Saotome-san is late today as well
「She is late today as well. That makes it one whole week of returning after 9 p.m.」
That makes me worry about her health. An ironic smile escapes my mouth while thinking that it isn’t something that I, who used to take the last train everyday should be saying.
Shifting my glance away from the timepiece showing 9:10 p.m, I commence organising the postal items.
Getting your mailbox dumped with direct mails without any personal content in it is the reality of modern day Japan. I came to terms with this reality of having to sort them out in such late hours as soon as I started living alone.
「This room is filled with mail that there is no place to rest your legs….」1
I am not sure if it’s because I was staying late in the Saotome household or something else but I started recalling the first time that I broke in through the window.
The cardboard wall, the swamp of PET bottles with a cardboard line separating the swamp in half. Back then, that spectacle left such a strong impression on me.
「Ehhh, fire insurance, a new curry shop, real estate deal, and this is… health products manufactured using soybeans? Just have them normally, as usual. Hmmm, chiropractic, should I keep this aside…?」
I remember Mio-san saying that she had stiff shoulders. Must definitely be due to working in front of the computer.2
「This envelope is remote wine ordering service, next up another new curry shop and this……invitation for the alumni meet?」
Mixed with the advertisement for “Model House”, the hosting of a particular elementary school’s alumni meet was written on a plain envelope.
「It’s two months later. I wonder if Mio-san is the type to attend such things…」
Finding it difficult to imagine Mio-san being such a person, I slid the envelope over and the name printed on the bottom of the envelope drew my attention.
『 Organiser: Ishijima Mikako (Maiden name: Watase Mikako)』
Could it be the person mentioned in Mio-san’s diary?
「Nah, no way.」
I am curious to inquire about it. But I drove away those thoughts as it wouldn’t be right to wilfully ask such things and put the letter inside the『To be replied box』.
Continuing to organise I almost finished digging through the mountain of letters, but there is no sign of Mio-san coming back home. While wondering what to do next, my phone that I left on the table vibrated.
「Mio-sa… not her huh.」
『Oi, Matsu,.. Are you free now?』
「What’s the matter, Tsuchiya. Returning home? Too bad for you but Mio-san isn’t here」
『Whaaat? Reallly. Where can this prisoner find solace……』
「…. Ah, you are still working.」
Regarding this unreasonable amount of work pressure in my previous workplace, I have a very clear understanding of it.
Mio-san is also usually busy with her work. But it is a “busyness” that is strictly confined to the work timings namely, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
It is different from the “busyness” which transpires because of your manager’s inability to plan and dumping an overwhelming amount of work on you. And it goes without saying that Tsuchiya’s “busyness” implies the latter.
『Mmm, rather I am free. Found a good excuse to get out of the office and take a breather. Sent Murasaki to buy stuff from the convenience store while taking a breather.』
「Do you have to wait on the client? Some issue came up and you can’t go home before sorting out the details with the client?」
I tried guessing of various common situations that could occur based on my experience. They are all different from the situation that Tsuchiya is telling me now though.
『Matsu, do you remember what happened last year?』
「Last year? Which incident are you talking about?」
『That incident which occured because the chief said some unnecessary stuff』
『Yes, it rebounded』
「I see, so it rebounded」
『So you see, all because of the baldy, we were given work that you wouldn’t be able to complete no matter what you do. No one was able to do much. There once was a day that all of us had to stay back in the office』
「Ah, that one……」
『Yes the “Black Monday”』
It is a dark past that I had forgotten about.
As a result of being displeased with the plan that the operations team came up with, he passionately said, “I will show you how it’s done” only to unleash Pandora’s Box on a verbal slip. We were given work that is ten times greater than our processing capacity, and in the end everyone just sat on their chairs with blank faces being unable to get anything done.
This is a brief summary of that incident.
I remember it being named “Black Monday” just before I switched jobs. It’s a mystery as to why Baldy was able to keep his position as the chief even after such an incident.3
「Did the chief do something unnecessary again?」
『Whom do you think it is?』
「Hmm, so it’s not the section chief. Then is it the department head?」
『B: Department head. Is that your final answer?』
「…… That’s my final answer」
『Well, then I will tear this up4』
「You are faithful to the original show」
He is alluding to such a nostalgic TV show.
Even Murasaki whose generation is barely one year younger might not get the reference.
「Don’t stack them」
「Enough, I clearly understood how free you are.」
“Who wants to be a Millionaire”, it was my favourite TV show but even to this day I am unable to figure out why this suspense is required.
『To bad ～～～～！！』
The face Mina M**ta 5made when someone lost, making a mistake on the 5 million yen question, flashed in my head.
『The correct answer is D: The president』
「Ah that’s puzzling. ….Wait what did you say now?」
『D: The president』
『The representative director, President Kusaki with a some family name』
You should remember such things. Well, I too forgot that though.
「No wait, really? The top management?」
『Seems like they got a big unprecedented deal in the company before and promised great things. But now the tensions have risen and it’s become difficult to withdraw.』
「It was 10 times over capacity with the section chief, what about the president?」
『About 50 times over capacity? I am not sure, we underlings don’t understand anymore』
「….. The Super Sai*an amplification factor was also somewhat close to this level.」
『It’s like asking Kril*in to defeat Fri*za.』
Looks like the situation is much worse. If they do a sloppy job, no, in all likelihood the company would most probably not be able to survive.
You can almost see the future bankruptcy.
『Oi, Matsu, don’t say things like an altruist protagonist』
『It’s not at the point where things will get better if you come to help out. This is not a problem we could have finished, with or without you. That much even Baldy will be able to understand. Don’t come』
「Ah, sorry. I made you say such dull things…」
『If you are really sorry, then give me a call once Saotome-san reaches home』
Tsuchiya doesn’t really know about night mode Mio-san, but he did see a little of her true state in the Great UNO Meet that night. So I think it should probably be fine to give a call in the night.
『It’s a promise then. If you lied to me then you have to swallow Haruna from Harisenbon 6』
「Well no, there is still dinner to eat. So you can speak later」
『Fine, fine. It’s about time that Murasaki…. Oi, she seems to have bought melon bread and brought it in the bag. But I asked her to buy dinner. Is it normal to buy just melon bread for dinner?』
「It’s because she likes it」
『Hmmm, will it be possible for me to eat along with Mio-sann!?』
I cut the call at his shriek and moved to the entrance.
Once I open the lock, the door immediately opens and Mio-san who is tired from all the work throughout the entire week peeks in.
「Okaerinasai. You worked really hard this week」
「Yes….. I could hear you speaking to someone, a phone call?」
「Yes, it was Tsuchiya」
「Ah, right. You two are good friends. Doing fine?」
「Yes, that’s so」
「What about Murasaki-san?」
「She didn’t speak on the call but it’s still the same. It seems like both of them have trouble at work.」
The thing about the president, even telling me, a former employee, is a big nono. It isn’t something I should talk about with Mio-san.
Fortunately Mio-san was also not really interested in it and just said “is that so” and removed her pumps after entering inside. Since she is extremely tired I think it was the right choice to make something refreshing for dinner.
「You will be eating dinner right? Today is dried mackerel, tuna and miso soup made with fried tofu」
「Yes, thank you. I will go change my clothes」
「Ok, take your time」
Sending off Mio-san, who went to the bedroom, I headed to the kitchen and chose a mackerel that had few bones and heated the stove.
It is strange that Mio-san’s expression stiffened the moment she heard Tsuchiya’s and Murasaki’s names.