21st Century Cosmodemonic

A jandal from the inside

Friday, March 31, 2006

Lackey's Life Line

It can be fun to randomly edit wikipedia pages. It can be fun to make them false, and then wait to see how long it takes someone to fix them. But ultimately what you are doing is becoming a pawn in someone else’s life. You see, some kid somewhere will be fooled, and get their homework wrong as a result of your meddling, and you will be nothing more than a footnote in the story of this kid’s life, when you should in fact be writing the story of your own, large, across the sky. So be careful, and only pick the most obscure of topics if you must indulge this habit.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Out of Control Barb Wire Marathon Ends

There I was just the other day, watching that all-time classic movie Barb Wire – you know the one – the same plot as Casablanca, but improving on it by adding tattoos, disabilities, Pam Anderson and Jake the Muss. Probably the Lacky’s favourite movie, because of it’s searing honesty and depth of emotion. Hell it’s at least as good as Casablanca anyway, I mean it’s the same bloody movie, so it’s gotta be goodish. And if that doesn’t convince you nothing will.

Anyway, there I was, sitting around idly watching Barb Wire, when my phone rang. It was my boss:

Lackey: Mmm..uuhh, hullo?
Boss: Lackey? Is that you? Are you sick? You sound asleep.
L: What? Who is this?
B: It’s Boss, Lackey. What are you doing at home? Apparently noone’s seen you for a week or more. What’s going on?
L: Jeez… are you even allowed to call me at home? Isn’t there a law or something? Can I take the fifth? Hey yeah, right to privacy, and you can’t stop me having an abortion either.
B: Lackey, you live in Australia. There’s no constitution here. Only commies have constitutions. What’s going on?
L: Umm… train strike?
B: What? Train strike? Oh… I heard something about that.
L: Oh, you did? I mean, oh yeah, you did.
B: How long’s it been going?
L: Um, about a week?
B: I see. Well, when’s it finishing?
L: Umm… hopefully tomorrow?
B: Right well good. Don’t be late, you must be running behind in whatever your tasks are by now.
L: Yes sir, don’t you worry I’m champing at the bit to get right back into it!
B: Very good son, very good.
L: Thank you sir, and don’t you worry about me, I’ll find a … you’re gone aren’t you. Dammit!

So tomorrow I better get off the couch and walk the half hour to work.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Lift Surge

Talking to Young Eddie the other day – he seems to have forgotten he hates me, ha! – I learnt something a little bit interesting. Cosmodemonic’s lift system is apparently derived from an old Soviet model, which itself was designed at a time when the Soviet bloc was starting to show signs of financial strain. Apparently the engineers needed to cut as many corners as they could, and so they made the elevators as stupid as they could, so they wouldn’t have to pay for smartness, which I think sometimes is referred to as memory or something like that. You know, ask someone else who also does IT for a living, they might be able to help you. I’m hungover.

Anyhow, the engineers designed it with so litle memory, that sometimes if there were a few jobs on the go at once, the thing would forget a floor altogether. So if it had to go up to 16, then down to 13 then down to ground, starting off at ground, it would freak out a bit, and, for instance, forget that levels seven and eight existed. Which was no big deal, except that it woulod freak out a whole lot more on the way up when it got to floor six, and then not immediately to floor nine. Since the elevator had forgotten about floors seven and eight, it would try extra hard to get to nine, since it thought it was late or losing its mind. This would result in sudden bursts of acceleration up to floor nine, and possibly in this example, on its way down again t would accelerate crazily between floor nine and floor six.

This tendency was not corrected when the elevator system was bought at a bargain basement price by Cosmodemonic from some guy from some guy in a Lada somewhere outside Kiev.

Young Eddie’s explanation actually consoled me for a while, since I had always thought the sudden surges were caused by a worn out rope, which would only be fixed once it broke. Until I realised that the effects there might not be too different to the elevator forgetting about the ground floor. Best not to think about it too much, I decided.

