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The Bureau

miketx

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The Bureau

by

me​



Henry Wilson slowly rolled out of bed, and walked into the kitchen. He started his morning brew, like always, and thought of the day ahead. He popped a breakfast pack into the microwave. Nothing new had come out of the Bureau in over a year, and as Deputy Director of The Progressive Studies Bureau, he was charged with keeping things moving. And Peterson had called him.



As he sipped his cappuccino he idly wondered if Peterson really had anything worth showing him, or did Petersons wanting to meet with him today suggest another empty progress report to maintain status quo? He would see soon enough. Peterson had practically been living in the R&D lab for the last six months so he just might have something. The alarm on the microwave brought him back to reality. He had breakfast, then showered and dressed for work.



The ride to work was smooth and uneventful as usual, and it deposited him in front of the main entrance to the Bureau. The Bureau itself was housed in a huge glass and steel building that extended 30 stories up, right on top of the ten floors below ground level. The latter was meant for security purposes, and, as Henry often joked, it kept the building from being blown over if congress suddenly exhaled all at once! You’ve seen that kind of building. They’re all over the Beltway area, and, as he so often thought, if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.



Henry walked briskly into the lobby and checked in at the security chiefs’ desk, showing his ID.

“Morning Mortimer,” Henry said. “What’s going on?”

“Same old thing that’s been going on around here for the past six months or so, Mr. Wilson sir. Not much of anything. Sir.”

“Sit tight Mortimer. I have a feeling things will be buzzing around here in no time flat!” Henry made a mental note to talk to personnel about Mortimer. He would not tolerate such insubordination from anyone, let alone that old fool. Since Congress had passed the government employer protection act of 2043, people really had to toe the mark if they wanted to work government jobs. Old Mort might just find himself working the labor camps if he wasn't careful. Now that most private jobs were a thing of the past, people that didn’t fit in were so much easier to take care of. He smiled.



Henry went into his office thinking what, indeed, had been going on around here for the last six months. For the last 15 years the Bureau had been prolific in creating new and useful lifestyle enhancements for the people of the world, and he wondered from time to time how much longer they could keep up the pace. His predecessor had came up with the 7 day work week that the government adopted, and the medical enhancements that made it possible for people to work 7 days a week and not break down physically, like they would have in times past. It was now easier than ever for the people to pay their standardized tax rate of 70 cents on the dollar and still be able to buy food and clothing. He realized that taking care of the people was not easy, but it had to be done. With the Health and Medical Aid acts passed by Congress in 2014, the Government needed every tax dollar it could take in, just to keep the status quo. He needed something new and exciting to pump some life back into the Bureau, and if anyone could come up with something in these times, Billy Peterson was the man.



Henry sat down at his desk and pressed the comm. Button. “Liza, where are the reports I asked for yesterday?” He said.

“Almost ready sir, the last page is coming out of the copier right now.”

“By the way Liza, what time is my meeting with Billy today? Have I time to finish up some work left over from last week?”

“He said he’d be in around ten Mr. Wilson, but you know Mr. Peterson. He’s never on time and doesn’t even own a watch!”



Henry settled in to finish his semi-annual report on the state of affairs at the Bureau. It would be one of the shortest he had produced in a long time. Maybe this time they would appropriate more funds like he had been asking for. He could only do so much with a budget that was two years out of date! He knew the government had the money; it was just a matter of convincing the budget committee that he needed it. Perhaps the Bureaus lack of progress was the right way to get it again. There were only so many workers, and with the unintended consequences of the seven day work week and 70 cent on the dollar tax rate for all, even illegal immigrants had stopped coming into the country. Henry needed something to sell to Congress!



He finished the report just as Liza told him Peterson was waiting for him in the anteroom. Peterson came in the office with his typical “I’ve got something good” grin that always gave him away. “Long time no see Billy, how about a drink?”

“Sure,” Peterson said. Henry placed two soft drink packets in the Cool Wave and punched number four. A few moments later he retrieved two ice cold drinks and handed one to his visitor. “So what’s up?” Henry asked, sipping his drink. “I thought you guys in R&D had gone into hibernation or something.” Peterson smiled and said, “I’d like to discuss a new time management process our research team has developed. It’s a radical departure from anything we’ve done before. We base our new system on yearly hours and turn them into weeks spent. With 365 days per year we have 8760 hours per year to work with, and an all new metabolic adjustment procedure to make it work”

“Let’s hear it.”



“You know that each one of us spends a certain amount of time doing certain things. It’s the way we are. We do things ten minutes here, thirty minutes there and so on. Different people take breakfast lunch and dinner at different times during the day, and spend different periods of time doing them. The same with sleeping and what have you, right?”

“I’m with you so far,” said Henry.

“Ok,” Peterson continued, “We have been studying these time usage patterns and have compiled some pretty startling figures. For instance, including the fluff time, time spent talking or deciding what to eat, or reading the paper during a meal, if you allow thirty minutes for breakfast, forty minutes for lunch, and one hour for dinner, the average person spends 4.7 weeks per year just eating.”

“Just eating?” Henry asked.

