Flash: Ann Kirlin transfers

Photo by Huawei Nova 4 on Unsplash

“Knock, knock.” Ann Kirlin poked her head into my office. “I heard you needed another admin assistant in development and was wondering if you would be up to me transferring over.”

I looked her up and down. The brunette had a latino flair about her, from her wavy hair caught back in a messy bun to bright colors for her nails and clothing. Dark eyes had khol shadowing, giving them unexpected depth. Plump and maybe in her late twenties, early thirties. Rings on some of her fingers but none on the left ring finger. She could do.

“Sure, have a seat and I’ll let you know what you are in for.” I gestured to the comfortable chair in front of me. “Got a resume on you?” Giving a quick glance over the sparce notes on her bullet point sheet while she sat, I noted a hole about three years after college that lasted for five years before she got hired last year here. That would line up perfect with a small child or two after marriage, then reentering the workforce when the younger one hit day care. Maybe not so perfect for my needs. Now how to ask about the home situation without asking about a home situation, although with an internal transfer I have a lot more leeway on all those pesky human resource limitations. The minor in physics provided some hope; I wonder how that dovetailed into her applied art major.  “Not happy over in security?”

“No, I love it there.” She smoothed her tie-dyed skirt. “Mostly. At least once a week they send me over to support the call center, and I cover the entry desks from eleven to three so they can each take a lunch hour. That leads to a very broken day, but it does let me have my lunch between three and four so I can pick up David from kindergarten and drop him off at the daycare near where his father works.”

“If you transfer to us, would you still need that window as your lunch?” An incoming email notice grabbed my focus for a second. Annoyed, I snapped the laptop closed then moved it aside before placing her resume on the blotter in front of me and breaking out some scratch paper.

“Would that still be an option?”

“Of course. One of the benefits of being in development is making your own hours. Though as admin for the Green group, the position we need to fill, you will need to match up your hours to best support the lead and his support staff.” I laughed a little. “Actually what they need is someone to be here during normal working hours to answer the phones and take messages. The administration assistant duties will also include scheduling conferences, filling out material requests, dealing with the lawyer team for the patents, and some personal duties.” I knocked my pen against my pad when I say this last task.

“Personal duties?”

“Yeah,” Placing my pen on my blotter, I scratched the back of my head. “This is why the last one gave notice. The guys on the Green team forget things like drycleaning, eating, getting gas for their car, buying presents for family. And by team, I mostly mean Tippitt, though Furr really does need help keeping his wife happy.”

“Dr. Tippitt?” Kirlin looked confused. “I’ve talked to him in line at the employee cafeteria. He doesn’t seem the distracted type.”

I leaned forward, I guess a bit suddenly considering how Kirlin moved back in her seat. “Tippitt talked with you?”

“Yes. He and I like the Mexican bar options and bump into each other a lot when I am grabbing snacks to eat while I am covering the entry desks.” She shrugged. “I think that is when he is coming in to work.”

“Yeah, he likes the noon to eight shift, maybe midnight.” Rubbing my face, the thought of this week’s time sheets needing sorting out brought on the edge of a headache. Green team wasn’t the only development team whose standard working hours defied definition. “I’m glad to hear you already have a relationship with him.”

“He is the one who told me that the position opened up and recommended I apply for it.”

“Really!” I couldn’t keep the wonder out of my voice. Scrambling to find something to cover it, I said, “Toni only gave notice this morning. I didn’t know Tippitt was in yet.”

She made a face, her eyes darting around my office. “It’s nearly five. He has been at work for hours.”

“It’s Friday and he is over forty hours.” He was over forty hours on Wednesday, but that is an issue for another day. “Sometimes he doesn’t bother if he already has the hours, but I think he is right in the middle of a thought, so it makes sense. Just a couple more questions.”


“Ten percent over whatever security is paying you. Plus our admin start at three weeks combined vacation and personal, doled out in hour increments so you can take the kid … David, was it? … to the doctor easily. Note that if you transfer away, your salary and leave time reverts to the standard for first year employees.”

“Oh, wow.” Kirlin blinked. “That is unexpected. Okay.”

“Now my question is your art degree.”

She made the face again, part disgust and part frustration. This time a commentary on herself instead of me. “I like doing sculpture but with a mathematical base, things like fractals and multi-dimensional shadow shapes. I thought I would be the next big thing because no one really does it outside of computer graphics, but the reason why no one does it is because no one buys it.”

“Ah, okay.” I wrote a quick note to myself. “Everyone in development gets four hours in a lab once a month to work on a project of their choice. More outside working hours if they want. And I mean everyone. That would include you. If you make something patentable, the lawyers will help getting it locked up for you, and the company has first dibs on utilizing the result but you retain control and can sell the rights to others as well. The Green team will set aside an area for you. Remember to requisition the materials you will need. Toni never participated in this benefit, but if you want to work on your sculpture, you can. Toni gave only a week’s notice, so I am really glad you are on the ball about this. Let me work out your transfer with security, but I think you should be able to begin training on Monday.” I held out my hand. “Welcome aboard.”

(words 1,121; first published 12/6/2023)

A Match for Green Team Series

  1. Ann Kirlin transfers (1/16/22)
  2. Ann Kirlin draws (2/13/22)