Author Topic: An Error Has Occurred!  (Read 49168 times)

LMNO

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Re: Surprise Me Eris! A 30 Day Experiment in FAITH.
« Reply #420 on: March 22, 2010, 02:27:09 pm »
Good point.  I better wear brown pants that day.

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Re: Surprise Me Eris! A 30 Day Experiment in FAITH.
« Reply #421 on: March 23, 2010, 01:18:15 pm »
Day 18:

"So, we'll table this and take it off line to brainstorm some solutions that have impact on the metrics."

I hate that kind of language, but I have to admit that there's a skill to it.  You have to run that fine line between sounding professional and spinning a complete load of bullshit.  Most people can't do it without sounding like complete tools, but it seems like everyone has to do it sooner or later in this job.  I've come to the conclusion that everyone knows how ridiculous it sounds, but not everyone knows why it needs to be done.  A lot of my co-workers just parrot the phrases that get hurled at them, but they aren't just learned affectations, because no one uses them during normal communication.  They are signifier words that are used during SNAFU Principle situations.

The SNAFU Principle, as a quick reminder, is the idea that communication can only occur between equals.  The greater a power difference appears between two people, the more difficult it is to exchange accurate information.   So, because normal communication cannot happen easily in a power structure like the one I work in, a stilted and awkward form of speech is used to signify the difference in status, and the recognition that official communication is now occurring.  In this way, the party higher up says, "this is serious official stuff and not fluff, so pay attention," while the lower party says, "I know you don't usually listen to me, but this is vital to the task at hand."  In both cases, the prevalent message is, "I consider this message important enough to alter my language use."  But like I said, some people overuse it, and misuse it, and make me want to shoot myself.

I gathered up the various papers passed my way during the meeting with a smirk of wry amusement, and headed for the conference room door, where I almost ran headfirst into Amanda.  She was a short, blonde, busty woman who was perky in ways that seemed almost sinister.  She was one of those people who honestly seemed to like their job, regardless of what it was.  She could spend the whole day alphabetizing a file drawer, and still have a chipper grin plastered to her face.  I wasn't sure if it was something to be respected for not succumbing to the tedium, pitied because they drank the kool-aid, or feared for their relentless cheer.

"Are you going to be at the Wii bowling tournament for lunch today?"  She looked as if she was honestly curious, but at the same time it sounded like more of a command than a question.  Amanda was on the "Fun Committee," and aspect of corporate life that annoyed me almost more than the job itself.  The concept was that we, the employees, should enjoy ourselves at work more.  Well, yeah.  However, we, the employees, are obviously unable to judge for ourselves what we would enjoy.  So, in order to avoid any gaffes or faux pas made during the pursuit of entertainment, a Committee was formed to give us our Fun.  So we get cookie sales, theme days, and the kind of Wii tournaments usually found in rest homes.  I have taken to calling them "The Ministry of Fun™" which really does amuse me, since no one has caught on the fact I'm parodying  1984, not Monty Python.  I mumbled something about being really busy with the caseload and hurried down the hall.  She called out behind me, "The winner gets a five dollar coupon for the cafeteria!" and I ducked into a supply room. 

It was a little dim in there.  The overhead light was out, and the small window high on the opposite wall was prevented from letting in most of the daylight because of the building next door.  The shelves were stacked high with reams of paper, toner cartridges, boxes of staples, and cocoons.  Cocoons?  Lined up in a neat row were a series of tightly woven bundles about three feet high and roughly oval.  I stepped closer in the dim light, and saw there were more stashed behind a stack of manila folders and crates of rubber bands.  And behind a shelf that stored an army of three-ring binders, I could see that a hole had been chewed into the wall.  A fairly large hole.  I took another step closer, and crouched next to one of the cocoons, keeping one eye on the hole.  Up close, the cocoon was an irregular shape, and the threads that wrapped around looked like glistening silk.  I grabbed a Papermate pen from a half-opened box, and gently poked it.  The tip slid through the threads easily, and then hit something soft.  I tried to push some of the silk out of the way, and it was sticky to the touch.  Then the thing twitched, and I saw something glint in the gap I had just made.  Something gold.  Like a wedding ring.  I backed away quickly, dropping the pen, wiping my hand on my pants, and I heard a skittering sound coming from the large hole in the wall.  A large skittering.  Large enough to make that hole, to be sure.  I made a dash for the door, quickly closing it behind me. 

