Time Cards in a Time Travel Industry
The Blog form of Space Madness may be over, but I assure my dedicated fan(s) that I am hard at work editing and revising and adding to the story, preparing it for publication as a novel. I have no idea how long this will take, as I have never written a novel before. It will probably be somewhere between two weeks and a decade before it is ready.
In the meantime, to tide you over, here is an excerpt from another writing project of mine, which I began way back in November as part of National Novel Writing Month. The story itself is titled “The Causeway,” and is mostly about the goings on of a company that uses time travel to generate profit in revolutionary ways.
The company, called “CTC Industries,” is not a perfectly run company by any means, but the use of time travel on a daily basis gives it an overwhelming advantage over all competitors. (CTC stands for “Closed Timelike Curve.”) Here is a sneak peek inside the company with this recently recovered internal memo regarding the reporting of hours worked. Enjoy!
To: Accounting Department, CTC Industries.
Subject: Questions about my timecard
I have a few concerns regarding the reporting of hours worked through our new online timekeeping system. It seems that the nature of my duties here at CTC Industries does not fit well with an all-purpose time card. Such systems were originally designed for ordinary 9-5 jobs where the employee stays within the office the entire time.
Some of my duties require me to go off site for much of my work day. I would like to know if I should include travel time between sites on my timecard. Also, the policy on overtime is a little unclear, as I am often required to put in a lot of work at home and some extra hours in the office just to get the day’s work done. If you could send me a document laying out these policies in detail, as well as instructions on how to enter them into the automated system; that would be great.
In addition, I often find myself leaving work slightly before I arrived, so as not to cause any embarrassment by having an awkward conversation with my past self. The system seems to have some problems when I enter the “time in” and “time out” fields on days like this. I assure you, that in my own personal timeline, I am careful to keep it to 8 hours a “day” in the office. No more and no less.
There are some days, especially when a deadline is approaching, that I need to interact with my past self in order to get a job done as efficiently as possible. This involves the younger me carefully executing instructions from the older me and retaining as much as possible so that I can properly explain what needs to be done to myself later on. Does this situation count as two days worked, or just one?
Another thing, regarding field work in the past: I received a per diem of $500 for expenditures and meals for a two day excursion in 1987, which will occur next week. Is that $500 in today’s dollars or 1987 dollars? I have been instructed to report my hours to a carpet cleaning company in Sand City and the details will be sorted out by payroll as of last week. Will a pre-paid credit card from today function in 1987, or will I have to bring cash? If I need a rental car, should I get a driver’s license from the appropriate year made up for me? I realize some of these questions may not be in your purview, but I was hoping for some helpful information about these issues from someone. I have asked around, and those who do seem to know something about these things refuse to tell me for fear of creating temporal paradoxes.
I appreciate any time you take in answering these questions. I have heard the new temporal payroll dept. has its hands full at the moment distributing paychecks from future accounts, and I wish you all the best.
Lead Project Engineer, CTC Industries
Department of Causal Loop Construction
Mail Code 6645558