Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Shards To A Whole: The Rules

McGee-centric character study/romance. Want to start at the beginning? Click here.

Chapter 337: The Rules

Tuesday morning, he's the first one in. It's intentional. First and foremost, he drops off the paperwork he filled out last night, detailing what he wants in his computer set up. Supposedly IT will deliver it sometime today. He figures the earlier they get it, the sooner he'll be up and running, too.

Next up, back to Cybercrime. He steals two cubical dividers, hooks them to each other, and sets them up with his newest additions to Cybercrime, two of the biggest whiteboards Target sells.

Then he starts to sketch.

He's breaking Cybercrime into seven sections, four of which will be huddled around a central conference area. He's hoping to get a good long table, a bunch of whiteboards, and several plasmas for the conference area. He wants them able to talk big jobs there, about what everyone is working on, and that area should also be where jobs get picked up and assigned.

Each of those four areas will be three desks set facing each other, the dividers used to provide some level of walls, but not shut everyone off. Like how the dividers were used in the bullpen. He's setting them up into hackers, programmers, database, and code wizards. He wants them working in teams based on skill set. Sure, big problems are going to require multiple people from different specialties, but at least to start, this'll get his people into teams.

He doesn't see anything, anywhere, set for dealing with hardware. So that's the sixth section. In the far back, near the filing cabinets (He's not sure where they're going, but not down here, not anymore.) he's going to be putting workbenches and tools. Cybercrime should be able to deal with actual, physical computers if need be.

Last section is going up by the coffeemaker. All he's got for it now is an empty space. Once it's full, there'll be at least a few sofas, a big screen TV, a few game systems, some games, and a decent array of drinks and snacks. He's going to expect them to work hard, so he needs a place for cooling down and playing, too.

The Minions all make it in by 08:00. Whatever else is true about them, they're punctual.

He shows them his floor plan, and what he's hoping to do, and then, and they were surprised by this, he says, "Okay, before we start moving things around, double check the plan, talk to each other, and me, and if you've got better/different ideas, let's hear them."

They do. Looking it over. Chattering among themselves.

Ngyn says, very quietly, not looking at him or anyone else, "What if we like a quiet place to work?"

He looks at his plan. That's a good point. If you need solitude… "How about a line of three traditional cubicles on the east wall? I'll see if I can get the extra gear. You'll all have your main stations, but those'll be for when you want to work on one computer as a team, or when you want to be on your own?"

They seem okay with that, but Ngyn isn't looking happy. Tim makes a mental note to go chat with her about this whole teamwork concept, and how the rest of Cybercrime has to know what she's up to.

"Anything else?"

More chattering, but no one came up with anything.

"Okay. Today, we're moving stuff and getting settled into our new places. I'll be getting my stuff set up, too." Then he headed into his office to set up his own stuff and watch how his twelve Minions would do when given a specific end goal, but no guidance on how to get to said end goal.

He had taken the stack of paperwork home, and gone through it. That was a good thing, because how he got his own computer set up was in there.

Fortunately IT works a lot faster than Physical Plant.

He'd filled out the forms for what he needed, handed them in, and in only four hours, he was looking at the system of… okay, not his dreams. His dream system is a lot snazzier, but he's also staring at what is likely the best set up in the building. He doesn't think the Director of IT has this much computing power on his desk. (Of course, the Director of IT also doesn't need this much power.)

It's not the bleeding edge of tech, but it's the best stuff IT had to offer him, and it's a few light years past what he had on his desk upstairs. It's on par with what's on his desk at home.

Between setting up his own stuff and filling out requisition forms for what he hopes to add (Thank you Jenner for the sixty thousand extra in budgetary operating capital. Tim's not going to use it all. He wants to make sure he's got a 30k overtime cushion, but that other 30k will get him a lot closer to his goal of what Cybercrime should look like and have than he is now.) he keeps looking out to see how the move is going.

By three hours in, when they were all still kind of milling around, having successfully taken the dividers down (because they can all easily lift and move the dividers, and the chairs were pushed out of the way, but all of the heavy lifting was still sitting around, he heads out again.

