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The Mail Is In The Cheque
Elf
rix_scaedu
I wrote this to aldersprig's fourth prompt.


Our mail room has had to adjust to the changing times.  Accounts less so, which makes it a good thing all the mail goes through our mail room.  Everything gets scanned in and then they run an algorithm over it, or so they tell me.  Apparently that algorithm picks up anomalies, things that look like spots of ink and aren’t, that sort of thing.

The mail room scans the morning’s cheques received in a batch separate to our other mail.  We do security clearance background checks for which there is a fee.  Not a big fee but a nice, round number that brings us in a constant, miniscule but government-mandated stream of revenue.  There’s more PR value in it than cash in a ‘your tax dollars at work’ sort of way and the price is cheap because we want people to get those clearances.  How hard is it for a business that needs those clearances to send us a twenty dollar payment?  Credit card or direct debit preferred but we still get cheques and even cash in the morning mail delivery.

This particular cheque tripped the algorithm’s parameters and set off the flashing lights on the machine so they fished the original out of the batch and had the specialists look at it.  In retrospect it was easy to tell that it was supposed to attract attention, being for two cents short of the twenty dollars.  All the dots were microdots.  Every ‘i’, every decimal point and every full stop had been overlaid.  It was old tech But Agent Murchison-Chu had managed to get a full situational and status report about the Callisc affair onto a cheque.

Of course if it had gotten as far as Accounts Receivable, who’ve bitched about the scanning system for years and how it delays the cheques getting to them, we would have lost the lot.  They send short paid cheques straight back.


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