Mr. Wrigley was the first to speak after the word murder had hung in the air for a bit, and he was quite agitated. “But we’re a top security facility, and there’s not a chance that some deranged person from the outside wandered in, weapon in hand, and pushed a knife into Mr. Cummins’ chest,” said Wrigley. “So are you saying that someone here at Great Software, someone we all know, is the likely murderer of our lead recruiter? Stabbing in the chest with a beautifully etched oriental-looking curved knife? Doing this during normal business hours in Cummins’ own office? Without being seen or at least not seen by anyone who has yet come forward? With what possible motive?” By then Mr. Wrigley was sputtering, and he stopped doing so to pull himself together.
Ms. Patel, who had listened to the proceedings in her usual quiet way, taking everything in and thinking carefully about what she had heard, began to speak when Mr. Wrigley stopped for breath. “If it’s an “inside job,” as the Americans say, and no one has yet come forward, either as a witness or with any useful intelligence, then I think we must search for a motive in order to find the culprit unless we assume that this was a random murder by a homicidal maniac who just happens to work here.” And then to DCI Fritz she added: “Have your investigations uncovered any possible motive that’s internal to our organization? Do you have any suspects in mind?” Then, hesitating just long enough for DCI Fritz to notice, Ms. Patel continued: “Could there be something about the work he was doing, about how he was doing it, or with whom he was collaborating that bears on the investigation?”
With this wonderful opening, now turning to Ms. Kahneifmeyer, DCI Fritz said: “Perhaps you’d like to explain our findings-to-date in our deciphering of Cummins’ manual staffing records?” But before Zelda could respond, Ms. Patel jumped in with: “Manual staffing records? Manual staffing records? What manual staffing records? We converted all of our staffing processes more than a year ago to wonderful new technology from Intergalactic ATS, and everyone’s staffing records are now completely automated.”
Even as she acknowledged her own surprise at finding these remnants, these artifacts, of their previously more manual staffing processes, and using some of the manila folders and Cummins’ white board chart as props, Zelda began to explain what they had found in his office and what their deciphering efforts had thus far revealed. When she got to the part about color-coded tick marks on both candidates and at the intersection of candidates and hiring managers, Ms. Patel, already reeling from the apparent murder of one of her top recruiters, slumped in her chair.
Stay Tuned for Chapter XI