"You know, if you need more supplies, you should really ask Barbara.  She knows where everything is.  See you at lunchtime?"  Amanda gave me a cheerful wink, and strode off, back to her desk.  After a pause, I headed towards the bathroom to get the residue off my hands, wondering what everyone will say when I tell them that I've never played on a Wii before.

Jenne

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Re: Surprise Me Eris! A 30 Day Experiment in FAITH.
« Reply #422 on: March 23, 2010, 06:10:52 pm »
...Amanda seems like Tracy Flick in "Election"--Reese Witherspoon's portrayal of an overly-perky blonde who fucks everyone over for the sake of her pert ambitions.

Lovely work, LMNO...well, "lovely" isn't the exact word.  Horrifying, thrilling and nightmare-enducing are more correct.  But damn, boy, you can write.

NotPublished

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Re: Surprise Me Eris! A 30 Day Experiment in FAITH.
« Reply #423 on: March 23, 2010, 08:41:22 pm »
LMNO I love your writings! And I love you!

I woke up at 3:33 then went back to bed annoyed and promplty had dreams about Snakes having a Tea Party .. The horrible horrible snakes wore top hats.
In Soviet Russia, sins died for Jesus.

Jasper

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Re: Surprise Me Eris! A 30 Day Experiment in FAITH.
« Reply #424 on: March 23, 2010, 11:43:44 pm »
HST meets HPL, ITT. 

Also, acronyms.

:mittens:

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Re: Surprise Me Eris! A 30 Day Experiment in FAITH.
« Reply #425 on: March 24, 2010, 02:13:47 am »
LMNO.

I have no words.

Except,

this is one fucked up monkey ride you have going.
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Re: Surprise Me Eris! A 30 Day Experiment in FAITH.
« Reply #426 on: March 24, 2010, 08:11:58 am »
Incredible stuff, LMNO. Your use of foreshadowing is flawless.
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LMNO

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Re: Surprise Me Eris! A 30 Day Experiment in FAITH.
« Reply #427 on: March 24, 2010, 01:24:59 pm »
Day 19:

There's been a lot said about what gets you out of bed in the morning.  That first moment where something wakes you up against your will (for those out there who wake up whenever you damn well please and feel smug about it, just wait.  Your time will come), what is it that puts your feet on the ground, and pulls your head up?  Usually these questions are phrased in order to get you thinking about big picture things, and have answers like "my kids," "the rent," "because I love my job" (note: that last one is rare), or something bigger than you, which is fine.  Of course, once you get to work, you hit your rhythm (or you spend the day trying to find it).  But the thing is: Between the motivation that gets you out of bed, and the motivation that keeps you from walking out of your job, there is a period of time where you're in transit.  Between the bed and the desk.  How long does that initial motivation last, and where is the transition between the two?

Sitting on the morning train, I looked around at my fellow commuters, watching for that transition.  Some had already made it, might have made it from the moment they walked out the front door.  They were checking their Blackberries, knuckles white around the handles of their briefcases, first at the doors as they slid open.  I was more the kind of person that didn't really deal with it until I was actually in the office.  I stowed my book in the front pocket of my shoulder bag, and followed the rest of the crowd off the train, and out into the street, and into what's become a familiar commotion.

The streets in the Financial District are a little tight.  Though there was an expressway that barreled through the heart of the city, the surface streets were originally designed in an era where the phrase "ridiculously huge car" didn't exist, and so weren't quite able to handle the slow crawl of Escalades, Hummers, and Durangos that tried to make their way to one of the few parking spots available in the Downtown area.  Add to this the inevitable selfishness of a driver who doesn't actually want to be going to work, combined with a severe lack of coffee, and you get double-parking temporary roadblocks scattered throughout the city.  Because of all this, the air was filled with a choir of car horns, as if no one was aware that stopping your Chrysler Hemi in the middle of a one-lane street that led to one of the only downtown access ramps for the expressway to rush inside a 7-11 to get a pack of cigarettes was, in fact, rude.  The guy in the car right behind it, a small Civic, was particularly incensed.  A small guy, to be sure, but his face was almost purple with rage, and even with the windows rolled up, you could hear him bellowing curses at the truck blocking his way. 

