It’s day one and your apprehension is rising as you stand in front of the door to your first assignment as an agent. You notice the caked on layers of peeling white paint and the off-angle trim, hinges fastened by mismatched, rusty screws. The light of the narrow entrance corridor reflects against the frosted glass panel, illuminating two rows of worn block lettering: Investigations Unit. You stop to think for a moment, unsure why such a small outpost in the middle of nowhere would need 24-hour support and, more importantly, who did you wrong to deserve an assignment so far away from the action? Your Academy scores were decent, but you’re no kiss-ass. Maybe you could have schmoozed a bit more, but this? You come to terms with your uninspiring situation and, taking a deep breath, you grasp the spherical, bronze-plated knob and push the door open. You step inside, ready to confront whatever this place throws at you, if anything at all.
Fluorescent lights automatically flick on, revealing a confined, one room office in need of some serious upgrades. Four cramped desks fit tightly in the corners while a collection of haphazardly placed filing cabinets provide the majority of the space’s decorative elements. The coffee maker, still on from the previous shift, wafts the burnt scent of hours old Maxwell House into the air, circulating by the droning hum of the late 70s model oscillating fan. It’s warm, damp, and oppressive, a lot like what you imagine a medieval dungeon must feel like. As the fan makes another pass, it ruffles some pages on the bulletin board, drawing your attention to a folded note, with the word “rookie” scrawled on it. You grab the note and take a look.
A Post-it is attached to the inside of the note, reading:
“Young Blood, Welcome to the team, I guess. Here’s your desk and shift assignment. If you can’t figure it out, you’re fired. -JD”
The note itself reads:
“Four agents, including you, work in this unit.
Each agent has been assigned their own desk and shift.
The owner of the empty desk has a shift before yours.
The owner of the desk with the picture, the agent on the third shift, and Agent Lowell are all different people.
Agent Anderson works the second shift.
The owner of the messy desk works a shift after the owner of the empty desk.
The person on the third shift owns the desk with either the bear or the picture.
The person on the second shift sits at the empty desk.”
Not much of a first day greeting. You dissect the note and try to determine where you’ve been assigned.