Friday, May 19, 2006

Investigation Update

All right. What can I report?

No real progress re my investigation into the mysterious and coincidental deaths of Stenographer Kin. My PIs have turned up nothing, but not without incurring significant expenses in the process. Mark my words, B/S, I'm going to give these receipts a good going-over before I pay these characters a cent. I don't see why a private detective needs to stay in the Hilton President in downtown Kansas City while he beats the streets — it seems to me a Red Roof Inn or Motel 6 out by the Interstate would have done just fine. I think a reasonable rule to follow is that if the hotel has flags hanging in front of it, you shouldn't expense a client for it. Nor am I quite clear on how the six hours of Jet Ski rentals fit into my Florida detective's investigative strategy. Or the $200 "raw bar" charges. Whatever happened to the days when investigators ate cheeseburgers out of the bag while on stakeout?

Note to Self: Revise "Independent Contractor" section of Policy Manual; eliminate expense account protocols in favor of per diem allowances.

At any rate, I've got no real leads and no evidence the two "accidental deaths" were linked. By now I'm about six thousand dollars out of pocket, and I've got all these pissed-off Steno Families in lockdown at these hotels. For a while they were happy enough taking room service and watching the in-room movies. But now we're going on six weeks, and I've got something close to a full-on revolt on my hands. One unhinged brother-in-law unscrewed the piping from his bathroom sink and assaulted a check-in clerk. Clubbed her senseless, broke into the supply closet and drank all the single-serving bottles of whiskey from the minibar stocking shelves. So I've got the clerk's medical bill to cover, along with cleanup for the flooded hotel room and this shithead's "bar bill."

Brothers and Sisters, you can only send people so many placatory pizzas. At a certain point, if people want to come out of hiding and face certain death just to "resume their normal lives," you can't stop them. I wouldn't deserve to govern the planet if I were the type to try to lock people away from their own bad judgment.

More than anything, though, I just want to do right by my employees. So this morning I convened a meeting of the Stenos to discuss the matter. I laid out the risks of releasing their families into the general population, told them to go away and think about whether I should settle up with these hotel chains and check these people out. I catered them a Bertucci's lunch — I just love that Silano they do, with the lemon-cream sauce and broccoli — and they came back and told me to free their families, that they could take care of themselves.

I suppose I'll have more to report as my Steno's peeps are systematically killed by my enemies. As they say, you can lead a horse to water . . .

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