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15 March 2006 @ 11:36 pm
Prison Break Gen Fiction: Getting Down To Business (PG)  
Title: Getting Down To Business
Characters: Michael, Lincoln (Gen)
Rating: PG
Summary: Michael's first job after college is like entering a new world.
Author’s Notes: Written for prompt #89 (Work) of the prisonbreak100 challenge, where I have the Gen pair of Lincoln and Michael. Also written for the pbreak_drabbles “First Days” challenge.

x-x-x-x-x

He takes the El to the business district, one train early just to avoid being late. He buys coffee and a newspaper from an Espresso cart, and sits on a bench trying to relax for the next twenty minutes. The headlines blare reports of budget cuts and cloned sheep, and he makes his leg stop jiggling as the words skitter across the page uncomprehended.

Fifteen more minutes. He looks at the playoff scores—the Bulls close to dropping out now—and skims the Dow Jones briefly, but the numbers carom off his brain like fireworks and this is the worst possible way for Michael to deal with nervousness. He forces himself to take deep breaths and focus on a flowerbox across the street for the next thirty seconds. In. Out. Purple. Red. It’s better, definitely better. He locates the comics, feeding his secret love of “Dilbert” and “Bizarro,” and this is helping because it’s a mindless distraction and sometimes that’s the best kind.

This will be his first real job—not like the Summer Intern gigs where you go in hoping to learn from the bigwigs and wind up making photocopies and taking attendance at corporate functions.

He’d never had a job before college. He was a gawky teenager, not filling out until after he’d graduated, and he’d never have been hired for the construction work that Lincoln did to pay their bills. He’d never have passed for old enough either, but that was beside the point. By the time he had grown enough to have those options, his hands had become too important to risk crushing under rebar or grinding against concrete. They were good for skillwork—he’d taught Lincoln about plumbing and basic electronics—but not for the iffy jobs that thrived on machinery and strength.

His ten minutes are up, and he folds the newspaper carefully and leaves it where someone else may find it. He throws out the coffee cup, and picks up his briefcase with its heavy burden. He has a scientific calculator, a notebook, a supply of the mechanical pencils he loves so much, and his copy of “Brodeur’s Materials and Structural Reinforcement.”

He will step through that door, and face the challenge of creativity-on-demand on a daily basis.

One more deep breath, and he straightens his tie and sets his shoulders.

He is ready. The adventure begins here.


----- fin -----
 
 
 
BEWARE OF JENMAR.: PB - Chara Scan - Michaelclex_monkie89 on March 16th, 2006 07:58 am (UTC)
Yay! I reall liked this, you managed to hit Michael's... Aprehension? On the head.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 16th, 2006 05:20 pm (UTC)
hit Michael's... Aprehension? On the head.
Yes, apprehension is the word.

It's different for kids who have had real jobs in High School and/or college, but I remember this for myself too. If you haven't... nothing you ever take in school will remotely prepare you for what an actual job will be like.

Or that feeling of "Whoa! In over my head! I cannot possibly be as competent as they thought I was when they hired me."
BEWARE OF JENMAR.clex_monkie89 on March 16th, 2006 09:38 pm (UTC)
Yes, apprehension is the word.

Good, I wasn't exactly sure I had gotten it right.

It's different for kids who have had real jobs in High School and/or college, but I remember this for myself too.

Oh yes, I remember that feeling. I went from never having had a job ever to being the lone security guard at a construction site in downtown Phoenixin a matter of a day. I sympathize with Michael because while his job was very different it's the same kind of gut-wrenching fear that tells you "You aren't ready for this but you have to step up."
faithinfaithfaithinfaith on March 16th, 2006 07:59 am (UTC)
This was cute. :)And as usual when I'm reading your stories I feel like I'm there. They feel so real, and this is no exception! Great work :)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 16th, 2006 05:21 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Faith!

I think you missed a couple of the Gen works, too, in the last couple of weeks-- one about Michael's mother and one about his father. Neither of them as fluffy as this one, though ;)
faithinfaithfaithinfaith on March 16th, 2006 06:01 pm (UTC)
yeah, I know. Work is killing me. :( But don't worry I'm planning on catching up very soon. :)
she said mysteriouslyresounding_echo on March 16th, 2006 08:40 am (UTC)
I liked the rapid fire nature of this piece. It was like Michael kept darting his mind everywhere so as to avoid his anxiety. Nice change of pace fore you.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 16th, 2006 05:22 pm (UTC)
Thanks, jules!

