The opening bell is minutes away, and all the firm's computer screens are a solid blue
The Price of Adjustments or Magic is a visual art
"Where the hell is the repair guy, the Market opens in twenty minutes?" Said Jack Hutchinson his tortured scowl returned to his face as he headed back to his office window.
"Oh for piss sake will you look at those idiots on the floor, not one of them is ready." Jack pushed on the frame opening the window, he leaned out, and yelled to the sea of cubicals below. "Will you turds stop screwing off and get to your desks. We may need to do phone relay orders, damn it, get your books out, put on your headsets. Damn it, to hell, do I need to come cuddle and hold your hands."
On the other side of his office Jamie's head twisted at an awkward angle, her forehead made a squeaking noise on the window glass as she struggled to follow the cars below in the parking lot. Her hand reached out in the direction of Jack and waved haplessly in the air.
"Hey Jack, I may see him now, he drives a Beamer doesn't he? Ooh, false alarm. It's Nick's P.A. Hey, how come she drives a nicer car than me?" She said with her south Jersey accent scratching the air like nails on a chalkboard.
Jack pulled himself back into the office and looked toward his personal assistant, "Jamie for Christ's sake get off that chair you're flashing everyone driving by on the bridge."
"Oh Jack, I could stand here naked and they couldn't see a thing through these windows, they are tinted. Oh, there he is, he's here." As the leggy blonde, stepped off the chair the hem of her dress rose nearly to the top of her hips. Undaunted she sat on the chair sidesaddle to put on her shoes.
Jack could not help his momentary distraction caused by her twisting and squirming as she leaned over to buckle the the straps on the black Jimmy Choo heels.
"Jamie, didn't I tell you that you needed to put on underwear at the office?"
"Ugh, Jack, they make lines on my ass, do you want everyone staring at my ass all day because they can see my panties through my dress. I think not?"
The alarm on Jack's Cartier Ballon Bleu, beeped three times. "Damn, only fifteen minutes left. If we miss the opening bell, it will cost us a hundred grand in the first ten minutes. I am going to sue the pants off that turd if he doesn't have us up and running before the bell."
"Jack, Vinny says, he can work magic," said Jamie, as she pulled her dress in place, and once more corralled her 38 double-D's back into her cowboy bra.
Two minutes later, Joey walked through the office door, carrying a tan Kenneth Cole, brushed calves-leather case. He was wearing simple beige Dockers, but his white, Eton, Egyptian cotton, button-down held edges so crisp; you could shave with them.
"Good morning, Mr. Hutchinson, I understand you're having a little problem with your computers." Said Joey as he extended his hand.
"Little problem! Having a four-foot board up your ass is a little problem. I have two-hundred brokers, assistants, and clerks sitting in front of four-hundred ugly blue screens. We are ten minutes from the opening bell and our customers are going to lose millions if we are not back up and running on time."
"Well, we had best get to it don't you think?" the corners of Joey mouth pulled steadily upward toward his short sideburns as he stepped past Jack toward Jamie.
Jamie led the way, opening the doors as they went. Joey followed her with a casual stride, taking in the view of Jamie's swaying gait as she jogged ahead of him in five-inch stilettos. The hem of her tight skirt crawling a half-inch higher with each hurried step. They arrived at a metal door at the end of the hall, on it, in big red and yellow letters, it said, "Server Room, No Unauthorized Admittance."
Jamie jumped twice and let out a giddy high-pitched snort before saying "Here we are, let me open the door for you Mr. Cee. Oh, and you don't have to worry about da sign we are authorized." Jamie bent at the waist and waved the badge hanging from her neck in front of the low mounted card reader and the door buzzed open.
"Hee hee, I love waving my card thingy. It's like doing magic."
Joey replied, "I am a big fan of magic myself, and I even learned a few cool tricks."
"Oh my, I don't believe it, will you show me some." Jamie's fawning eyes glowed with childlike expectation.
Jack looked at his timepiece for the tenth time as they moved into the room. "Can we get this going we are nearly out of time? If we miss opening it's going to cost me a ton."
The chill of the cold conditioned air, made the white silk of Jamie's blouse appear perky. Joey smiled at her, took one of his cards out of his pocket, and handed it to her.
"I would love to dazzle you with some prestidigitation, but you will have to watch close, my dear, the magic happens quickly."
"God damn it, we only have six minutes until opening." Jack tapped on the face of his watch yet again.
Joey opened the doors on several computer cabinets. He studied the interior components. Then he walked to the far side of the room and inspected the dead electronics in yet another set of tall metal boxes. After pushing on a few large green boards, he said.
