Count Em All!
300 whole threads just for you! A bit excessive, don't you think?
Darren sat outside Lloyd's office. He felt tired, but excited. He'd worked at the organic sheet factory as a thread counter for going on seven years now. All the moments, all the days, they'd all blurred together, except this one. This one stood out, rigid and distinct.
"Darren, you wanted to see me?" said Lloyd, poking his head out into the hallway.
"Yes, sir!" Said Darren, standing. Lloyd was Darren's supervisor. He oversaw the factory's operations. He was a big deal, and whenever Darren spoke to him his palms itched.
"Come in, have a seat," Lloyd said. When Darren was settled he asked, "So, what's on your mind?"
"Well, sir, I just finished counting the threads in a sheet, and it came out to 296," said Darren.
Lloyd considered this. "Let me ask you, Darren, is the sheet soft?"
"Oh, yes sir! Extremely."
"Is it made from 100% organic cotton?"
"Absolutely! Without a doubt, sir!"
"How about if I washed it in a washing machine. Would that be okay?"
"Yes, of course, sir."
Lloyd leaned back in his chair. "Well, then I don't see why we should worry so much about 4 little threads."
Darren was shocked. "But sir, we promise 300! We can't give someone 296 if we promised 300!"
"I understand your concern, Darren. And I appreciate it. But let's say you did count 296. What would happen then?"
"We'd recall the sheet."
"Not so fast," Lloyd said. "First, you'd have to do your Recount."
"I'd have to count them all a second time?"
"And a third time," Lloyd said. "And a fourth time, and a fifth time. And if you still couldn't find those 4 extra threads, you'd do a sixth count, but this time you'd inspect each thread individually and document any features that could be used to distinguish it from the other threads. We take these sorts of things very seriously here at the sheet factory, Darren."
"But how come that's not the procedure for all the sheets then?" Darren asked.
"It is," said Lloyd. "But I waive the Recounts for those who get the count right on the first try."
Darren couldn't believe it. "That's cheating!" he shouted, getting to his feet.
"No, it's called incentivizing," Lloyd said. "That's a business term. You might want to look it up."
"Fine," Darren said, his eyes filling with tears. "I'll do the recounts. Because it is what is right."
Lloyd sighed. "Fine. If you must. But just so you know, Recounts do not count towards your weekly thread quota. So you'll have to find some extra time during the day in order to get everything done."
"You mean, working late?" Darren asked. He could feel his heart sinking.
"That's up to you," Lloyd said. "But it'll have to get done somehow, or else I'll be forced to let you go."
Darren stood silently for a moment. When he spoke his voice was quiet and empty. "You know, now that I think about it, maybe I did see a few more threads in there."
Lloyd smiled. "Great. Glad to hear it. Now, what do you say you get back out there and count some more threads."
"Sounds good," said Darren. But it was a lie. It didn't sound so good at all.