“Just eating.” Peterson answered. “And at the standard 56 hours spent at work per 7 day work week, the average worker works 17.3 weeks per year actual time at work. Of course we calculate the week consisting of 24 hours times 7 days, which gives us 168 hours per week.”

“Let me get this straight,” Henry snapped. “You mean that your research team, funded by tax dollars I have to account for, has spent the last six months sitting on your backsides measuring the time people spend working and eating?”

“Not exactly,” replied Peterson. “But if you’ll hear me out, I’m sure you’ll be just as excited about this new concept as we are.” Henry thought for a moment about the man he was talking to. William Peterson, or “Billy” to his co-workers. Mid forties, slightly balding bland looking scientist type, his work on past projects had proven however, that he could be brilliant at times.

“All right Billy, go on, just don’t tell me how long the average worker spends in the bathroom!”

“2.8 weeks,” Billy coolly replied. Henry slowly exhaled, and sat back in his chair.

“Add to the previous figures 10.86 weeks of sleeping per year, at the required 5 hours per day, that gives up a total of 35.66 weeks per year consumed in performing all needed duties or functions the average worker needs to do. And it is possible to trim some time off the eating roster if need be.”



“Billy, I still don’t see the point if it. What good does it do us to know these factoids?”

“What pulls it all together Henry is the new metabolic adjustment technique I have developed. It allows the worker to go through a yearly cycle in which they perform each duty or functions in succession, instead of a little time spent here and there. The point being is that using this technique, we now have available 16.34 weeks of untapped time available to us. This time is available in one chunk and can be used 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. We can administer this time as we see fit Henry. In other words, we can increase the workers actual time spent working to gain a positive net increase in the tax input the government desperately needs. Those of us in upper management and government offices can of course use the time wisely for vacations or whatever we like. Of course the workers will need some time to use for themselves, but I think you get the idea.” He paused to let Henry absorb all that.



“How does it work, how have you put it all together?” Henry said. Peterson could see by the look on Henrys face that he was hooked. Peterson explained how and why the procedure worked, and his opinion of what the chances were for Congressional acceptance of the plan was. For each step of the program Peterson explained, he could see his boss’ interest growing more and more!



Peterson explained how the body would take in food nutrients for a full year, using a machine called the Cellular Absorption Resonator. This was a machine that caused the body to absorb nutrients at the cellular level. That is, the body’s individual molecules were altered so that they would actually store nutrient energy. The individual would then be fitted with a small device that resonated ultrasonic vibrations on the level of twenty thousand per second, which in turn excited the individual molecules causing them to release the food energy into the body’s blood, for as long the resonator was activated. All a person need do then is drink about two quarts of water per day, and when the body felt tired or hungry, activate the resonator for a preset burst. A timer regulated the burst for the required 5 seconds, and you were as good as new! Simple as that.



“So,” Peterson continued, “The program starts with 4.7 weeks in the Cellular Absorption Resonator, then we plan for the work program to begin. We figure to up the 17.33 weeks of work time to 25 weeks. That will give the tax rolls an enormous boost it needs. Allowing for up to 10 days of unexpected occurrences, that still leaves 6.27 weeks of free time for the worker per annum. Of course if the 10 days is not used it will be converted to on the job time, and the worker will finish out the year as scheduled. And if the trial runs go well, we fully expect to slim down that 6.27 weeks of idle time the worker has, thereby increasing the tax coffers even more! We figure eventually the average worker can make do with just three weeks of idle time. And last but not least, the worker concludes the yearly work cycle with 2.8 weeks in the bio-purge chamber.”



Henry sat quietly for a few moments taking it all in and then said, “It sounds great Billy, but I’d like to know more about this so called bio-purge unit.”

“It’s very tech stuff Henry, but basically it consists of a self contained bio-unit that works opposite of the Cellular Absorption Resonator. In it, you spend your final 2.8 weeks of the yearly work cycle. You can read, or catch up on paper work during wake periods, but you can’t leave until the allotted time is up.”



“What happens in the purge unit is that your bodies wastes, built up from the yearly work cycle are removed all at once, instead of a few minutes here and there, like we do now. Let me state now that this technology works on very sound time proven medical science. The time in the chamber will pass quickly because due to the nature of the extraction, much of the time is spent in a semi-hibernation type of state. You are awake only about 3 to four hours at various intervals during the entire bio-purge procedure. Due to the danger of bacterial contamination, all the purge units will be on a 2.8 week, 470.4 hour timer to eliminate any chance of endangering the technician workers in the control stations.”

“What does that exactly mean,” Henry asked.

“What it means,” Peterson said, “Is that once you’re in the chamber, you can’t come out until the timer unlocks the seal on the door. The full 2.8 week purge cycle.”



Henry thought that was a small price indeed for the benefit this time management procedure brought to the government, and said so. Henry also pointed out that he would like to be among the first volunteers to test out the process. As Director of the Bureau, logically he would be the fitting candidate to try it out first, provided Billy could guarantee that is was safe and proven to work as stated. That way he would have much leverage in promoting Congressional acceptance of the procedure. He knew the government was anxiously looking for ways to increase revenues, but they had to be prudent as well. They would buy or implement nothing that would risk reducing the tax rolls, if it could be avoided. After all they weren’t stupid, they were just politicians looking for much needed revenue to support the many government programs adopted in the last 30 years. So, they were set.



