I'm driving to work and I'm stuck behind this old guy, the classic slow driver from hell, whose car red-lines at 20 mph and can't take corners at more than 5. I honk my horn but his hearing aid's probably turned way down to "whisper", so I'm stuck.
I make a mental note of his license plate. In fact, I did that 60 times a minute for 15 and a half minutes. Oh dear.. oh dear.... Looks like another call to the DMV Database to register a vehicle as stolen by out of town arms dealers...
I get to work, flick the excuse page over. "ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION FROM SATTELLITE DEBRIS". Fair enough, it looks like it's going to be a good day.
I log into "FUCKYOU", (the help-desk enquiries username) and go into mail. There's 3 new messages, the first of which is 117 lines long, so it's obviously a storyteller. Shit, I hate that. Instead of saying "My account needs more disk space" they tell you about how they're doing this bit of research for a lecturer and how it's got to be in yesterday, and they almost had it but their second cousing twice removed had a perforated herpes scab and lost a lot of blood and had to be rushed into hospital... etc etc. I delete the message.
Second message I read, but it's one of those people who can't handle the mail interface and send a null message, so all you get is headers. I reply to the message saying "No worries, we can do that by next tuesday". Hope it was important.
The last message I leave for tommorrow, because Saturday would be a dull day if I ever had to work then.
The phone rings. I thought I'd fixed that!
I put it on hands free so I can slop some pizza into the microwave.
"Yes" I call
"Something's wrong with my Boot disk, I can't login to the server"
"Have you got your disk with you?"
I go get the disk and put it and the pizza in for 5 minutes on "ULTRA-NUKE".
Six minutes later, he rings back.
"It still doesn't work, and now my disk makes a funny noise and smells."
"OH SHIT! It's that electromagnetic radiation from satellite debris again!"
"Really? I think I heard about that!" (What a tool!)
"Yep, I'm sorry, you'll have to buy another disk"
"Oh, that's ok, I don't mind, the old one was getting worn. Thanks"
"Sure, no worries. And be sure to run it through our virus checker FDISK when you get a lot of important data on it..."
"I will! Thanks!"
"That's Ok - it's my job!"
Xcbzone is running really slow so I kill off a whole lot of database backends that seem to be hogging all the cpu and get back into my game. Much better.
It isn't easy on the frontline, work work work...
I go to the cafeteria for a quick 2 hour snack - they're so nice to me there. They always have been, ever since that computer glitch that registered their kitchen as an organ recipient - very messy. I grab a couple of cans of coke and some cheese things and cruise on back to the office via the first year computer funamentals lab. I look in the window on the scene that unfolds it- self to me - a lab full of first years with no demonstrator.
WELL I'LL JUST HAVE TO HELP!
I walk on in.
"Right, I'm your temporary replacement demonstrator and today we're going to put our assignments aside for half an hour to learn about the REMARK function, or, as it's known to the computer literate world, rm.."
I should have been a teacher you know - I've got this way with people... ...
[email protected] (Simon Travaglia)