Boston Solutions Incorporated
Chapter 13

Copyright© 2021 by Lazlo Zalezac

Irene was seated at her desk doing absolutely nothing. She was kind of puzzled why they needed a receptionist. It seemed to her that she spent most of her time just staring off into space. The telephone only rang about four times that week. They hardly ever had anyone come into the office. In a way, she felt that she was being overpaid. Of course, she wasn’t going to complain about that. This job was allowing her to escape from her abusive husband.

“Stephen!” Magus shouted. Irene nearly jumped out of her chair.

“What?” Stephen shouted. Irene flinched.

“What are you doing?” Magus shouted. Tense, Irene looked at Stephen’s office.

“I’m working on my homework!” Stephen shouted. Nervous, Irene turned to face Magus’ office.

“Okay. Never mind!” Magus shouted. Worried, Irene turned to look at Stephen’s office.

“What do you need?” Stephen shouted. Irene looked at the door ready to bolt.

“Don’t worry about it!” Magus shouted.

“Okay,” Stephen shouted.

Irene took a deep breath and looked from office to office. She expected either Stephen or Magus to come out at any time. When nothing happened she started to relax. She jumped when Magus shouted, “Irene!”

“What?” she said. It was more of a squeak than a shout.

“Irene?” Magus shouted.

“What?” she said slightly louder. She stared at the door expecting him to come flying out of the office in a rage at any moment.

“Speak up. I can’t hear you,” Magus shouted.

“What?” she said a little louder.

“Call Poindexter and tell him to get over here,” Magus shouted.

Irene said, “Okay.”

“Did you hear me?” Magus shouted.

“Yes,” Irene said a little louder.

“Good,” Magus shouted.

Irene had a hard time dialing the number to reach Jake and it took several attempts to get it correct. Her fingers were trembling too hard to accurately hit the right keys. She finally got the right number and nearly cried from relief when Claudia answered the phone. She told Claudia that Magus had asked Jake to come over to the office.

A while later Jake walked into the office. He noticed with some pleasure that Irene’s black eye was starting to fade. Stopping a good distance from the desk, he said, “Hello, Irene.”

“Hello, Jake,” Irene said.

“Poindexter?” Magus shouted.

“What?” Jake shouted. Irene nearly ducked under the desk.

“Get some money from petty cash and buy us some soft drinks,” Magus shouted.

“What kind?” Jake shouted.

“Get an assortment,” Magus shouted.

“Okay,” Jake shouted. He turned to Irene and didn’t see her. Worried, he asked, “Irene?”

Irene poked her head out from under the desk. She asked, “What?”

“I need some money from petty cash,” Jake said.

“How much?” she asked.

“Forty dollars ought to be enough,” Jake said.

Magus shouted, “Bring back a receipt!”

“Okay,” Jake shouted. He looked back at the desk and asked, “Why are you hiding under the desk?”

“All of this shouting scares me,” Irene answered.

“You’ll get used to it,” Jake said.

“No I won’t,” Irene said timidly. She opened a drawer and pulled out two twenties.

“Yes, you will,” Jake said picking up the money from the desk. He winked at her and left the office.

A little while later, Irene was seated at her desk bored out of her mind. She got to thinking about how everyone working at Solutions Incorporated was not quite average. Magus was ... well Magus was Magus. Claudia was beautiful enough to be a model, but didn’t have the attitude of one. Phil was big and scary looking, but acted like a gentle giant. Jake was off into his world of technology. And Stephen ... he was hard to classify; he reminded her of a young Magus.

She jumped when Magus shouted, “Stephen!”

“What?” Stephen shouted back.

Irene ducked down watching for any sign of quick motion. She really didn’t like all that shouting going on.

“What are you doing?” Magus shouted.

“I’m working on my homework!” Stephen shouted.

“Still?” Magus shouted.

“Yes!” Stephen shouted.

“Okay,” Magus shouted.

A little later Stephen was typing a paper for one of his classes when the phone chirped. He looked over at it and noticed that the intercom light was flashing. He smiled for a second and then shouted, “Magus!”

“What?” Magus shouted back.

“There’s something wrong with my phone!” Stephen shouted.

“What’s wrong with your phone?” Magus shouted.

Stephen shouted, “It is making chirping noises!”

“Ignore it!” Magus shouted.

“Okay!” Stephen shouted. He turned back to work on his paper. After a few minutes there was a soft scratching from the door to his office. It was so soft that he was almost convinced that he imagined it. After a few seconds the sound repeated itself. He looked up and asked, “Is there someone there?”

Irene stuck her head in the door and asked, “Can I talk to you?”

“Sure, Irene. Come on in,” Stephen said.

Irene took a couple of steps into the office. She said, “I tried to call you on the intercom.”

“We don’t use the intercom,” Stephen said.

“I didn’t know if you knew there was an intercom function on the phone,” Irene said. She licked her lips nervously.

“We know all about it. We just don’t use it,” Stephen said.

“You wouldn’t have to shout if you used it,” Irene said.

Looking surprised, Stephen said, “We prefer shouting.”

Irene was speechless. She stood there for a moment trying to come up with some kind of reply. Finally she said, “I don’t like it.”

“What is there to like or not like about shouting?” Stephen asked.

“I’d rather you use the intercom,” Irene said.

“You’ll find that shouting is a whole lot more convenient than using the intercom. There are no numbers to remember. You aren’t tied to the phone. You can continue working. It really is much easier to shout,” Stephen said.

“It sounds so ... angry,” Irene said looking around nervously.

“Angry? No. It is just talking in a loud voice,” Stephen said.

“Oh,” Irene said. She decided to try another approach. She asked, “Would you ask Magus if we could start using the intercom?”

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