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Commencing the Audit of Preston Dirges

Int. Deserted Office Floor – Day

THIMBLEBY (O.S.): Preston?

Thimbleby is round the corner from the meeting cubicles, sat at a small round table in front of Preston’s desk. He keeps drumming his fingers on a lever arch file, laying open in front of him.

PRESTON: Ah – you found the file I left for you.

Preston pulls the chair from behind his desk up to the table, and places it next to Thimbleby. There are no other chairs.

VALERIE: Where do I sit?

PRESTON: You’ll have to use your initiative.

Valerie sits on the edge of Preston’s desk, looking over his shoulder.

PRESTON: Do you have to sit there?

Valerie looks around. There is nowhere else to sit. She looks at the brain in the fishbowl, sitting next to her, and reaches toward it, as if to move it and make room.

PRESTON: No, don’t touch that.

Preston leaps up and grabs the fishbowl away from Valerie, placing it well out of Valerie’s reach.

VALERIE: What is it, is it a…

THIMBLEBY: Preston! Can we please start now?

PRESTON: Yes, we may.

Preston sits back down again, but Valerie is once again looking over his shoulder. Thimbleby is about to speak, but Preston interrupts before he can start.

PRESTON: (to Thimbleby) May we swap places?

THIMBLEBY: No.

PRESTON: Okay.

Preston shuffles his chair around the round table, away from Thimbleby.

THIMBLEBY: Can we begin?

Preston holds his hand up. He shuffles his chair further around the table.

THIMBLEBY: Preston?

Preston shuffles his chair further around the round table.

THIMBLEBY: Hmmmm.

Preston holds his hand up again, then shuffles his chair the rest of the way around the table, until he is sitting alongside Thimbleby, on the opposite side from which he started. Preston crowds so close to Thimbleby that Thimbleby moves his chair to make some room. They have now reversed their starting positions. Valerie is now looking over Thimbleby’s shoulder.

THIMBLEBY: Ready?

PRESTON: Ready. (to Valerie) Ready?

VALERIE: Ready.

PRESTON: Let the auditing commence.

THIMBLEBY: I’ve been going through your files.

PRESTON: Indeed.

THIMBLEBY: And I’ve already noted some anomalies.

PRESTON: Have you?

THIMBLEBY: Which I wanted to ask you about.

PRESTON: Then ask away.

THIMBLEBY: On page 17 of this test report, I see that the error rate of your internal test regime is more than 100 times too high.

PRESTON: Ah, well you know why that is, don’t you? It’s because we did 100 times too many tests. Let me see who wrote that report.

Preston examines the report with mock seriousness.

PRESTON: Now I understand. This report wasn’t done by our test team. It was compiled by our Business Intelligence team, by aggregating all the results from our test team. We’ll need to speak to the report author to understand what’s gone wrong.

Preston walks around to his desk and makes a call. He puts the call on speaker.

GORDON (V.O.): Hello?

PRESTON: Hi Gordon, it’s Preston. I’m here with our auditor and with…

VALERIE: Valerie.

PRESTON: Valerie, who’s new. Anyway, the auditor has some questions about the intelligence report you did, summarizing our test results. Are you free to talk about it?

GORDON (V.O.): I’ve just sat down to lunch.

PRESTON: Is it lunchtime already? So it is. Well that’s perfect. We’ll all come down and join you. See you in a minute.

Preston hangs up.

THIMBLEBY: I brought sandwiches.

PRESTON: You did? Oh, that’s a shame. But it is lunchtime, so let’s take a break now. Valerie and I will go down to the canteen, ask Gordon your questions, and come back prepared to give you the answers. (to Valerie) Valerie?

Preston briskly walks off, with Valerie rushing to catch up. Thimbleby sits in silence at the table, one hand resting on the lever arch file, the other scratching his head. He then realizes his mistake, but Preston and Valerie have already exited to the stairwell at the far side of the floor.

THIMBLEBY: But I haven’t told you what I wanted to know, yet!

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