DP FICTION #98A: “Re: Your Stone” by Guan Un

edited by David Steffen

From: sisyphus.ephyra@hadescorp.com

To: human_resources@hadescorp.com

Hi HR,

Just letting you know: I moved the artwork “Higher, Faster, Boulder” from the ground floor lobby up to the Second Floor Cafeteria as per Asset Movement Request #5340 from Asset Management, could you please let me know why it’s been moved back to the ground floor?

Thanks,

Sisyphus

***

From: do_not_reply@hadescorp.com

To: sisyphus.ephyra@hadescorp.com

Your email is very important to us. This is an automated email to let you know that your request will be seen to by the next available Personal Human Resource Allocation Consultant as soon as possible.

Please do not reply to this email.

***

From: human_resources@hadescorp.com

To: sisyphus.ephyra@hadescorp.com

To Sisiphus,

Thanks for your enquiry. In order to assist us with assisting you in a fast and timely fashion, could you please reply with a reply e-mail (electronic-mail) including ALL of the following details, including:

– Your name

– Your email (electronic-mail) address

– The ATIN Number (Asset Tracking Identification Number) of the asset

– The AM (Asset Management) AMRN (Asset Movement Request Number)

– Photos of the artwork after you moved it

– Photos of the artwork before you moved it

Failure to include the correct details could result in cancellation of the processing of your request.

Warmest Regards,

Tad,

Personal Human Resource Allocation Consultant

***

From: sisyphus.ephyra@hadescorp.com

To: human_resources@hadescorp.com

Hi Tad,

Thanks for finally getting back to me. Here’s some of the details you requested.

– My name is SisYphus of Ephyra, and my email address is there. At the top of this email. That’s how email works.

– I don’t know where to find the ATIN number. It’s a boulder. Do we really have more than one of those that we need to keep track of?

– The AM request AM number is 5304 as I said.

– I don’t usually take photos of boulders after I move them because I’ve never needed proof that I moved a boulder. But I guess I’ll take a photo of it next time I’m down there, because it should look much the same as it did before I moved it since it’s IN THE SAME SPOT.

Sisyphus

***

From: asset_management@hadescorp.com

To: sisyphus.ephyra@hadescorp.com

Hey Sisaphone!

We’ve just received a complaint that the artwork we asked you to action vis-a-vis resituating location-wise is still in the same spot in the ground floor lobby?? Could you let me know ASAP as possible current status of the artwork, re: physical location and any potential blockages you see moving forwardly?

I’ve attached an attachment with the original request we requestioned.

Warmthly yours!!

Tod

Senior Asset Solutions Coordinator

<Attachment: Asset Management Request #5340.docx>

***

From: human_resources@hadescorp.com

To: sisyphus.ephyra@hadescorp.com

Hi SisYphus,

I have registered request #4305 with the following details.

Asset Tracking Identification Number: > 1

Asset Management Request Number: 5304

Name: SisYphus Ephyra

Email: there@thetopofthis.email

Photos: None provided.

You should receive a notification as to the outcome within 5-7 working days.

Warmest regards,

Ted

Personal Human Resource Allocation Consultant

***

From: sisyphus.ephyra@hadescorp.com

To: human_resources@hadescorp.com

Hi Tad,

No, no, no – it was a typo. The Asset Management Request Number was #5340 not #5304. Please correct it!

Sisyphus

***

From: do_not_reply@hadescorp.com

To: sisyphus.ephyra@hadescorp.com

Your email is very important to us. This is an automated email to let you know that your request will be seen to by the next available Personal Human Resource Allocation Consultant as soon as possible, or within the next four to twenty-four hours.

Please do not reply to this email.

***

From: do_not_reply@hadescorp.com

To: sisyphus.ephyra@hadescorp.com

This is an automated email to inform you that Request #4305 has been marked as Concluded.

Reason(s):

– Asset Tracking Identification Number >1 did not correspond to any assets in our system.

– Asset Management Request Number #5304 was invalid and did not correspond to any outstanding requests in our system.

– No photographic evidence provided.

***

From: sisyphus.ephyra@hadescorp.com

To: human_resources@hadescorp.com

Hi Tad,

I’m trying not to get frustrated. COULD YOU PLEASE create a new request with the following details.

Asset Tracking Identification Number: 0345 (It was carved in tiny writing at the bottom of it—boy did I look crazy trying to look for it haha)

Asset Management Request Number: 5340

Name: Sisyphus Ephyra

Email: sisyphus.ephyra@hadescorp.com

Photos: Photos attached.

Thanks,

Sisyphus

***

From: sisyphus.ephyra@hadescorp.com

To: human_resources@hadescorp.com

I forgot to attach the photos! They’re attached now.

<Attachment: Boulder.jpg>

<Attachment: Cafe Where Boulder Should Be.jpg>

***

From: human_resources@hadescorp.com

To: sisyphus.ephyra@hadescorp.com

Hi Sisiphus,

I have registered Request #4306 with the following details.

