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Meeting Room Thirteen

August 25th, 2010 by the_lifer

All up and down the Terrace and Featherston Street, there are cafes that have the luxury of closing all day Saturday and Sunday. Their free weekends are funded by being “Meeting Room 13.”

When professionals in a central city office need to have a meeting, there’s a fifty-fifty chance that they’ll take off to a café. The code phrase for this at the Department of Stodge is “see you at Meeting Room 13.”

Is it rainy and cold? For a change of scenery and a decent coffee, it’s off to Meeting Room 13. Is it sunny? Meeting Room 13 is as close as they can get to skiving off while actually working. Discussion with an outside contractor? Meeting Room 13 again, and make that espresso a double, because the contractor will pick up the tab as a business expense. Do they need a private word with a manager? Meeting Room 13 is less official, less binding, than an on-site discussion. How about a good bitch about that same boss? That, of all things, warrants the on-site room with the door closed. Because anyone can overhear you at the café.

Nervberg, the second in command of the Department of Stodge, popped his head around the corner. “Winona? Can we meet today?”

She smiles happily. That’s a fast reply to her request to discuss some of the antiquated IT policies. “Of course! Meeting Room 13?” One of Nervberg’s few slivers of humanity at work is admitting he’s addicted to the moccachino at the nearest cafe.

“No. Largeman’s office is free, let’s go in there.”

“All right.” She’s a little disappointed.

Which is nothing to how she will feel fifteen minutes from now.

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