The Bastard Assistant Editor From Hell

#Internet

Mon, Sep 25th, 2000 03:00 by Lord Lansdowne ARTICLE

So I'm sitting at my job and my phone rings.
"Heeeello, ShaftCorp" goes I "How may I be of assistance?"

Which is kind of silly to answer the phone like that, since the only people that call me are my girlfriend and S.O.B.s from other departments that can't get their fat asses off their chair.

"Can you check a couple of the images for me?"

Ah. It's the new guy in marketing.

"'Cuz they don't come out right on the browser?" he goes.

"Sorry," I say very politely, "but it's not my department" and I rest my phone back into the cradle.
Actually, it might've been. But I've been at this job since January and I haven't been told what my position is yet. Oh well. With a 10mbps-fibre connection at my disposal, I have better things to do than to see his images.

While I surf the net and start checking out my favourite sites, and making a mental note to redirect my calls to reception, one of the news guys starts to call my name. I don't answer, despite the fact that I can hear perfectly, mostly because I don't like him.

On the list of people that I do not like, he's at the very bottom; with about half-a-dozen spaces in between him and the second last guy.

My excuse for not answering are the headphones I'm wearing, playing a large stash of stolen Mp3 songs. He keeps calling my name, hoping he doesn't have to get up, until finally, tired of screaming my name out loud to the point the people on the fourth floor can hear him, he taps me on the shoulder.

"Yes?" I chirp with the biggest smile ever, on my face.

"I need you to take these boxes and scan them, together with this flier, ASAP".

No please, no nothing. Now I'm hurt.

"Sure thing B.!" I say "but first, if it's okay with you, I have to finish rewriting the routing table partition to reflect the new changes that we've encurred after the upgrade to Windows 2000, since the old OCDB system was causing fault protection errors and we were getting runtime issues do to it".

Or something like that.

Unable to answer B. just gives me this blank look.

"Oh"

The kind of remark you make when someone shoved something long and large, up your rectum and you weren't expecting it.

"O-Okay" he goes "maybe later, let me know"

"Will do!" I say happily.

Suckers. One born every minute. Besides, it seems there is only one scanner in this entire office, and the woman that sits next to it has the reputation of eating fresh testicles for lunch, when asked to use it. Well, not with me of course, but nobody needs to know that.

I go back into my ultra-comfortable chair, specifically stolen from someone else and go back to what I was doing. An e-mail arrives, but on the corporate account I am assigned. Not to worry! Fortunately it auto-replies to all things sent with an automated message:

One or more of the following may apply to your message:
a) Don't know
b) Don't care
c) Not my department
d) All of the above

It saves me so much time in the morning reading my mail, which I spend instead, drinking coffee and talking to the pretty receptionist, listening to her newly discovered FedEx skills.

Of course on occasions I get someone coming up to me and asking me why certain things haven't been done. "Did you not get my e-mail?" they scream, with bits of saliva flying in my general direction and their awful bad breath.

"Of course, did you not get my reply?" and they run back to check their Outlook program, assuming it has managed not to crash in the past five minutes or caught yet another virus. They'll never find the reply they are looking for and this buys me a good hour until an early lunch.

Perhaps I should finish my RRP program (Random Response Program) and have it create a reply based on the words of the received message.

Meanwhile something else went wrong with a new article posted, the database buggered up and Windows 2000 comes up with yet another bug... er... feature. Upgrading to Win2000 was great, since it causes the server to screw up constantly, and I'm kindly begged to fix it.

This has caused me to become totally indispensable for the company, and while it has the downside that I can't take a day off, it means job security (through obscurity).

So off I go to spend an obscene amount of time in the server room chatting on IRC on the corporate mail server. I give all the priority to the IRC program, causing everyone to get mails with incredible delays. But hey, I hate lag when I chat.

For anyone that looks at me through the windows of the server room, it gives the impression I am hard at work, since they can't see the screen and only qualified people are allowed in the room. I don't even remember how I managed to become 'qualified' to obtain that access, since I'm no sys-administrator, but it may have had to do with some black-mailing to the IT general manager a while ago due to those photos I found in the digital camera...

After a while, when I get tired of chatting online, I remove my mail account from all the internal mailing lists, thus reducing the insane amount of corporate propaganda arriving to my box. It also means that messages sent to the entire department, about some new task, never arrive to me. Fortunately if they come around to figure this out, the fault will be shifted to one of the poor S.O.B.s in the IT department whose in charge of the mail server.

Before exiting the server room, I hit the reset button on the database server, and suddenly, everything works fine.

"Does it work now?" I ask, trying to look weary from all the hard work and wiping non-existing sweat from my forehead.

"Yes! Thanks!" screams one, overjoyed his work was not lost. "What was wrong?" enquires another.

"Oh, nothing, just the [insert weird computer jargon here] and I had to fix it by [insert weird computer jargon here]"

"Of course!" says one, having no clue what I just said.

Ironically, neither did I.

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