Henry Wilson, Deputy Director of The Federal Progressive Studies Bureau, sat at his desk taking care of some last minute details, when Mortimer Stuart, the security chief, knocked on his office door.

“Mr. Wilson?”

“Yes Mort, what can I do for you?”

“Well, Mr. Wilson sir, I just came by wish you and the R&D team good luck, and to tell you that everybody here at the Bureau is wishing you well on the trial run of the new time management system.”

“Thanks a lot Mort! Give everyone my regards tell them I know we will have a successful trial run.”

“Yes sir, Mr. Wilson. Oh, I almost forgot. Here’s a message I was told to hand deliver to you from Mr. Peterson. Bye now.”



Henry said goodbye and thought to himself that Mort was an idiot. “Wish me luck” indeed! He supposed that the old fool had no idea that luck was not a factor in the Bureau machine works! With all the resources at his disposal, he could not fail. He was certain now that he would send the old fool to the work camps after the testing was done. He read the message the man had given him:



“Henry, I need two more days before start

cycle. Minor problems have developed with

the switching valve on the Bio-Purge unit.

Nothing to worry about. See you in two days.”



Billy



Well, Henry thought, this would give me a little more time to take care of all the loose ends I still have laying around.



All the med-tests had been run and re-run, and the Bureau medical team had given Henry a clean bill of health. All that was left now was to advise all the media sources and wind down to the start of the cycle. Henry was surprised that he had to fast for 3 days prior to the start, but he accepted that well.



He gave statements to CNN and MSNBC, as well as the Washington Post and the New York Times, predicting a success for the test, which he knew would guarantee media presence at the conclusion of said trial run. Henry then reported to the R&D lab after his three days of fasting, met with all people involved with the trial run, and prepared to enter the Cellular Absorption Resonator. He caught Billy Peterson as he was walking out of the bio-purge unit and said, “How about that glitch you mentioned in your note? Has the purge unit given any more trouble?”

“No problems,” Peterson said. “The start team will be ready in ten minutes. Are you ready?” Henry made a ‘thumbs up’ gesture to Peterson, and walked over and entered the Resonator. Ten minutes later he was on his way.



Henry finished the 4.7 weeks in the Resonator as scheduled, and then started a marvelous 16.34 weeks of leisure time. From time to time he would check in with media sources to give statements, and at the Bureau for medical checks. Everything was progressing as smooth as possible, and Henry started his 17.3-week work cycle as scheduled. He started work enthusiastically, and even amazed his self at what one could do if you worked 24/7. The ultra sonic device worked flawlessly as well. Henry never felt fatigued or really hungry. It was great! He was rapidly becoming a celebrity, and he loved every moment of it.



The cycle wound down and he went right into the 10.86 weeks of the sleep cycle. The sleep time passed quickly as he woke only every other week or so for a nutrient renewal burst.



As predicted, Henry woke up with that ‘get up and go feeling’. Excitement welled up inside him as he gave end of cycle interviews to the media. He then went in and prepared for the bio-purge cycle. With a successful test under his belt, the Bureau would be assured of Congressional acceptance of the system, and Congress could once again vote itself another salary increase. Henry would no doubt get a raise as well. The stakes were higher than ever before.



Something was wrong in the bio-purge unit. Henry knew something was wrong too. He could feel it in the pit of his stomach. What was worse is he could smell it too. It was like nothing he had ever experienced, or would again. Henry knew something was wrong for the switching valve was jammed shut. You know, the one that Peterson had assured him was fixed. That one.

The problem it seemed now was that the switching valve was allowing his years build up of bodily wastes to be dumped back into the purge chamber instead of being disposed of properly, as the system was supposed to work. As he looked out the portal in the hatchway to the purge chamber, he could see Old Mort watching him. He could tell by Morts expression that he knew as well as everyone else in the control room that Henry was going to have to wait another four days before the door would open, and the stinking sludge was getting deeper every minute!
 
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JGalt

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Being the skeptic I am, I ran some of your phrases through a web search.

Congratulations! You're an author, Mike. :beer:
 
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miketx

miketx

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Being the skeptic I am, I ran some of your phrases through a web search.

Congratulations! You're an author, Mike. :beer:
What did you find?
 

JGalt

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What did you find?

I did not find any instance of a sentence or a phrase through a web search. What you posted is genuine and original.
 
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miketx

miketx

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I did not find any instance of a sentence or a phrase through a web search. What you posted is genuine and original.
The thanks. I wrote it about 25 years ago. Got the idea from reading the wrapper on a package of bathroom paper.
 
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miketx

miketx

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The thanks. I wrote it about 25 years ago. Got the idea from reading the wrapper on a package of bathroom paper.
You see, I made that reply on my wifes tablet and it does crap like that. The thanks, wtf does that mean and why would a machine decide that was what I want to say? That's why I don't use it much, you have to watch it like a hawk!
 

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