It was like Michael kept darting his mind everywhere so as to avoid his anxiety.
Exactly-- the tone if the fic is supposed to match what's going on in his head (in Michael's case, too much and way too fast).

Yes, this is less languid than what I usually write, isn't it? Except for that CrackFic one-- that one was hoppin' by the end. :D
The Good, The Bad and The Lana: brother hugthelana on March 16th, 2006 11:03 am (UTC)
Oh, so good, so seriously good.

and for somebody who hates the LLI thing...

Love all the tiny hints like who Michael's hand need to be protected ♥ and now I really want to read about Michael teaching Lincoln about plumbing and basic electronics.

I adore the details and the way it flows. Like somebody else said, like sitting in Michael's mind and following it around. Much, much love.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 16th, 2006 05:27 pm (UTC)
and for somebody who hates the LLI thing...

I knew someone would bring that up!

But it doesn't have to be LLI. I think of it as BusyBrain syndrome, and I definitely suffer from it myself (or maybe I suffer from this "LLI" stuff, and that's why I think it's B.S.... I don't know). But when you're anxious and there's too much to worry about, all sorts of random things start crowding in and taking off and amping you up-- when you need exactly the opposite. Part of it is an adrenaline thing-- noticing all sources of potential "danger" which, when there is no true danger, means noticing everything.

Love all the tiny hints like who Michael's hand need to be protected ♥
*Cough* That's the musician in me talking, but it's true for artists and people who are going to build models, sketch their ideas, etc. Mechanical/Structural/Civil Engineering are really marriages of science and art, in a way.

I adore the details and the way it flows. Like somebody else said, like sitting in Michael's mind and following it around. Much, much love.
Thank you :D I won't tell you how much time it took to write it then. You might be horrified.
The Good, The Bad and The Lana: happy sarathelana on March 16th, 2006 05:29 pm (UTC)
I won't tell you how much time it took to write it then. You might be horrified.

Since I think it would take forever I'm guessing two minutes or less :D
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 16th, 2006 05:38 pm (UTC)
More like 20-25 minutes, with almost no revisions. Which is still pretty fast.

I actually thought the fic was going to take place mainly INSIDE the office, but once I started in on it that wasn't how it worked out.
The Good, The Bad and The Lana: happy sarathelana on March 16th, 2006 05:47 pm (UTC)
A fic about Michael's office and his coworkers would definitively interest me as well, but this one came out really nice just the way it is. :)
PamalaX: pretty wwpamalax on March 16th, 2006 02:11 pm (UTC)
Wonderful!!! Me likes a LOT but you knew that was coming.

face the challenge of creativity-on-demand on a daily basis.

You have no idea how much I love this!! I just finished my long fic, will soon launch into post ep fic, all of it done on a self imposed tight rigid schedule so this gave me a huge smile!!!

I need some great shorts for my page so, you know the song and dance...
Can I archive this one too????
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 16th, 2006 05:41 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Pamala!

face the challenge of creativity-on-demand on a daily basis.
Glad you liked that part ;) I have it my job too, and for you, it's definitely the writing and the schedule. So--- finished? Yay! Still must read, but finished will help!

I need some great shorts for my page so, you know the song and dance...
Yes, you may, and as always I am honored.

Ii didn't hear from you on the last two Gen pieces (one mainly Michael's mother, and the other mainly his Father), so not sure if they didn't ring your bell or if you missed them. We're getting a LOT of new PB writers, and I think the prisonbreak_fic group must be overflowing!
PamalaX: sad boy Mpamalax on March 16th, 2006 08:33 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the permission *g*

As for the others I likely didn't read them yet.
I promised myself to have all 16 chapters done before the 20th so
as it got closer and closer I was buried under trying to finish the monster
and hardly read a thing for a week or two.

