“Too much bother and fuss,” declared the environmental engineer firmly. “Plants in the public spaces will drop leaves and flowers that’ll just need to be cleaned up and we’ll need to vary the environmental protocols for them to flower and leaf and everything. All of that is just more work for our department. No.” He folded his arms and sat back in his chair.
“My department is prepared to fund three additional positions in your department from our budget to make this happen,” countered the negotiating psychiatrist.
“That’s awfully generous of you,” the engineer sneered but the psychiatrist thought he was interested. “Why?”
“We believe that this adjustment will allow us to close a psychiatric ward because not as many people will need treatment,” admitted the psychiatrist. “Do you have any idea of the budget cost of specialised, professional ward-based care? It will make an enormous difference to our resource needs and when you factor in the economic benefits of not losing so much labour due to psych-.”
“No.” The engineer put his foot down. “We will not take on the extra workload.” He stood and gathered his papers. “The best solution is the one we already have, take a pill and call you in the morning, doctor. This meeting is over. Good day.” With that he walked out of the room.
“That didn’t go well,” commented the Health Department’s note taker.
“It went as we expect once we found out they were sending him as their representative,” replied the psychiatrist. “Looks like we move to Plan B.”
The flowers appeared in planter boxes around the arcology, visible from public spaces but never in them or on them and certainly never dropping pieces on them. Dashes of colour punctuated every building occupied by the Health Department and the Health Department occupied more buildings than most people realised. In the waiting areas of some of the largest clinics ‘someone’ planted small trees along their the back walls.
Environmental Control talked darkly of ‘vermin enablers’ and muttered ‘clean up’ threats. Health watched as the prescription and intervention rates began to edge downwards.