Mama Mia! What is that infernal racket?

I have a new hobby. I’m trying to learn Italian by having my alarm clock radio tuned to the local Italian radio station. It’s a slow process, and so far I’ve only learnt the words “Mario Lanza” and “Madonna” but once it kicks in I expect I’ll be waking up singing along to the Lord’s Prayer in Italian, which will freak out the yuppies next door.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Scratch and Win

Three people were decapitated by flying windows on their way to work this morning. Cosmodemonic has announced what they called a “Comprehensive Severence Package” for their families. Prizes include 21CCd memorabilia, such as t-shirts and mugs, vouchers for 21CCd services and products, and instant scratch and win lottery tickets.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Every cloud has a sliver lining

Just went outside, nearly got hit on the head by a window, it smashed right in front of me. The shards splashed out in all directions, but none of them hit me so I couldn't take any time off. I went to the sick room just in case I had post traumatic stress disorder, but Nurse Battleaxe took one look at me and scowled.

"Go away Lackey, we're trying to work here, " she said.
"But a window nearly hit me on the head, and I think I'm traumatised in my mind."
"For once I think you might be right. We've got five people in here who actually have been hit by glass, and you're traumatised. We don't have time. Go away."
"But if you could just let me talk to Cute Nu..."

She slammed the door in my face! Geez, the nerve of that woman. It nearly hit me in the nose.

So I came back here, to my desk. There are a few windows missing, some the whole pane is gone, some still have ragged shards of glass around the edges. The company has taken the opportunity to shut off the air conditioning.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Rotting from the outside in - so commonplace and yet so right

More windows fell off the building today. At first I thought the bump was a bird committing suicide, then there was another, and I thought how romantic, that was her lover. Then a memo went out alerting all staff that it was dangerous to go outside, so we should stay in and keep working. Again. Seems reasonable I guess. If you’re insane. They did say that if you do need to leave the building to go to the shops, you can take the back way, which leads to the weird alley full of broken things and broken people, and winds for about twenty minutes through the bowels of the building before you get to the outside world. And don’t remember you only have twenty nine and a half minutes for lunch. So I gave up on that, it wasn’t so bad. Sitting inside a building that’s falling apart seems to suit, sometimes.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

It’s not easy to work in an office filled with insanity.

It’s not easy to work in an office filled with insanity. People cower under their desks, others just sleep there, some scream and shout, some gibber. There’s those that sit with one hand jiggling in their pocket while they incessantly check the tennis websites, and those who just play games. Some ignore it all and chat casually with each other – it’s these lackeys I think will need the most therapy – and others wander around trying to encourage their co-workers to keep on striving and putting in 110%. Some watch at the windows when the jumpers go, others look away as though that won’t be them in ten more years of nothing new. There’s a pretty high turnover rate here at 21st Century Cosmodemonic, and I guess I can understand that.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Hunting Yuppies at IKEA

If you’re ever forced – probably by a vengeful girlfriend - to go to IKEA, follow this simple advice, and you should get through the experience with your spirit intact. And you’ll probably never be forced to IKEA by that girlfriend again. If she’s even still your girlfriend.

First off, this isn’t something to be rushed, you just evolve into it naturally. So you start out at IKEA in the standard way, following a winding path through a jungle of sad yuppie bedrooms and living rooms and rooms that aren’t always identifiable to the average lackey. A jungle over grown with throwrug and toddler undergrowth, a twisting turning path of death and decay and lost hopes and forgotten dreams. A jungle of floorlamp trees and cabinet foliage, where the cries of predators are heard over loudspeakers, echoing off bookshelf displays and kitchen displays and bathroom displays of dubious merit and taste.

Soon you discover, as all great hunters and warriors will, that the jungle is not an easy place to negotiate and survive. Your spirit is weakened in this environment – the constant drumming of three-year-olds on pots and pans, the air humid with yuppie bargain sensing sweat, the onstant meaningless chatter of your girlfriend’s friends (looking for something with character in a bulk buy warehouse), and this goddam path that seems to lead you in circles. You are unnerved, and you need a way to fight back. I’m telling you: You need a weapon.