"Okay I believe I have a handle on it." He picked up his case turned it flat and held it out in front of Jamie, "Sugar, will you be my crowd pleasing assistant for a moment and hold this for me."
"Oh, Sugar, was a stage name, here I'm just plain old, Jamie." she said with a Cheshire like grin
"Certainly you are not plain, nowhere near old, and I'll would bet you are still as sweet as before."
A crimson flush moved into Jamie's cheeks, and at the same time a vibrant scarlet crawled upward on Jack's neck.
"Can we pleeeeease, get on with this?" The veins on Jack's temples throbbed with the same cadence as his words.
Joey opened his case, took out a small ball-peen hammer, and returned to the middle computer server. He reached in, tapped gently on one of the boards. He next went to the first cabinet in the same row and forcibly struck the lower corner of the server cabinet. Instantly the lights on the front of the cabinets began to blink and flash like an opening night on Broadway. Thirty seconds later, and they could hear the cheers coming from the selling floor cubicles. Joey returned the hammer to his case and took out his leather-covered invoice book. He scribbled a few lines and handed the document to Jack.
After scrutinizing the document, the scarlet color on Jack's neck flashed to the top of his bald-head. His eyes narrowed, and he spoke, starting in a whisper, but growing in volume to finish in a roar. "You have been here for twelve freaking minutes and beat on my computers twice with a hammer. Now, you have the balls to hand me an invoice for fifteen-thousand dollars! For two hammer blows, two frigging little smacks!"
"Well Sir, your machines are old, sometimes it takes more than one adjustment."
Steam rolled off Jack's forehead, and there was a thin line of spittle forming in the corner of his mouth. The look on Jamie's face made it clear that if Jack had been a teakettle she would have been running to pull him from the burner before he had a melt-down.
"Old! What the hell, And I guess now you are going to offer me an upgrade for just a little more!"
"No sir. It is 1.2 million for an upgrade, and I am afraid I do not have the right tools with me. Something of that complexity requires a much bigger hammer."
"$15,000 for hitting my computers twice with a mallet."
"Mr. Hutchinson, if it helps you to understand, I'll explain; the two hammer blows are only fifteen dollars each, the remaining $14,970.00 is for knowing when and where to place the blows." Joey reached into his case and took the hammer back out, and handed it to Jack.
"Here, I will throw in the hammer. The next time your servers crash, you can have Jamie fix them for you. I can tell with one glance that you hired her for her keen intellect, I am sure it won't take her long to get you up and running again."
Jack studied the hammer in his hand, and then he glanced over at Jamie as she stood by the door, awkwardly arched backwards, as she straightened the seams in her nylons. Her lips smacking as her mouth gnawed at the Dentyne gum poking out from between her perfect teeth as if it were a small, red, snake tongue.
Jack's face went slack as he said, "She knows nothing of computers,"
"Mr. Hutchinson, honestly, I will wager that she knows even less about trading on the Stock Market and yet here she is. Tell you what; if she runs into any trouble just give me a call."
Jack handed Joey the hammer back and said. "Mr. Cee, if you will follow me back to my office, I will get you, your check.
Jack's statement snagged at Jamie's ears like an Italian grandmother protecting a plate of Cannoli from a flock of passing grandsons. "Wow, you can do magic, it normally takes lots more than a few words for me to get his checkbook open." Jamie's nose took a scrunched upturn; she let her head tilt as her gaze locked onto Joey as if she were measuring him for a new suit.
"Ah, my dear, in this instance you were the magic. Had it not been for you, my job here would have been much harder. You were invaluable to our success today, I don't know what Jack is paying you but it's not nearly enough."
"That's what I've been telling him, hey Jack did you hear that! Mr. Cee says, I am invaluable."
"Yes, Jamie, I heard him. Be a good girl, will' ya, and go make us a reservation for brunch. We can have a talk about a raise then. Mr. Cee if you will hurry this way. I think it best if we get you to your next appointment as soon as possible."
"Mr. Hutchinson if you are unhappy with my work, I assure you, I can put your servers back exactly as I found them." Joey started to open his case.
Oh, no, Mr. Cee. I am very happy; it just took me a minute to figure out that Vinnie was right. You are a magic man. I was crazy mad at the price of your repair, until the image you planted in my head of Jamie making the next repair had finished running through my mind.
"I must be slipping Mr. Hutchinson, because most times, I can get my customers to their happy place fairly quick."
"Completely my fault, I ran the scenario twice."
"Oh I see, naked on the second run was she?"
Jack's shoulders rose almost as high as the corners of his mouth. "Shall we get you your check?"