When the Chrysler driver came out with his smokes, it got even worse.  Civic grabbed the wheel and started rocking back and forth, shaking the entire car.  This caught Hemi's eye, along with the half-dozen gestures Civic was throwing his way.  Hemi turned and walked towards Civic, and I could tell this would probably not end well.  Hemi was a big guy, and from his paint-splattered brown pants and tattered flannel shirt, probably worked construction at one of the many sites around town that were in a constant cycle of demolition and rebuilding.  Scowling, he bent at the waist next to Civic's window, and tapped on the glass.  "You got a problem?"

The window exploded outwards, as Civic's hand burst through the glass and grabbed Hemi by the throat.  I could hear him clearly now, his voice rising above the horns.  "THERE-IS-NO-TIME-NO-SPACE-NO-MOVEMENT!"  Civic yanked his hand back, still clutched around Hemi's neck, driving his face into the top of the car door, smashing his nose flat.  Hemi stumbled backwards, one hand to his face as blood flowed from his nose, down his chin.  Civic thrust himself through the window and pulled himself out of the car, rather than simply opening the door.  He dropped to the street, the sprang up, catching Hemi straight in the chest with his left shoulder and sent him stumbling back about three feet against the side of the building.  Another leap, and Civic had Hemi's head between his hands, and proceeded to smash it against the wall.

"NO-END-NOT-DONE-NO-EXIT-NEVER-DONE-CAN'T-STOP-DON'T-END-NO-NEVER-DONE-EXIT-CAN'T-END-DON'T-" He kept chanting in time to his pounding.  A widening splotch of red blossomed on the wall, and Hemi's head got softer as the skull cracked and pulped under Civic's hands.  Civic then began to jam his knee into Hemi's crotch, screaming, "SHE-WON'T-LET-ME-GO-SHE-WON'T-SHE-WON'T-SHE-WON'T-LET-GO--"  He paused, and looked around.  He let go of Hemi, who slid down the wall, a smear of blood and hair tracking his progress.  The rage in Civic's eyes cleared, though it didn't look like it was replaced by clarity.  He stared off into the distance, slightly above the horizon.  "She stopped," he muttered to himself, and then took off in a sprint towards the expressway access ramp.  Without a single look back at the body on the sidewalk, and without hesitation, he vaulted over the barrier and dropped out of sight, and twenty feet straight down onto the expressway. 

Well, not exactly onto the expressway.  On the news later, it was said that he dropped onto a car going about 70 mph, which killed him instantly and also caused a thirteen-car pileup and shutdown traffic into the downtown area for the rest of the day, as emergency crews tried to clean everything up.  You know, there's a reason I take the train into work.

Doktor Howl

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Re: Surprise Me Eris! A 30 Day Experiment in FAITH.
« Reply #428 on: March 24, 2010, 02:10:51 pm »
I've been there.

LMNO

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Re: Surprise Me Eris! A 30 Day Experiment in FAITH.
« Reply #429 on: March 24, 2010, 02:13:45 pm »
To be honest, I can't really blame him. 



He was driving a Civic, for fuck's sake.  That would send anyone over the edge.

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Re: Surprise Me Eris! A 30 Day Experiment in FAITH.
« Reply #430 on: March 24, 2010, 06:49:28 pm »
SOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOD


LMNO

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Re: Surprise Me Eris! A 30 Day Experiment in FAITH.
« Reply #431 on: March 25, 2010, 01:06:51 pm »
Day 20:

The virtual stack of files was getting to be too much.  Pixels on the screen have a weight, when you know what's behind them.  A list of eight-number strings looks innocuous, until you know that each string contains twenty minutes of work.  So when you check your "inbox" and the mainframe comes back with a screen filled with numbers, it's like the ceiling just shrank, and the entire building is resting on your shoulders. 

So I took a break.  And by "break", I mean I headed off to lunch.  At a bar.  Would you think less of me that I ordered a beer with my burger?  I mean, that does violate at least two social norms: Drinking Alone, and Drinking At Work.  At least one will get you fired, too.  Technically.  But that magical word, "productivity", once again makes an appearance, and saves the day.  So I thought of my numbers that week, and had no problem ordering a pint, and opening up my book.

