It all started with a regular letter. Letters to the minister of industry and something else there. The director decided to address him with some kind of director’s request, and I was instructed to write this petition from time to time to the chief director’s scribe.
I something there naryabal, in the spirit of high-flown appeals, which they, big people of our small planet, whether in fact they are so fond of, or whether it is customary for us, the little people, to consider that they are so love, and filed all this for verification to his boss. He frowned as important as all the little bosses of large enterprises like, ran through this pathetic tirade of thin but not completely inconspicuous flattery, loud reassurances and indiscreet promises, corrected the comma-other in the wrong place and, nodding a little kindly, like and befits a small, but serious boss, dissatisfied with his slobs-subordinates, he returned the letter to me. After that, having corrected what had to be corrected, I took it to the chief of my boss. And then, again correcting what had to be corrected already according to the chief’s boss, I delivered it to the chief engineer, who impatiently and worriedly thrust it onto the edge of the table, which was littered with papers.
The next day, three times before lunch and the same after, I was again summoned to my main, and every time because of him, damned, – letters to the minister of industry and something else there. To delete the first, add a second, clarify the third. After that the chief technologist was summoned to the irritated and still unsatisfied final result to the chief engineer, who, on the contrary, advised to delete the second, add the first and explain nothing. Having become exhausted, the chief summoned the chief of the planning department to help, and the latter, in turn, presented his vision of a high letter: delete the first, third, fifth and this, farewell, at the very bottom, and add the second, fourth and sixth and insert “dear Peter Petrovich “, and in each paragraph. In the end, the chief engineer, who used to deal more with smart machines, and not with stupid letters and even stupid people, lost patience, yelled at the whole plant, that we are all idiots who can not connect two words. I somehow took into account the wishes of all parties, returned with a letter to the main one, and he grabbed and threw it like a slippery toad on the edge of the same table, littered with papers, seem to have reconciled with the inevitable.
After that, everyone forgot about the letter. You will think – the letter! Do you write a lot in the office of letters and little in the factory of affairs, more important than writing some letters? Let even the minister! The director went on leave, the main one fell ill, and the chiefs, in connection with the director’s leave and illness, the main habitually quietly dissolved in directions with fuzzy coordinates. I, even though I was not even a small boss in our large enterprise, could not go anywhere, get sick or go on vacation, and so I just sat there, maliciously lounging behind my desk, lazily reviewing some news on the Internet.
On the calendar, on the dirty wall on the right, promising a shaky earthly happiness, I smiled affectionately on December 29, the snow fell softly in the window, after a minute turning into mud, somewhere behind the wall a quiet and almost Russian “Jingle bells , jingle bells, jingle all the way, when five minutes before the end of the working day, the flushed main man burst into the office and threw himself at me with a stone like a stone:
– Where is the letter?
– What letter?
– Minister of Industry!
– So that’s it, you …
– Do not fool me, do it! Print it and bring it to me immediately! – and, it seemed to me, with a slight limp on both legs and holding on to the head, just as suddenly disappeared into the place from which it so suddenly appeared.
According to the “gentle” tone of the main thing, I realized that the delay in death is similar and that, at least, something irreparable has happened, such as the unplanned return of the director.And therefore, terribly pleased that the letter was not deleted and was found very quickly even, I opened it and, while reading on the move, galloped to the main.
The council already had a meeting in the office: the head of the planning department, the chief technologist, the chief accountant. Everyone’s faces are alarmed, as though the worst happened – the director returned.
– Let’s have a letter!
– Here, please …
Having refreshed your memory with the contents of the letter for a second, the chief sighed heavily, as if his beloved hamster had died, and, with the air of a beaten dog, wandered to the exit. And I realized that, yes, the terrible happened: the director suddenly came unexpectedly and, with some kind of hangover, five minutes before the end of the working day, he remembered about the ill-fated letter.
A moment later the door slammed bang-bell in the opposite direction, sound cheer was heard and back to the office, no longer lame, the main one flew in all sails. His cheeks burned. The nostrils flared. And his eyes glittered feverishly:
– Ёпрст, ёклмн, эюя, pancake! He said to insert in the letter the same as we wrote last time … And what did we write last time ?! The chief stared at me.
– I have no idea …
– Who does? Who here has a concept, eh ?! Who has ?! Who?!
And almost in a whisper:
– Brought the same difficult.
In a minute everyone was looking for something “what we wrote last time.” And all did their best in their search for this lost, not quite understanding what and where to look. Or rather, not quite understanding what and where to look. But they searched nevertheless diligently.
All of them went home for a long time, the corridors of the plant plunged into December’s darkness, and only we worked tirelessly. Finally, at my computer, I found something remotely reminiscent of “what we wrote last time.” In the available disc we inserted a piece from the found letter, most appropriate in meaning, and again printed out the letter. He crossed himself, although he was an atheist until now, sighed as he leaped out before jumping into the ice-hole: “Do not be deaf!” And disappeared behind the door.
I looked at my colleagues. Their faces were like those of the dead. Feeling of guilt in the form of droplets of perspiration appeared on gray foreheads and cheeks. Life, it seems, gradually left them.
A minute later the door slammed again and the chief entered the office slowly.
– He called me an idiot and asked why we inserted what we wrote last time … – his gaze turned to the sky in confusion. Rather, to the gray, in small cracks the ceiling. “And he said that you have to be a complete idiot to address the minister himself.”
Everyone rushed to the letter, deleted what five minutes had been so hard to put. But with an appeal to the minister came a hitch. The fact is that in the same sentence, through the comma, it was written “President X …”. The hand of the chief of the planned, was taken in the light of the wise recent decisions to correct the text, wanted to cross out and the president, but trembled, limp, and the quiet voice of the intimidated boss droned:
– And then they will not say that I crossed the president … well, seventh?
– Who knows, – his “chief technologist”, a gray-haired fellow with an ever worried look, “encouraged” him.
Everyone rushed to puzzle, as in the letter “round” “President X …” and at the same time make an appeal to the Minister even more respectful. The “President” could not be rounded. One way or another, everything rested on him. In the heat of the breaking of the heads and at the peak of despair, everyone suddenly heard the other door slammed behind the door of the office of the chief, there was a displeasure of grumbling and then retreating steps.
Chief, as a schoolboy, looking forward to the call, looked out into the corridor, again pulled back and, conspiratorially turned, whispered: “Gone, damn it.”
All were quickened, zasobiralsya home. Life slowly returned to everyone. The faces acquired some blush, and the members had the flexibility.
Chief looked at me. Then he glanced at his watch. And again at me:
– You’ll have to finish writing the letter tomorrow morning. You know how. “To what hour?”
– Well, when the director will.But it can be already in the morning – who knows?
– Do I have to compose it at night?
– No, you do not need it at night. But to come to work half an hour earlier will have to.
Everyone seemed to agree with what had been said. They gave me valuable advice. Repeated them. And they repeated it again, so I remembered them by heart. After that, with gradually dissipating anxiety, everyone went home. They parted, leaving me to wonder what and how I should have done tomorrow.
The next day, when I came to work, I first rushed to finish writing our message. I then changed the first paragraph, then added something to the last. To me, in turn, came the chief, then the chief of the planned, and all with valuable advice, how to finish the letter.
Finally the message was completed. The chief took it in both hands and with the doomed look of a man carrying his own death sentence, almost boldly entered the director’s spacious office. And a minute later he appeared in the doorway, shook before us, lined up in a row, with drooping, sloping shoulders and puzzled: “He said that we have nothing to do, how to write any letters?” And zipper, threw it into the basket …
All breathed out with relief and with a sense of accomplishment wandered to their places.