Cortez versus the timesheet

by William Shakespeare (questionable)

Dramatis Personæ

Cortez Spike Dirk Della Fox
Cortez Spike Dirk Della Fox
artist another
paymistress shopmaster

Scene: Della's office
CortezGood day, Della. Della and her candle
DellaHow goes it with thee, Cortez?
CortezMethinks just dandy. Mine eyes perceive that thou art doing exceptionally well thyself, nay?
DellaVerily, I do indeed fare well. Thy presence is always welcome.
CortezAs thou shalt recall, the candlestick holder thou now usest here on thy desk doth be the very one which I used for two years.
DellaAye, until Duck the candlekeeper gave thee a greater one to aid in thy artistry so that thou canst paint the paintings so beautiful, in accordance with thy reputation.
CortezBelievest thou truly that my paintings are beautiful?
DellaI am merely a lowly bookkeeper. Who am I to judge the splendour of thy work? I would not know what qualities are beautiful and desirable unto me?
CortezWell, anyway, Della, I wondered if perchance thou wouldst provide me the opportunity to relay the gold on the gold on the etchings on thy candlestick. I am afraid lest some cloths which I used to clean this very candlestick were found infected with a gold-eating virus that would spread to any candlestick with which the cloths came in contact.
DellaProceed. A new finish of gold would make my candlestick glisten anew. I even suspected something wasn't quite right with that candlestick, but I trust thee to make amends.
Cortez(as he worketh) Della, I wanted to ask about the amount of my wages given me the last fortnight. I know I was sick a bit and should be duly docked for missing work, but I also believe that perchance I was dockt an extra day's earnings.
DellaHow so?
CortezI was dockt for Christmas eve, yet the owner said that we should be paid for that as a holiday, whether we were here or not.
DellaHmmm. Perhaps. But, that was only for a half of a day. Thou seemedst to imply a full day's earnings.
CortezBut I was here for another half a day on Wednesday. I can prove it because that was when I stupidly turned in my cheque to buy part of this company, as a part owner.
Della[Aside: The term "stupid" is rather self-flattering considering the fact that the value of the company is worth half of what it was when he bought into it such a short time ago.] Oh, I see. Thou seemest correct indeed as verified by mine attendance records. Of course, before I can pay thee, I must process the request and get the treasurer to release the funds. But, I am glad thou caughtest my mistake.
CortezI believe that is what thou saidst when I askt thee a while back concerning another oversight you made on a reimbursement the firm was to make unto me, but I must admit that I was glad that thou personally deliveredst to my desk.
DellaArt thou through with the candlestick?
CortezYes, I believe so. The gold is the finest available for thee.
DellaI am really glad you came by and took care of my candlestick woes--be they imaginary or real.
CortezPerchance thou wouldst like to go to the restaurant for noon-tide victuals?
DellaAlas, I am overwrought. But, I thank thee for asking.
Cortez goeth over to Spike's office
CortezI just went to see Della, to ensure that her candlestick was not marred by the virus. I am not sure what to think of her.
SpikeDidst thou go through the procedure? If so, then you must think that she is rid of the candlestick virus for good.
CortezThe candlestick virus. Aye, she could not have it. But, why hath she erred twice recently on payments due to me? She could not be incompetent since she has served flawlessly for many years even before I commenced my labours with this artists' house.
SpikePerhaps the Treasurer has ordered her to try to cheat everyone in order to boost the coffers of the company; but, if they catch her, then it is permissible for her to make corrections, claiming a casual miscalculation, to avoid detection of their secret scheme.
Cortez Perchance it's more personal. Maybe she is fond of me and makes the mistakes knowing that I must spend time conversing with her in order to have them corrected.
SpikeMore likely, it's that she's trying to personally shaft thee because thou buggest her too much by doing things like polishing a candlestick which was probably fine to begin with.
CortezWell, anyway, when shall we release our newest painting in the Omicron collection?
SpikeI think thine idea to add an audio violin score to accompany the painting is a superb idea. We are just waiting on Jill, the artistic directrix, to tell us who wants the painting with your audio accompaniment.
Cortez OK, let me return to my office and resume my composition.
Cortez goeth to his own office; Dirk cometh in.
Dirk Cortez, I have some good news. Fox, the shopmaster, will soon be leaving, for the owners are very upset about the recent devaluation of the company. They need someone to blame.
Cortez And how dost thou know this?
Dirk I just do. And, by the way, I hereby now require thee to log all thine activities on a time sheet. Thou must use cryptic codes, acquired from various sources, for all of thine activities. In order to compensate for the extra time necessary to assume these new accounting duties, thou must work more each day.
Dirk exit
CortezO misery! Coded timesheets. I must mark down my every move. How will I cope?
Fox entereth
Fox Cortez, I have some good news. I am looking for a new taskmaster for the artists that will give you a clear direction in all thy tasks?
CortezWhat about Dirk? Is he not my taskmaster?
Fox He is not effective, for I have burdened him with too many responsibilities. The owners are very upset about the recent devaluation of the company. They need someone to blame.
Fox leaveth
Cortez(to himself)What is this? Timesheets--the thought makes me sick. I am getting sick. I better not make my hourly stroll to the watering hole because I know not how to enter it on my timesheet.
Days later -- Cortez hath become extremely sick for various reasons, but especially dehydration, but recognizeth not the dehydration although he has noticed many signs such as dark urine and eyes which are blocked up.
In Cortez' office, Della entereth
DellaHere are thy wages for the fortnight.
CortezThank [ cough ] thee, Della. What [cough] about [cough] the illness pay [ cough, cough, cough ]?
DellaIt's in there. Although, from the looks of things, I'm not sure if I ought to pay thee for to-day.
Della leaveth
Spike entereth
SpikeIs thy new audio accompaniment ready for the Omicron release yet?
CortezI've been too busy updating my timesheet. I come in and log my starting time. But then I note that I've been working on my timesheet for 5 seconds to log the time so I put 5 seconds in the spot for working on the timesheet, but by the time I write 5 seconds, it hath then been 6, and when I have written 6 seconds, it hath been 7, and so forth all day long.
SpikeThou didst not answer my question.
Cortez(gagging) My tongue! It doth be dry! Since there is no watering-hole slot on this timesheet, I have not been able to go to the watering hole all week. Curst be the timesheet! I vow never again to miss my hourly quaffing of water. I may make it twice an hour just to ensure my health. Water! Water! My paltry riches for some water!

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