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Prolix - Five Prompts

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Prolix - Five Prompts

Gibbs snarled at McGee as he once again rattled off a prolix report that neither held the information he needed nor was the quick update he expected from his SFA.

“Boss?” McGee asked confused. He didn't have Tony's ability to interpret Gibbs various snarls and growls, yet.

Gibbs waited for Tony to explain. When no explanation was forthcoming, he turned to look at DiNozzo to see why he wasn't answering McGee's question and only then did he remember that Tony no longer worked here.

Gibbs roared loudly in frustration at that reminder before forcibly reining some of his anger in. “Quick and useful. Not long and useless.”

McGee didn't understand, but he nodded anyway. Gibbs turned to Bishop then, “Report,” he barked.

Bishop nodded to Gibbs’ desk, “Full report on your desk, but we basically have nothing, Gibbs.”

Gibbs grumbled, but nodded in thanks. “Back to work, people. We need to find this bastard.”

McGee couldn't help sending Tony a 911 text. This wasn't the first time Gibbs had practically taken his head off and he didn't know what he was doing wrong. Gibbs hated being told they had nothing, but he responded better to Bishop's report than McGee's report.

Tony shook his head. He hadn't even been gone a month and this was the third 911 text from his Probie. “What's wrong?”

“I don't know.”

“I need more details if I'm going to help you, Probie.”

“It's Gibbs.”

Tony rolled his eyes. Of course, Gibbs was related to the problem. He didn't expect anything else. “Tell me why.”

“He growls anytime I give a report, but even when Bishop tells him we have nothing he gives her a nod of thanks. You know how much he hates hearing we have nothing. I don't understand what I'm doing wrong.” Tim continued.

“What exactly are you giving him for a verbal report, Probie?”

McGee started to give the same report he'd given Gibbs. About 5 minutes into it, Tony called out, “Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Stop! You can't give Gibbs a report like that.”

“What do you mean?”

“Gibbs doesn't want the details. As his SFA, he expects your reports to be short and to the point. Are the reports that Bishop gets recognized for, short and succinct?”

“Yes…” Tim replied, thinking about what Tony said.

“There you go. If you don't want Gibbs taking your head off figure out how to give him shorter reports that tell him exactly what he cares about and skips everything that he considers an unimportant detail. Make sure you include all the unimportant details in your written report, though. Trust me you don't want to see Gibbs when he feels you're not providing enough detail in the written reports.”

“Got it, Tony. Thanks.”

“Good luck, Padawan. Do me proud.”

McGee hung up and returned to his PC to find something for Gibbs. He'd stepped away from his desk to make the call out of earshot. Unbeknownst to McGee, Gibbs had listened to his whole conversation.

Gibbs smiled slightly as he realized Tony was still seeing over the team even though he no longer worked there. He hoped McGee got it, now. McGee wasn't bad as his SFA, but he still had a lot of rough edges that needed to be smoothed out before they could really work together well. Although even if all the rough edges got smoothed out, he'd never be able to replace Tony.