Brightly lit business office suite. The camera moves out of the reception area, along a large sign on the wall "ALISP International," and into the open-design space in the middle. There are a lot of boxes of various types around - file storage, heavy-duty cardboard with foam padding, etc. Some are sealed and others are half-packed. Office workers of both genders and different ages are busily occupied: most of them are at their desks, either working on the computers or talking on the phones, while a few are transferring files and folders from desk drawers and cabinets into the boxes. The company is obviously packing up.
PAIGE, 30, an accounting manager with plain but soft facial features, gets up from her chair, takes a huge pile of checks she just printed and walks into a private office with an open door.
Inside the office, the CFO, a middle-aged woman with an almost visible weight of responsibilities and problems on her shoulders, is at her desk. She is a hardened veteran of the professional work-force; one of those bitches who are said to have bigger balls than their male peers. A permanent scorn for humanity is set deeply around her mouth.
It looks as if her right hand is glued to the mouse, moving and clicking the thing in a seemingly erratic pattern, which causes rows and columns of data on the computer screen appear, disappear, reproduce, and rearrange themselves. There is a tower of empty boxes in one of the corners. Clearly, she didn't have a chance to start packing. The CFO doesn't stop her manipulations of cells even when Paige comes up to her desk.
The desk's surface is completely covered with documents and reports, yet appears to be in a sort of a neat order. Failing to find an empty spot, the younger woman asks, "Is it okay if I put them on this contract?" The CFO is her mentor and Paige feels guilty for giving her something else to do, as if those checks were intended to pay her personal bills.
The CFO stops torturing the mouse and looks up. "Actually, it will be great if you do that, because right after I finish this bullshit for the bank and sign the damned checks I will have to read that damned contract to make sure that our esteemed attorneys didn't miss anything," she says without any irritation, just matter of factly.
"Those RingCentral, guys, did they finally got what you wanted them to do with the phone system in the new office? I heard you spelling it out for them."
The CFO produces a funny sound - a combination of a sad sigh and a bristle of disgust: "People rarely disappoint me - most of the time they are exactly what I expect them to be."
In a gesture of a female camaraderie, Paige lightly rubs the CFO's shoulder and leaves the office.
The CFO goes back to her computer and continues manipulating the database at the same high speed. Her phone rings. She hits the speakerphone button without taking her eyes off the screen.
The reciptionist's voice singsongs out of the phone, "Gary from LinkNet for you."
The CFO keeps working, while a man's voice comes on after a click, "Hi, M."
"Hi, Gary. What's up?"
"We just checked the tracking information - the boxes are on a FedEx truck, out for delivery to your new address. I'm a bit concerned about nobody's being there. It's a bunch of pretty expensive stuff: uninterrupted power supply unit, firewall, network switch, backup..."
"Don't worry - I have a standing order with the building's management to keep all our packages in the mail room until we collect them. And I will be there Monday morning."
"Okay, and the next day we will come to install and connect everything. Just in case, we included your contact information on the label."
"That's cool. Okay, bye."
Same day, early afternoon.
A FedEx truck is moving down Broadway in NYC's Financial District, rolling closer and closer towards the Bowling Green Bull; then turns left a few blocks before the statue.
The FedEx truck is parked at the entrance of a steel-and-glass 30-story office building. The driver, a man in his early 30s in FedEx uniform, unloads several heavy packages onto his hand truck and rolls it through the building's service entrance.
Inside the building's mail room a young man, late 20s, is behind the counter. He is wearing a standard navy blue jacket of the NYC Service Employees International Union. He stares intently into a computer monitor, which emits barely audible, muffled moaning sounds. He mutes it as soon as the driver walks through the door.
"Wussup, man! Cold outside?"
"How you doin? Too cold. I got boxes here all going to same place... Lemme see..." Looking at the label of the box on the top, "Al... Als... Ali... Al..."
While the driver is trying to figure out the name on the label, the guy behind the counter strikes a few keys on the computer keyboard. Tenants' directory appears on the screen in front of him. Within seconds he exclaims, "Aliyes! Sixth floor, man!" He sounds very satisfied with the fact that he managed to find the company before the driver could read the label.
As the FedEx driver rolls towards the freight elevator, the mail-room dude clicks the mouse and the very quiet moaning comes back on. About five inches away from the guy's hand on the mouse, a sheet of paper is affixed to the surface with a tape strip. The letterhead indicates:
"From the Desk of Joe Funk, Building Manager"
The header below states in bold letters:
"ALISP - Floor 17: Keep packages in the mail room" is the first entry on the alphabetized list that follows.
Same day, late afternoon.
The CFO is at her desk. With her glasses on, she is now reading "that damned contract," marking it with a pencil every once in a while. The phone on the desk rings. Again, she hits the speakerphone button without looking.
The receptionist's voice is hesitant - she is obviously unsure whether she is doing the right thing by passing this call to the CFO instead of fielding it away.
"There is a person on the phone... He says that he is from a company... Aliyes... and that he got your packages, ma'am."
The CFO takes off her reading glasses and looks at the phone as if it was a curious living thing. You can hear amusement in her voice when she asks, "My personal packages?"
"Yes, it seems so. He asked for you by name."
"Okay, put him through."
In a second, a man's voice comes through the speaker.
"My name is Bill. My company is on the sixth floor here at XX Broad. Are you, guys, in the same building?"
"We are and we aren't. We are in the process of moving in - the 17th floor."
"For some reason your packages were delivered to us by FedEx, and my secretary signed for them. She started opening them up without even looking at the labels. All this equipment seems expensive."
"It is quite expensive. Your company's name is Aliyes? Well, the first three letters are the same - that's as far as an average attention span can go nowadays."
They both laugh.
The man says, "It's a good thing that your name and number were on the label."
"I have to thank my IT Administration service for that."
"Look, we already sealed the boxes back - as good as new. Why don't you call John, the building manager, and ask him to open your office for us. I will have my guys bring it inside and I will personally supervise that nothing gets screwed up again."
The CFO's face changes and her voice is very earnest, when she says, "That would be great! Thank you so much. I am so grateful."
Indeed, she is grateful - she got lucky that someone with the common sense cut this chain of events short. The whole thing could've turned out so much worse.