"All of you, over here."

And they come to him. He sits on the nearest desk and pats it. "These weigh, what? Ninety pounds, hundred and fifty? They're heavy, right?"

They all nod.

"So, is that why you're all just sort of standing around? Because you can't move your own desks?"

More nodding.

"What I'm considering the biggest problem with Cybercrime is that none of you are working together. That stops now. There are twelve of you. This desk is no big deal at all, if you move it together. It's a massive pain in the ass on your own. So, you all know the plan. Traditional lunch time is in an hour. I want all the desks in place by then. When you get back from lunch, the rest of the afternoon is about getting everything set up again. We hit the ground running tomorrow."

He hops off the desk, hoping they can team on their own if pointed in that direction, dreading they'll need more help that what he's already provided.

When he heads out for lunch, he does see that all the desk have been rearranged and three of the dividers are up in their new places.


By the end of Tuesday, Tim had twelve Minions, a completely rearranged floor plan, and though it wasn't yet filled with furniture, a conference space.

He gathers them together and starts with the speechifying, hoping this is the last time he's got to do this.

"Okay, I've talked to each of you, and you know things are going to be very different around here soon. Some of you are going to decide to stay, some of you won't, and here's the last bit of information you need for figuring it out:

"My team, my rules. There's seven of them and they're easy:

"One: Never be unreachable. At least one member of the team will always know a way to get ahold of you. I don't care who it is, and I don't care what you are doing, someone will always be able to reach you. This is a two way street, someone will always be able to reach me, too. You will all have my home address and number, as well. If you need me, my door is always open.

"Two: Never screw your team. If you cannot have every other member of the team's back 100%, I will accept your resignation right now. If you are worried about someone else, come talk to me. We'll get it worked out, but if it can't be, then walk away. If you can't work with someone on the team, I will not hold it against you if you want to leave. I will hold it against you if you stick around and screw one of your teammates.

"Three: Verify. We're gonna wade through a lot of crap here. We are going to go to the front lines of the cyber battlefield and we'll never be entirely sure what is going on, so we verify. Check it once, check it twice, make sure what you think is happening is happening.

"That leads into Four: Trust your instincts. If it feels hinky, it probably is. See number three. Let me know what you think is going on, let your teammates know. If you're too close to it, we'll be your second and third eyes. But if it feels wrong, let us all know so we can swing into action and beat whatever it is into submission. Even if you think it's stupid, even if you can't back it up, tell us. No one ever gets laughed at for telling the rest of us what sort of feel they're getting on a project. Your subconscious notices things you conscious doesn't, and it tries to let you know what you're missing with that little voice in the back of your mind. Listening to that voice saves lives in the field, so we're not gonna ignore it down here.

"Five: When you're on the case, be on the case. When you're off, be off. You need downtime. Make sure you get it. We cannot be the best if we're burnt. Yes, someone needs to be able to get ahold of you at all times, but you're not getting called in on your off time unless the world is ending. Your downtime will be held sacred, but I'm also going to expect you to work the case until its done. You won't have to be physically here to do it. I've got a wife and a six-month-old daughter, both of whom I intend to see every day, so if I need to, I'll work from home, and so will you.

"Six: If you screw it up, fix it first, apologize second.

"Seven: You will screw up. I will, too. If you can't fix it on your own, own up to it and get help. Screwing up is never unforgiveable sin, trying to hide it and not getting the help you need to fix it, is. Most of the time, you screw up, it'll be a small problem, and it'll be an even smaller one with all of us on it. Screw up, hide it, wait until you're in so deep over your head you can't possibly get out on your own, and that small problem becomes a massive one that burns all of us. Bad plan, don't do it.

"That's it. McGee's rules. If you can work by them, if you want to be part of what will be the finest Cybercrime division in the US, then stick around. If you want to keep coasting around with a cushy federal job with nifty benefits and easy hours," he points toward the elevator, "don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out."


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