Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Late For Work - Episode 11: The Mitchell Lawyers

Late For

Late For Work
This newsletter contains the following features:
(Feel free to skip ahead to what you want to read)

Late For Work

Late for Work is an interactive Choose Your Own Path story. Each episode, readers vote for the path they would like to take. Together, we will follow the path with the most votes.

Late For Work

You stop abruptly in the doorway to the conference room, forgetting everything you were about to say. Now you understand why Karen rescheduled the meeting here. Your boss is sitting at the table, but she’s not alone. Who is with her?

  • The Mitchell lawyers
  • The Doctors Yeager

Karen is sitting at the center of the conference table facing four people. You recognize the twi in the middle as the senior lawyers from the Mitchell group. The other two must be the two junior partners whose names keep appearing in your emails. No one in the room looks amused.

As you sit beside Karen, Bruce Mitchell clears his throat. “Well, I think we all know why we’re here. I’d like to discuss how your junior accountant here is repeatedly miscalculating our account.”

You want to interrupt, to defend yourself, but you hold your tongue. Arguing is probably not the most diplomatic way to handle the situation.

Thankfully, Karen is a lot more calm than you. “I have reviewed the books myself and agree with the numbers.”

Lindsey Mitchell-Brooks looks like she just swallowed a lemon as she folds her hands on the table. “The numbers are not the issue. The concern is that your accountant has mis-allocated our expenses to manipulate the numbers against us.”

Your jaw drops. “Why would I—”

Karen holds up a hand, but does not look at you. Her icy glare is directed across the table. “Are you implying my employee acted unethically?”

“I’m not implying anything. I’m saying that someone in your office added expenses that were not made. According to our correspondence, your junior accountant is the only one handling our books. I find that evidence inculpatory.”

Ugh. Lawyers. You have no idea what Lindsey just said.

Thankfully, Karen seems to be equally confused. “Ms. Brooks, this is not a courtroom. I understand you’re frustrated, but if you insist on speaking above my pay grade, then you’ll have to have this conversation with my lawyers.”

Lindsey doesn’t reply, though she does look even more livid than when you walked into the room. You glance between her and her brother. Bruce looks uncomfortable. This meeting probably isn’t going the way he hoped. Although Lindsey seems confident in accusing you of manipulating the account, he seems a lot less certain.

How could the Mitchells even accuse you of such a thing anyway? You want to explain yourself, declare your innocence. But the hostility in the room is gluing your lips together.

Karen doesn’t seem to be having this trouble. “Now, from what I could understand, you believe someone has made a greivous error in your account. That is a serious accusation and one that I will personally look into.”

Lindsey crosses her arms, sitting back slightly. “That’s it? You’ll look into it?”

Karen nods. “Yes. Right now.” Getting to her feet, she gestures for you to do the same. “Give me half an hour to get to the bottom of this. If you’d like to wait?”

Placing a hand on Lindsey’s shoulder, Bruce nods. “Yes. I think that would be best.”

“I’ll have someone bring coffee.” With a nod to you, Karen leaves the room.

You are only steps behind her. “Karen. You know—”

She holds up a hand. “Not a word. Follow me.”

She leads you to her office, gesturing to a chair as she closes the door. “No. I don’t think you would be so stupid as to do what they are saying. But someone did. I’m hoping to figure out who.”


Settling at her computer, Karen pushes her sleeves to her elbows. “I’m not sure. Where are the original files? The ones the lawyers sent you?”

“On my desk.”

Karen looks up with a frown. “Surely you saved them on the server.”

You shrug. “Well, yeah. Once I transposed them. But the hard copies, the ones they gave me, are on my desk.”

Karen’s look of disbelief is almost comical. “Hard copies? But when they signed on with us, they said they were digitizing their records.”

You scoff. “Their idea of digitizing is printing out reports from their billing and accounting programs.”

Elbows on her desk, Karen rubs her eyes with the heel of her hands. “These people are giving me a migraine. Go get the files.”

You do as instructed. You’re as anxious to get to the bottom of this debacle as Karen is.

On your way back to Karen’s office, she stops you in the corridor. “Change of plans.”

As she gestures to the copy room, you understand her plan. “You want me to find all the meals out?”

Karen nods. “You find them, I’ll photocopy and highlight them. You proof the copy. Make sure I didn’t miss any.”

Nodding, you set the files on the small table beside the copier and get to work. It takes longer than Karen’s suggested half an hour, but the two of you make a good team. By the time you’ve reviewed all the files for the past three months, you’ve highlighted over sixty office lunches, each of which cost at least $300.

