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Nesa Conway's Notes for New Staff

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1) General Hewley is a dear. He doesn't get frustrated, he's unfailingly polite, he remembers birthdays and significant details relating to the lives and interests of non-SOLDIER staff (and trust me, after your first week here you'll understand how rare that is), he gets his paperwork in on time, as well as having it correctly filled in, and his reports are in proper military style.

Now if only we could do something about his handwriting. Putting the report up on the wall and running past it occasionally works to make them readable. Fortunately, he is willing to answer questions about what he's written.

His reports tend to be worse if he's been on missions close into Midgar, which makes me suspect he writes them in the rear of the transport on the way back (further fuel for this theory: they're worse STILL if he's doing a mission in Midgar city itself - those missions tend to rely on the SOLDIERs getting to the mission location and back by motorcycle). We're negotiating with Supply to see about issuing him a dictaphone instead, if we can just get one sufficiently ruggedised.

2) General Rhapsodos is erudite, intelligent, and has a lovely copperplate hand. Edit the "Loveless" quotes out of his reports where possible, if this can be done without interrupting the flow of the report. Otherwise leave them in - the only person who's able to change his mind about the things is General Hewley, and he has better things to do with his day.

When he's just returned from the field, General Rhapsodos really needs his blankie and a nap before he's properly able to deal with other people, particularly non-SOLDIERs; the flow of Shinra procedure means he has to debrief immediately, so be prepared for him to be obstreperous. Apple cake works well as a pacifier substitute; in the absence of apple cake, General Hewley is usually able to ride herd on him. Both of these together enable everyone to exit the debriefing with the same number of limbs they entered it with.

3) General Sephiroth will not kill you on sight. General Sephiroth will, however, forcibly request you remove all noisy jewellery, because he can hear those six bangles clacking together when he's in his office and you're working at my desk - the internal walls in the offices here are thin and the General has enhanced hearing. Take them off (and the jangly earrings), wrap each one separately in tissue paper (bottom drawer, in the last file folder), and put them in your handbag. If you have a bad habit of clicking pens, ask to be reassigned now (Mr Deusericus won't mind if you do; it saves on repairs to the drywall and the furnishings, as well as to the VR systems and the General's sparring partners).

4) The betting pool on whether there is anything which will prevent the Turk, Reno (the red-headed one with the tattoos) from making sexually suggestive remarks at whoever catches his eye is currently well over 10,000 gil. So far we've found out a lot of things which don't prevent him, ranging from reminders of the sexual harassment policy (to the point where HR refuses to have him in the seminars any more) right the way up to physical violence (this merely changes the nature of the sexually suggestive remarks). Most of the smart money is on "the end of the world", but the even smarter money (i.e. most of the Turk participants) is on "not even death".

5) Commander Fair does stop bouncing eventually. He'll start doing squats instead. Give him coffee or cola to calm him down a little, or throw him a ball to chase (yes, that nickname of his is accurate). Yes, those reports of his are also accurate - Commander Fair is something of a weirdness magnet. If you need a more sober-minded corroboration of details, call Corporal Strife up from the regulars - Corporal Strife tends to be put on a lot of the same missions as the Commander, and he's a bit steadier and calmer (he also apparently possesses the super-power of being able to survive around Zack Fair without going completely insane).

5a) At Commander Fair's request, I've been asked to note he already has a girlfriend, and he's extremely faithful to her.

6) While we're on that subject: You are here to work, not to find a husband or to drool over your latest crush. Mr Deusericus WILL mind if you aren't fully focussed on your duties, and he has all these big strong lads at his disposal who are more than willling to earn themselves a couple of brownie points by hustling someone who annoys him out of the SOLDIER areas so fast they bounce. If you must flirt with the SOLDIERs, do it in the canteen at lunchtime. By the way, it doesn't work on any of the Generals, so don't even bother - General Hewley is believed to be either a cloistered monk, or in a relationship with General Rhapsodos; General Rhapsodos is far too in love with himself to spare time for anyone else (plus he's only interested in men anyway); and General Sephiroth doesn't recognise the signals except belatedly and in the most intellectual and abstract of fashions.

6a) If any of the Generals decide you need to be exiting the SOLDIER areas due to harassing behaviour, you will get one warning prior to defenestration (and trust me, that one warning took a LOT of arguing to ensure). Take careful note of which floor we're on here.

(Shinra Electric Power Company is not entirely heartless, you'll be pleased to hear: we won't bill your heirs for the jam-jar your remains will be returned in).

7) There are large numbers of personnel who frequent the SOLDIER areas who are not of Midgarian extraction. Commander Fair is from Gongaga; Generals Hewley and Rhapsodos are both from the Mideel region; Tseng of the Turks was born and raised in Wutai; Commander Thursson is from the Northern continent; and apparently Corporal Strife is from a place called Nibelheim on the western continent. Speaking disparagingly of "foreigners" is likely to earn you some very solid glares, at the very least, if not the aforementioned hustling out at bouncing speed.

8) If Professor Hojo calls, General Sephiroth is out on a mission, and you don't know when he'll be back.

8a) If Professor Hollander calls, General Hewley and General Rhapsodos are both out on missions, and you don't know when either of them will be back.

8b) If either of these lab-coated gentlemen turn up in person, call Mr Deusericus. This is particularly the case if they've called previously and been told the generals are out on missions, and they can clearly see the three generals destroying the VR rooms instead. Mr Deusericus is paid to deal with exploding scientists. We are not.

9) If Commander Fair does something truly ridiculous (as per Mr Deusericus' definitions of the term), please remind him his scheduled punishment detail is acting as sparring partner for General Sephiroth, and he needs to get to the practice area before the General comes looking for him. Don't worry, if you're here for longer than about six weeks, you'll find your definition of "truly ridiculous" re-adjusts to suit the environment and/or regular exposure to Commander Fair and Reno of the Turks (either separately or in concert).

10) Following the incident of three months ago, it probably needs to be pointed out: the intercom switches on the SOLDIER floors are on the RIGHT side of the doorways, unlike everywhere else in the building where they're on the LEFT. Please keep this information in mind when you decide to have a lunchtime quickie with your partner of choice. No, we don't know why this is the case, although at times we certainly wish it weren't.

10a) Don't worry, Ms Clarantyne, your secrets are safe with us... but you really need to get your boyfriend to work on his technique.

11) The medical kits on the SOLDIER floors do not carry aspirin, paracetamol or ibuprofen. SOLDIERs are big tough boys who don't need painkillers (and you're welcome to tell them as much if they come to you looking for help with their boo-boos). The usual procedure here is to find someone who has a Cure or Heal materia equipped (depending on the ailment) and request their services. This means if you need something to deal with your monthly cramps, you're going to have to either bring it in from home, or talk to Medical on Floor 16.

12) Yes, the Materia Refining facility on the main SOLDIER level is staffed by identical triplets.