Translator: Denryuu; Editor: Ryunakama
When we reported for work the next morning, my colleagues and I decided to assign each counter a specific role, effectively streamlining our various services.
「How many times are you going to mess up?」
There was a storm brewing in the office. A female employee was speaking to a resigned-looking male employee with her eyebrows raised.
「Your memory is terrible. To err once is fine, but you should have learnt not to do it again!」
「Yes, I’m really sorry…」
It appeared that his colleagues were already used to this — when I looked around, everyone had already found work to do the moment the poor boy got scolded.
「Arranging the documents was all he did yesterday, right?」, I asked the girl manning the adjacent counter.
「That’s a really blunt way to put it, but yeah… he always repeats the same mistakes when the going gets tough. We’re used to it, so you don’t need to pay much attention either.」
Rood was his name, if my memory serves me well.
「Rood-san doesn’t look too comfortable being here.」
「Well, he is excess baggage for us…」
About the same age as me, Rood was shy and soft-spoken. His eyes darted about rapidly like those of an animal constantly on the lookout for danger.
There were still many adventurers waiting outside the guild to receive a quest. The royal capital attracted a great number of adventurers — one possible reason being that the variety of quests available was much larger than that of Lahati’s, and the rewards were also better.
Reaching for a piece of paper, I scribbled down a few questions and handed it to Rood, who was seated at his usual seat looking defeated.
「Sorry to disturb you, but can you make many copies of this for me?」
Glancing at the female employee who had been chiding him earlier, I received a nod of affirmation indicating that Rood wasn’t doing anything else at the moment.
Confused, he cocked his head to one side but nevertheless commenced his task. Not doing anything while the others are neck-deep in work would make anyone feel bad, not to mention that you’ll receive negative attention from everyone too.
「Here you go, Argan-san.」
He had made about a hundred copies by hand, which he showed me.
「Well done. Now get some pens, and give one of each to the adventurers who are already inside. Ask them to complete it while they wait.」
Despite not giving a solid answer, he went to the opposite side of the counter anyway and started passing the items to the adventurers engaging in idle chatter on the sofa.
「Please fill this in while you wait.」
Reading the questions, they wondered for a moment what this new feature was and then scribbled their responses. Rood’s actions had also attracted the attention of his fellow colleagues, and everyone kept one eye trained on him while focusing on their own duties.
Having been called up at last, an adventurer got up from the sofa and handed the employee the questionnaire he had answered.
「Something like this…?」
「Huh?」, the employee responded, staring hard at the piece of paper. 「Name, age, sex, rank, desired rank and type of quest… skill(s)… party experience…」
Now everyone realised what Rood had duplicated for me.
Back in Lahati, we had plenty of time to ask these questions on the spot. Here, however, the queues are much, much longer.
「Wow, I don’t have to waste time by asking these questions now…」
The standard operating procedure — assigning an adventurer a quest based on their needs — required a copious amount of time to fully execute. The fact that the adventurers had to spend most of their time twiddling their thumbs and waiting only further increased the opportunity cost involved.
「Here. Does this suit your needs?」
「Sure, I’ll take this one, then.」
Everyone was shocked at how smooth operations had become.
「Total reform has occurred…!」
「It’s as if a fresh breeze is blowing through here…」
「I’ll make more of these, Argan-san!」
Rood had no doubt been feeling like excess baggage all this time. But now, he offered to churn out more questionnaires of his own volition.
As the name suggests, a branch chief is the chief of a branch. He makes the rules, and the employees simply follow along.
「What are you doing now…!?」, roared Stan as he came out of his hiding place.
Just when I was wondering why my colleagues had treated this as a total reform.
I guess I had my answer.
「Don’t you know that your job is only to help the busy employees…? Why are you always trying to gild the lily!?」
A tall man, he came closer and stared down at me.
「You’ve been trying to do things your own way since yesterday… looks like chief Iris didn’t send a slacker.」
I drew myself to full height and stared back at him.
「I’ve been doing exactly what I was told to do — help.」
「Oh, is that how you want to behave…?」, shouted Stan, raising his fist in the air.
He had clearly lost his mind. In fact, he looked like a child throwing a tantrum at his peers.
「With all due respect, Chief, I simply found out why my colleagues were busy and helped them to solve the problem.」
「Did you know that we already have my way of doing things!?」
Even his knees were quaking now.
「I can’t say that your methods are flawed, but… they were implemented when there were fewer adventurers to entertain and quests to assign. But please see the current situation for yourself — three employees have resigned. We needed to find ways to deal with these recent developments, and we did.」
「Since you had to request for external help, doesn’t that mean that you were already lacking manpower in the first place?」
「He’s right, Chief. You always give instructions without taking the actual situation into consideration」, added a male colleague.
「While we all know that your policies aren’t effective, we get scolded if we don’t follow」, chimed in another.
「You too…!? You guys want to find fault with me too? Kick me while I’m down…!?」
He furtively glanced around looking for support, but only met cold eyes staring back at him everywhere he looked. It was clear that everyone was on the same page.
「We’re not finding fault with you. It’s just what everyone on the ground feels.」
Stan turned a deaf ear to me, however, and continued rambling as he turned redder and redder.
「We have a mutiny on our hands, do we now? Fine! If you won’t listen, then quit! Fuck off!」
「…How about you quit?」
「Acting so high and mighty even though you only became branch chief through your connections…」
「Shall we write a petition to get him posted somewhere else?」
「Oi! Stop it! Stop fooling around!」
Completely apathetic to Stan by now, everyone ignored his pleas.
「Did you have a good time with Philly-chan? Did she do it with you, for you?」
「N-No, don’t bring that up now…!」
He retreated a few steps.
「You already knew she wasn’t comfortable with it, and yet you went ahead, stroking her thighs and groping her chest with one hand…」
They all looked at Stan as if he was some low-born scum.
「Look, guys… calm down…」, he muttered as he made a dash for his bomb shelter.
That same day, Stan (having calmed down himself) apologised to all of us during closing assembly. His voice was barely audible, but nevertheless managed to appease everyone.