When you and Karen return to the conference room, the Mitchells look ready to explode. Lindsey jumps to her feet. “This is ridiculous. You said half an hour! It’s been—”

Karen plops the stack of photocopies on the table. “I apologize. I had assumed your office had provided us with the digital records you promised when we signed our contract. However, we have highlighted each of the questionable expenses. As you see, we’re looking at daily expenses totaling over $19,000 for the quarter.”

“But there haven’t been daily expenses!”

Karen simply pushes the photocopies toward the lawyers. Bruce examines the first page, shaking his head. “I’m sorry we accused you. Obviously, this is an internal issue.”

Lindsey turns to him. “What are you talking about?”

He shoves the paper in his sister’s face, pointing to the highlighted lines. “It’s right there, just as they said.”

“But—why would someone list all these office lunches?”

Karen sighs. “I’ve seen this once before. I was still an intern, but I was working on an account with discrepancies like this. A few months later, the bookkeeper was arrested for embezzlement.”

Lindsey’s face turns so pale, you worry she might faint. “Embezzlement? The bookkeeper?”

Karen quickly raises her hands in defense. “I’m not accusing anyone. I’m just saying that someone is probably siphoning money. We can have our forensics expert examine the account, see how long this has been occurring.”

Bruce nods. “I think that’s best. I’m also going to contact a colleague who deals with this situation. Perhaps he can work with your specialist?”

Karen smiles. “Of course. And, I’m sorry.”

Bruce gets to his feet. “No. I’m sorry.” He turns to you. “We shouldn’t have been so quick to accuse you.”

The other lawyers follow him from the conference room, Lindsey shaking her head and mumbling to herself. You’re a little disappointed she doesn’t offer her own apology, but she is clearly in shock over the news.

Pleased that everything worked out, at least for you and your office, you gather the papers on the conference room table while Karen checks her messages. Before you can leave, she looks up.

“Dr. Yeager called.”

What did he say?

Free Books

Would you like some free books in exchange for an honest review?

Romance to Review - Ends 11/01 - Romance,

Want more free books? Check out these giveaways!

A Writer's Give to Readers - Ends 10/22 - YA,Romance,Mystery, Contemporary October Giveaway - Ends 10/31 - YA,Romance,Mystery,
Cupid's Bookshelf - Ends 11/06 - YA,Romance, Fall Into Romance - Ends 10/31 - YA,Romance,
Odd One Out - Ends 10/31 - YA,Romance,Mystery, Quality Fiction - For Free - Ends 10/30 - MG,YA,Romance,Mystery,
Surviving the Elements - Ends 10/21 - MG,YA,Romance,Mystery, Sweet Romance Reads - Ends 11/10 - YA,Romance,
The Tales We Tell, For Free - Ends 10/27 - Romance,Mystery, Bookmarks Are For Quitters - Romance - Ends 10/31 - Romance,
Sweet Romance Giveaway - October - Ends 10/31 - Romance, Falling in Love - Ends 11/01 - Romance,
Free All-Genre Romance Promo - Ends 11/01 - Romance, Love the One You're With - Ends 11/15 - Romance,

Do you have Kindle Unlimited? These books are free for you!

KU Take Your Pick - Ends 10/21 - YA,Romance,Mystery, Super Reads in KU - Ends 10/21 - YA,Romance,Mystery,

Other Books on Sale

Romance to Review - Ends 11/01 - Romance, Autumnal Feel Good Reads - Ends 10/27 - YA,Romance,Mystery,
Romance a New Read - Ends 11/03 - Romance, Second Chance Romance Sale - Ends 11/03 - Romance,
All Genre Book Sale - Ends 11/03 - YA,Romance,Mystery, Bestsellers with Strong Female Leads Sale - Ends 11/03 - YA,Romance,Mystery,
Romantic Fantasy, PNR, & SciFi Sale - Ends 11/16 - Romance, Cozy Autumn Reads - Ends 10/21 - YA,Romance,Mystery,
Fall Into Romance - Ends 10/25 - YA,Romance, Looking for Great Books? - Ends 11/04 - YA,Romance,Mystery,
Love is in the Air - Ends 10/20 - YA,Romance,Mystery, Road Trip Love - Ends 10/30 - YA,Romance,
Soulmates (Sweet) - Ends 10/31 - YA,Romance, Sweet & Clean October - Ends 10/31 - YA,Romance,
Inkfort 2023 Derby - Ends 10/25 - MG,YA,Romance,Mystery,

Join My Newsletter

No comments:

Post a Comment