along on the contract. All in all, it was one of the best jobs I’d ever had.

Except for the comms issues. Communications between Solar Mining Corp headquarters and the Jovian moons were bad. Like really bad. As a result the admin teams attached to the mining operations in the Jovian moons were horribly inefficient. And that drove most of us crazy. I say most of us. There were one or two admins who reveled in their inefficiency, but I was not one of them. It was beyond frustrating to have to keep telling the miners that their bonus processing was delayed… again. Contracts for new employees, onboarding them, and offboarding those leaving took forever. In my year here, I’d created a process for those leaving in order to get around some of the massive hiccups caused by the lagging comms. I had all the files arranged by leave date, and started the process about three weeks before the scheduled leave date so that (hopefully), the paperwork would be completed by the time the contract ended and the employee was ready to return to Earth. I was dead tired of scrambling to transfer contract termination documents minutes before launch.

That led to a lot of cursing. Like what Adriana was still doing. As a matter of fact… why was she still cursing? What was going on?

I needed to stretch my legs anyway so I decided I’d wander down the hall to Adriana’s office and just see what was up. And if I passed by the break room and found some of those delicious chocolate chip cookies, well, then, that was just a bonus.

There were indeed fresh chocolate chip cookies in the break room (did I mention the company treated us well?) so I grabbed a few and continued on to Adriana’s office. The cursing had stopped and become and indistinct mumble. I knocked on the door frame and stuck my head in.

“Here. I brought you a cookie. What’s going on?” I held out the cookie like poor Adriana was some rabid tiger and dropped into the chair in front of her desk. “Comms again?”

She took a huge bite out of her cookie and didn’t speak until she’d finished swallowing.

“Yeah. And it’s really bad this time. I just found out that we’re getting ten… ten! new hires on tonight’s shuttle! Living quarters need to be cleaned and assigned, accounts need to be set up… why the hell did that twit, Monica Spurgle, think that waiting until two weeks prior to their arrival would be a good time to tell me! Now, once again, we look bad because that idjit can’t figure out the comms lag!” Adriana paused in her rant to look at her cookie. “These really are good.”

“Yeah, I know. Here. Have another,” I said, handing over another cookie.

“Thanks.” She jammed a hand into her hair and glared at her tablet screen.

“Hey, no worries. We still have a couple hours until that shuttle arrives. I know the living quarters are clean, so that’s not an issue. I’ll go get Jimmy and the three of us can get the accounts and access codes all set up. I’m assuming Spurgle sent you at least a list of names and employee numbers?” I munched on my own cookie.

“Yeah, she did. Thanks, Emily. I appreciate it.” Adriana sighed and finished off the first cookie.

“No problem. I’ll get Jimmy and we’ll get started on assigning living quarters. Just ping that list over to me.” I finished my own cookie and gave her a thumbs up on my way out the door.

Of course, I stopped back by the break room for more cookies. When allowed, I am super efficient.


AC Young and I traded prompt challenges this week. He gifted me with: Communications between Solar Mining Corp headquarters and the Jovian moons were bad. As a result the admin teams attached to the mining operations in the Jovian moons were horribly inefficient. Having done some time in admin jobs, this little snippet is what popped into my head. Do yourself a favor and wander on over to More Odds Than Ends and see what AC did with the dragon in the baking contest I gave him, and what everybody else has cooked up. You’ll feel better, I guar-an-tee it!

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