I'm giving myself a break now. Maybe a few post ep shorts but other than that I'm catch up on reading. YAY!!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 16th, 2006 08:49 pm (UTC)
Wish you'd post the links to "Time To Go" on your LJ page (or in your Memories-- those don't seem to be public). I had to go to zsuness' rave on the story to find the individual chapters. I know they're on your Web Page, but then... we can't comment from there!

Bet you're glad this part is dooooooone!
search for jet pants: Michael - big damn herojetpants on March 16th, 2006 04:57 pm (UTC)
Oh, I LOVE this so so much. Love the pace, you can feel Michael's anxiety. I like all the little details, like leaving the newspaper where someone else can find it, what's in his briefcase, etc.

He looks at the playoff scores—the Bulls close to dropping out now—and skims the Dow Jones briefly, but the numbers carom off his brain like fireworks and this is the worst possible way for Michael to deal with nervousness.
I think that sentence in particular is my favourite, though.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 16th, 2006 05:45 pm (UTC)
Love the pace, you can feel Michael's anxiety.
Yay! That was the intent.

I like all the little details, like leaving the newspaper where someone else can find it, what's in his briefcase, etc.
All the things he needs, but that won't necessarily be waiting for him at his new desk.

I think that sentence in particular is my favourite, though.
Mine too-- it shows the effect that the subject matter is having on him, and that it's amping up his anxiety instead of putting it to rest. Numbers/Details/Possibilities/Conclusions/Win-Lose/Drop-Rise/ AAAHH!
tyrical: PB_Scofieldtyrical on March 16th, 2006 05:47 pm (UTC)
I love your Michael. I know I've said it before and I'll say it again.
Actually I'll probably say it over and over. :)

I peek inside his hyper-active mind. Beautiful articulation of his presense of mind. Loved how easy it flowed. It felt very natural.

As always lovely work.

g
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 16th, 2006 07:15 pm (UTC)
I love your Michael. I know I've said it before and I'll say it again.
Actually I'll probably say it over and over. :)

Hah! That's okay. If you stop, at some point I'll probably think--- No! I've lost it! I'm not getting him anymore!

I peek inside his hyper-active mind. Beautiful articulation of his presense of mind. Loved how easy it flowed. It felt very natural.
Thank you so much! The Michael here is kind of like me, except moreso (and not in ways that are good). Hence, I both sympathize and also think Thank goodness I'm not quite that extreme. Yet.
dawnstarrising: Linc and Michdawnstarrising on March 16th, 2006 08:40 pm (UTC)
Love it!
Michael is perfect. His reaction to the numbers is a very telling sign.

Top Notch as always!

Dawn xx
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 16th, 2006 08:51 pm (UTC)
Re: Love it!
His reaction to the numbers is a very telling sign.

Yes-- it's like they kick his mathBrain into gear and he can't get it to stop!

Glad you enjoyed it, Dawn :D
dr. henry killingerliberateourtime on March 17th, 2006 01:21 am (UTC)
He has a scientific calculator, a notebook, a supply of the mechanical pencils he loves so much, and his copy of “Brodeur’s Materials and Structural Reinforcement.”

Methinks Michael was the type that word a pocket protector in high school because it was "practical". Heh.

Wonderful job, as usual! Excellent insight into Michael's background!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 17th, 2006 01:43 am (UTC)
Methinks Michael was the type that word a pocket protector in high school because it was "practical". Heh.
Evil, but you know they DID have a purpose ;) I could easily see him doing that. And a calculator clip on his belt. Until someone bullied him and then Lincoln let them have it, and Michael realized that dorkFashion has bad consequences and stopped doing it. :D

Thanks for your kind words!
Da'mien: Constantine Cigdecayd_matter on June 8th, 2006 06:36 pm (UTC)
I like how you write things as it happens in present tense as opposed to using past tense like a lot of other writers out there. And I love how you portrayed Michael's anxiety and his nervousness at that being his first day @ work and all. Very nice.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: MichaelInBarshalfshellvenus on June 8th, 2006 07:09 pm (UTC)
I actually use both past AND present tense. I started out with only past tense, but somewhere in the last couple of months a lot of fics moved into present tense.

Now, it kind of depends on the mood of the story. This one is all jittery and kind of in-your-face, and the present tense really amps that up, I think.

Glad you enjoyed the story! Thanks. :)