Dennis watches the seconds blip into history as the afternoon drags its heels to 16.58 SGT (standard galactic time). Clock watching is his second favourite pastime at the moment, just there on his list below counting down the down the days to his holiday. Still three days and counting.
Three days till he left his ratty little office in the lower basement of Licensing & Patents Experts in Law, or LAPEL, as the security tag on his suit lapel spells out. Just three more days and he would be free for exactly fourteen days or 1209600 seconds which happens to be the exact distance in galactic miles to his destination of choice. Sil's Bar.
The buzzing of the holo-intercom jolts him back to reality and he swears under his breath and smooths his tie in a nervous gesture before pressing the reply button.
'Dennis, there you are, not clock-watching again were you? Well, I hope not because the inter-department audit review is due at the end of the month and just because you've decided to book your holiday during it doesn't mean to say you get away without doing your share of the work. I've a backlog of pending patents to wade through, you need to make sure we are on top of the expiry lists. You understand? And I mean right up to date with those expiries before you leave on Friday or don't bother coming back in fourteen days time. Have a nice holiday!'
The hologram of the head of his boss remains long enough after the connection has been terminated for Dennis to viciously jab his stylus through the eye sockets several times. 'Take that you selfish bastard!' He sighs and checks the time, 17.00 SGT. There is no way he would clear the expiries list in three days, not without a huge amount of unpaid overtime.
He pulls up the list on the computer console in front of him. Over a thousand files needed to be clarified and updated as to whether the fees had been paid and whether the patent had expired. Roughly thirteen files to chase for every hour remaining between him and Sil's Bar. It occurs to him briefly that he really, really hates his job and that if he hit the delete-all button right now he could leave early for his holiday and never, ever come back. But it is only a thought and soon he is wading knee deep through the twelve year old invoices and alterations of Z through to W of the expiry lists.