Talent transfer

By Varda One

Pass it along.

       It was an unusually busy day at TT, Inc. Ms. Carter sat facing her latest client, Reggie, and checked his application.
     “The bottom line, Ms. Carter, is that I’m tongue-tied around women.”
     She took a good look at the handsome, well-dressed man seated before her. “You seem to have had no trouble talking to me.”
     Reggie shrugged. “This is business. Romance is something else.”
     “How long do you want your talent transfer?”
     He pulled out a cruise folder and handed it to her. “Two weeks. If I don’t get it, I’ll just be throwing away my money. I’ll sit in my cabin and read like I did the last time.”
     “Well, we don’t want that.” Ms. Carter entered Reggie’s talents in her data base. It was hard to believe Reggie would have a problem. Good-looking guy and a shortage of men on cruises. Still, he knew his needs best. She searched for a match. “You’re in luck. Here’s a man who is loaded with charm. Women run after him. He’s going on an all-male safari for the next two weeks to escape them.”
     Reggie grinned. “Perfect. I’m willing to make this a straight cash deal but I’d prefer barter. Are there any of my talents he could use?”
     “I said you were in luck. During his trip your transferee is meeting powerful men. He needs business savvy, the ability to juggle figures in his head, and to quickly spot a con. According to your application, you fit the bill.”
     He nodded. He had built an international head-hunting firm on just those talents.
     “That’s fifteen percent commission.”
     He calculated the cost. “You’ve got a neat operation. You get it from both parties.” After he paid, Ms. Carter gave him two slips of paper. “First, go to Aura Blend.”
     “Why is that necessary?”
     “To calibrate the proper intensity of this Casanova’s vibrations. If we send you too much, you won’t be able to handle it. After that’s logged, go to the Transfer Room. Your counterpart will be standing by. I’ll have faxed your info to both stations before you get there.”
     They shook hands. “You’re right. I am lucky,” said Reggie. “Years ago guys like me didn’t have a chance.”
     “Have a great cruise.”
     Ms. Carter felt great as she always did when she was able to make a match.
     Her next client was a writer named Yola who had a houseful of material, but had published very little. “I have novels in my closets, poetry in dresser drawers, short stories in file cabinets, and articles on the floor. I just don’t know how to market it and I haven’t been able to find an agent.”
     “You stated you want the ability to promote yourself.”
     “Yes, I’m going to the Kanduvian Writer’s Conference in June. That’s a good opportunity to meet agents and publishers. Do you have anyone who knows how to sell themselves as a writer?”
     “We have several very successful authors.”
     Yola looked puzzled. “Why would they register with TT if they have all the money they need?”
     “For some people there’s never enough. Or they’re having cash-flow problems.”
     “But what can I offer in exchange? Oh, oh, there I go, downing myself.”
     “We’ll see. Everyone has some talents they don’t use or don’t need at a crucial time. You’ve listed lots of them. Let me check.” Ms. Carter fed in Yola’s data and came up with several matches. “We’ll have to do a fractionation. You need one week of self-promotional ability for the Conference. We’ll take seven celebrity authors and give them each one day of your talents.”
     “How would that work?”
     “We can coordinate the exact days later, but let’s say that we trade your ability to remember phone numbers on Monday. Can you do without that?”
     “Sure. I could just write them down like normal people.”
     “Fine, because I have a spy who needs that talent for one mission. Then on Tuesday, I could trade your puzzle-solving ability with a woman who wants to enter a contest.”
     Yola smiled. She always knew she had talents, but aside from using them herself, she had never seen any practical value for them. What a wonderful boon talent transfer was!
     “On Wednesday, you say you’ll be mostly socializing, not organizing. I have a writer whose paperwork is a mess and who needs your ability to organize. He can schedule his office cleanup for that day. On Thursday, I have a similar case. Poor guy, can’t throw anything out.”
     “At the Conference I’ll be collecting things, not throwing anything away.”
     “Precisely.” This tailoring of abilities to needs was what kept Ms. Carter enthused about her job. Of course, the employees’ first crack at the data base for their own use was a big perk too.
     “Friday I have a writer who’s visiting a city and could use your abilities to find free entertainment. I don’t know why, but that’s not your issue.”
     Yola checked her calendar. “I’ll be in back-to-back sessions and that talent will go unused.”
     “We’re almost through the week. On Saturday we can track down your color sense to a writer who’s color-blind. He plans to buy clothes and visit an art gallery. And on Sunday I’ll exchange your ticklishness and punning ability to another author.”
     Yola couldn’t believe that her ticklishness had commercial value. Then she recalled TT’s slogan: What you’re not using, someone else can. How great that she lived in an age when lack of talent didn’t have to prevent you from realizing your heart’s desires.
     “Knock ‘em dead at the conference,” said Ms. Carter as she handed Yola the two routing slips.