Find a box of some sort that can be fashioned into a gun, or at least a gun-like box. Floorlamp boxes are particularly good for this. Get one that’s square, with a gun-barrel-like extension from one edge. Hopefully it’s big enough to rival Jesse Ventura’s gun from predator, but so long as you know what it is, that the main thing. Now, hoist your gun and stand broad across that damn path, ad the next yuppie that tries to make their way past you, blast them full on with all actions and gun noises necessary. They'll get out of your way. Shoot your girlfriend. Shoot her friends who she’s discussing colour schemes with right now. Shoot the goddam toddlers. Most importantly of all, shoot the goddam toddlers.

You’ll quickly find that your way has been cleared, and it is much easier to move swiftly to the exit, you’ll probably have your girl’s full cooperation in this endeavour as she realises that you are the alpha male and she should forgo comparing slightly different cutlery sets and follow you, for ancient evolutionary survival reasons. Don’t forget to shoot up the café on the way out, that’s important too. If for some reason your girlfriend is not cooperating, then you have a choice to make. You can blast your way out regardless, and leave her for evolutionarily dead. You can do that. I prefer to climb to the top of one of the storage shelving units, and sit atop the boxes like a primal jungle lord. I prefer then to level my gunsights at passing yuppies and snipe them, nay, smite them, from existence. If they don’t run when they hear your “Bang!” then yell at them that they’re dead. Once they understand the underlying truth, they’ll be crushed and die quickly:

“You’re dead!”
“What? I am? No I’m not, I seem to be perfectly alive, my pulse is… oh. I see. Metaphorically. Metaphorically, the strangely captivating man on the top of the shelves is already right.”
“Damn right I am.”
“Arrgh…”

Nothing better than telling it how it is. Immediate results. Pretty soon, your girlfriend will climb the mounting pile of corpses and apologise for being so slow, evolutionarily speaking, and beg you to take her home. You ought to take her and go, as by now you’ve made your point.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

New Contract

I was offered a new contract today. It was nice, really. My boss rang and said Lackey, “I’m tired of you being a glorified temp,” which was the point at which I realised that I’m a glorified temp.

“Lackey,” he continued, “Why don’t I have my law guy draft up a contract to get you proper contract with all the benefits, GBD’s, quarterly negotiations, all that jazz, what do you say?”
“Uh, sure boss, sounds great.” Of course my suspicions were already raised, since I don’t know what GBD stands for. “Just send it to me, and I’ll have a look at it.”
“Well it would really speed the process up if you could just fax your signature to me, and I’ll append it to the document once we’ve got it approved. How ‘bout it?”
“Look boss, I don’t really think it works that way with contracts… sounds weird.”
“Weird huh? Are you telling me that my business practices are flawed, you know I’ve written books on my business practices. And you have some sort of problem with them? What are you trying to say?”
“Uh, no – nothing, boss, I obviously have been misinformed, I’d love to fax you my signature right away… Oh, you know what, unfortunately, our fax machine is broken. Remember it broke at the end of last financial year, and the repair budget only covers things that occur this financial year. So it’s sort of just sitting there, actually, sometimes we use it as wickets.”
“So you can’t send a fax?”
“Nope, sorry.”
“Right, damn it. Well, look, that sort of ruins the surprise, but tell you what, how about I send a copy down to you. Just do me a favour, and don’t read it, just sign the last page and send it back to me. Okay? Can you do that for your old boss? Then it’ll still be a surprise for you when we unveil it. It’s important.”
“Um, sure boss. Okay. Will do.”

Funnily, when the contract arrived, I read it, and learned quite a lot about my boss’s mind. GBD = good behaviour day, which he can award me if I humiliate myself to his pleasure.

In the end I signed it. The conditions were a slight step up from my current ones.