Asset Tracking Identification Number: 0345

Asset Management Request Number: 5340

Name: Sisyphus Ephyra

Email: sisyphus.ephyra@hadescorp.com

Photos: None received.

You should receive a notification as to the outcome within 6-9 working days.

Warmesting regards,

Tad

Personal Human Resource Allocation Consultant

***

From: human_resources@hadescorp.com

To: sisyphus.ephyra@hadescorp.com

Hi Sisophus,

I have registered Request #4307 with the following details.

Asset Tracking Identification Number: N/A

Asset Management Request Number: N/A

Name: N/A

Email: N/A

Photos: 2 Attached.

Once this request has been registered, you should receive a notification as to the outcome within 7-15 working days.

Warmestly regards,

Tad

Personal Human Resource Allocation Consultant

***

From: do_not_reply@hadescorp.com

To: sisyphus.ephyra@hadescorp.com

This is an automated email to let you know that Request #4306 has been marked as Concluded.

Reason(s):

– No photographic evidence supplied.

***

From: do_not_reply@hadescorp.com

To: sisyphus.ephyra@hadescorp.com

This is an automated email to let you know that Request #4307 has been marked as Concluded.

Reason(s):

– No valid Asset Tracking Identification Number supplied.

– No valid Asset Management Request Number supplied.

– No valid Name supplied.

– No valid Email supplied.

***

From: asset_management@hadescorp.com

To: sisyphus.ephyra@hadescorp.com

Hey Sisaphino!

Just got word in a message that instead of actioning our request that you were rolling the asset around the lobby muttering about a number?? Just a GENTLE reminder that all asset management, number-wise or not, must be approved via approval being permitted by our department vis-a-vis being allowed with the proper permissions and allowances.

All the bests!

Tod

Senior Asset Solutions Coordinator

***

From: do_not_reply@hadescorp.com

To: sisyphus.ephyra@hadescorp.com

To Siysphus,

Despite adequate notification you have not processed Request #5340 in a timely fashion. Thusfully, we have logged a warning on your personal record. Any further warnings will result in a one-on-one Disciplinary Career Rehabiliation session with a Job Quality Assurance Regulatory Faciliator.

For any follow-up on this issue, please contact one of our friendly Personal Human Resource Allocation Consultants at human_resources@hadescorp.com at any time. Don’t forget, they’re here to help!

This is an automated email. Do not reply to this email.

***

From: sisyphus.ephyra@hadescorp.com

To: human_resources@hadescorp.com

Hi Tad or whoever’s there

All I need you to do is PLEASE put this request through and only this request. if there’s anything you can do to speed up the process and push it through AS SOON AS YOU CAN. I really don’t know if I can take much more of this.

Asset Tracking Identification Number: 0345

Asset Management Request Number: 5340

Name: Sisyphus Ephyra

Email: sisyphus.ephyra@hadescorp.com

Photos: PHOTOS ATTACHED.

Sisyphus

<Attachment: Boulder.jpg>

<Attachment: Cafe Where Boulder Should Be.jpg>

***

From: human_resources@hadescorp.com

To: sisyphus.ephyra@hadescorp.com

To Sisephus,

I’m happy to let you know that I’ve been able to personally create your request #4308 and approve it forward for resolution. As a next step, I’ve actioned a request to Asset Management in order to actualise a solution to this issue. You should receive an email (electronic-mail) soon regarding finalisation of the outcome.

However, in future, PLEASE refrain from using All Capitals in email (electronic-mail) correspondence. It is regarded as rude and/or potentially offensive and/or threatening. I refer you to the attached HadesCorp employee manual regarding proper inter-office communication.

Regards,

Tad,

Personal Human Resource Allocation Consultant

***

From: do_not_reply@hadescorp.com

To: sisyphus.ephyra@hadescorp.com

This is an automated email to notify you that Asset Management Request #5341 that has been created in our tracking system. Please find attachment attached.

Task Details: Move artwork “Higher, Faster, Boulder” from ground floor lobby up to the Second Floor Cafeteria.

Task Status: Incomplete

Requestee: Human Resources Re: Request #4308

Job Assigned To: Sisyphus Ephyra.

Please do not reply to this email.

<Attachment: Asset Management Request #5341.docx>


© 2023 by Guan Un

1424 words

Author’s Note: This story was directly inspired by the particular modern calamity of clicking send on an important email, and realising, inevitably, thirty seconds later, that you forgot to add the equally important attachment. From there, it was a short jump to the sort of labyrinthine system that would invoke this feeling, and the sort of mythic character that would be striving against this machinery. Particular readers might note this is a series of sorts, with “Rider Reviews for FerrymanCharon” which appeared in Translunar Travelers Lounge. The writer does not promise that this series will not continue in some form.

Guan Un is a writer living in Sydney, Australia. His works have appeared in Strange Horizons, khōréō, The Dread Machine, and Translunar Travelers Lounge. He lives with his family, a dog named after a tiger, and a non-sentient sourdough starter. He is occasionally at @thisisguan, but is not currently open to stone-based enquiries.


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