Friday, July 1, 2022

The Advancement of Mateo Matic: April 28, 2398

Ramses is doing great at his job on a professional level, but not so much personally speaking. Two people on his work team hate him: the guy whose job he apparently usurped, and the guy who had been trying to usurp it since before Ramses was even in this reality. He doesn’t even care, but this gives him access to the resources his team may need to escape to the main sequence, and barring that, survive here. First and foremost, they need to understand the laws of physics. Is there something that’s constantly suppressing their powers and patterns here, or were they stripped of these characteristics upon arrival, and now they could theoretically get them back using some other avenue? He needs to run tests, and being in charge of this department should afford him the appropriate opportunities. All he needs to do is help his people do their jobs on their own, and not bug him all the time, or try to sabotage him.
“Bruno, can you come in here, please?”
“Is he in trouble?” Stockboy asks. That’s not his real name, but he started working here as a stock associate, and worked his way up to this position. He’s just biding his time until he can climb even higher.
“He’s not,” Ramses answers. “Bruno. Double time.”
Not only does he not speed up, but he actually slows down to a snail’s pace.
“You’ll be in trouble if you don’t get in here, though. I partially wanted to talk about the fact that my paperwork finally went through, so now I have full dismissal privileges.”
Now scared for his job, Bruno hops in, and closes the door behind him. “Sir,” he says through actual gritted teeth.
“Bruno, how long have you been working here?”
“Exactly 452 times as long as you have.”
“You believe that your six-year tenure here imbues you with some kind of...entitlement?”
“You think you deserve to be in charge.”
Bruno looks like he’s considering his options, and ultimately decides to stand resolute. “Yes, I do. I’ve already proven myself.”
“Mr. Castillo, I am not a leader. My best friends tell me what to do, and I do it. Repair this, build that, invent something that has never existed before. And I love it, because it means I’m useful. I haven’t been feeling very useful for the last week, does this surprise you?”
“It does not.”
“I don’t want to be in charge. I don’t even want the money. I just need to maintain my position here. And I need you to stop making that so goddamn hard.” He picks up a stack of papers from his desk, and tosses them onto the floor in front of the man who is meant to be his subordinate. It hasn’t been very long, but he’s already exhausted with this nonsense. Ramses may have had a rivalry or two back in the day, but even a group of radical capitalists generally accepted the idea that one person’s success did not inherently mean another’s failure. This world, however, considers them to be one and the same. “My job is to make sure these time reports are filled out correctly. Your job is to fill them out, not deliberately screw them up to make it look like I’m an idiot. You may have forced others to complete your work, and then taken credit for it, but I’m not like that. I’m not going to try to pass this off as my own to illustrate my value. Nowhere does it say that I have to complete them, I am perfectly within my rights to delegate. So that’s what I’m doing. I don’t have time to do them, and I don’t have time to check your mistakes. So do them right, give them to me, and I’ll file them away. That’s called trust. I can google that word for you if you need me to?”
“You can what that word?”
Ramses sighs. “If you mess these up again, I’m blaming you, and the boss will believe me, because I’ve already told him that you’re continuing to do them.”
“Sir, forgive me, but if you don’t want to be the supervisor, why are you?”
“Because I’m on assignment from the corporate office,” Ramses lies. “In one year, that assignment will be over, and I’ll step down.”
“I need the money now,” Bruno argues.
“You’ll get it.” Ramses pulls a stack of cash from the top drawer, and drops it right on top of the reports on the floor. “Like I said, I don’t need it. That’s a pittance for someone of my calibre. I’ll even let you be my lieutenant. It’s not an official position, but the team will listen to you, and I don’t give a shit. All you have to do to keep making this extra income every month is follow my orders, stay out of my way, and keep this all quiet. Are you capable of that?”
Bruno bends over, and retrieves the cash to get a rough count of it. “I was making more than this when I had your job.”
Ramses rolls his eyes. “You’re not getting all of my monthly pay. The rest is my per diem. They sent me here, expecting me to use all of it in this capacity, but I’m prepared to sacrifice half of it to keep you on my side. You’re still getting your regular wages, dummy.”
He nods. “I can do that.”
“Good. That’s not an advance, it’s a free sample, since I obviously haven’t been here all month. You’ll get another one at the end of May.”
“Thank you, sir.”
“Right. Clean that up, get out, and work overtime if you must to fix them.”

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