Who reads at a bar?  I do.  I'm usually not that interested in Sportscenter or Bloomberg, especially without volume or closed captioning.  And since I'm alone, I do what comes naturally.  I read.  This is one of the reasons I usually score as an "Introvert" on Myers-Briggs.  It's not like I can't engage and get all social with strangers and friends, it's just that my default setting is to be by myself.  Some people are surprised at this, because they see me as friendly and outgoing.  And I suppose I am… when I have to deal with people.  But if I don't have to deal with them, I'd much rather they left me alone, so I can read.

The guy next to me didn't seem to feel the same way.  He had a plate of steak tips and fries in front of him, along with a bottle of beer and a shot of whiskey.  He was dressed neatly enough, a blue button-down shirt with sleeves rolled up, khaki pants, loafers.  But he was violating one more social norm than I was.  He was Drinking Alone, Drinking At Work, but more importantly, he was Drunk.  He was also looking around, trying to find someone to latch onto and talk with.  He tried flirting with the bartender a few times, but she had that learned skill of the polite brush-off.  So he leaned over to me and asked, "Hey… what'cha reading?"

"Um… Well, it's called The Mass Psychology of Fascism."  As usual, this got me one of "those" looks.  The kind that size you up as some sort of intellectual elitist, probably gay, possibly dangerous in a tearing-at-the-fabric-of-our-society kind of way.

"You're reading that for fun?"

"Sort of, yeah."

"Whas' it about?"

"It's about why Russian Communism failed, and why Post World War One Germany turned to National Socialism and Nazis."

"…Because they didn't believe in Christ." 

Oh, boy.  That's my signal to stop talking about it.  "Well… it's a little more complicated than that.  There's a lot of technical stuff."

"It's all goin' to Hell, isn't it?"

"What's that?"

"All of it."  He gestured at the bar around him, possibly at the entire world.  "Everything.  Goin' to Hell.  Can't escape it."

"No escape.  You sure about that?"

"SURE, I'm sure."  He grabbed his fork, jammed it into a lump of steak.  "Stands to reason.  Nothing can last.  It all just… Falls apart."  He chewed on a bit of cartilage, and fell silent.

"Sure, it falls apart.  But that's why you wear a helmet."

"No, no helmets.  You jus'…"  He grabbed the beer, took a swig. "…let it happen to you.  Nothin' you can do about it." Grabbed the fork again, twirled it in the air.  "Iss like…"

"Can't you just take the pieces and build something else?"

He rested one arm against the bar, leaned towards me, and said, "Who's gonna help you?  Ev'ryone, out for themselves.  'S not fair, you know.  You look like you work hard, you know what I mean."

"But I don't work hard just to work.  I work hard so I can leave work, and do something else."

"But you hav' to come in th' next day, and do it all over again.  Iss like, iss like this," as he jabbed his fork back down into his steak.  Wait.  That wasn't his steak.  That was his arm.  I flinched at the site of the tines sticking out of his forearm, but he didn't.  "Like this," he repeated, as he twisted the fork, tearing a small hunk of flesh off and jamming it in his mouth.  "See?"

"Hey, you… you…" I trailed off as he jabbed his fork into the same place, digging deeper.  His fingers twitched as he hit some sort of tendon or muscle, and rivulets of blood dripped out onto the bar.  His other hand pulled, trying to twirl the fork around, ripping deeper, and then jamming it back into his mouth.  His teeth were stained red as he glared at me. 

"Thass all you need to know 'bout that," he declared, and jammed the fork back into his arm and working it between his radius and his ulna.  He hit some sort of vein, because dark blood was pulsing out of the wound and soaking into his pants, and large drops had splashed onto his shirt.  He looked down at the fork protruding from his arm, and back at me.  "Gotta go," he said, throwing some bills on the bar and standing up shakily from his seat.  I watched him walk out the door, a trail of blood following him.  I was pretty sure no one at work would notice if I ordered another beer.  Somewhere else, maybe.

LMNO

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Re: Surprise Me Eris! A 30 Day Experiment in FAITH.
« Reply #432 on: March 26, 2010, 12:03:43 pm »
Day 21:

...Let me get back to you.

Doktor Howl

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Re: Surprise Me Eris! A 30 Day Experiment in FAITH.
« Reply #433 on: March 26, 2010, 04:12:19 pm »
Day 21:

...Let me get back to you.

:crankey:

LMNO

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Re: Surprise Me Eris! A 30 Day Experiment in FAITH.
« Reply #434 on: March 26, 2010, 04:18:31 pm »
I've kind of hit a wall.  I need some brain juice.