austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

I must be a hundred and nine

Location: an office. An open door is in the wall. A desk with computer is perpendicular the open door. Programmer is at the desk, typing. After a pause enters IT Person.

IT: Don't mind us.

[ Programmer types without noticing. ]

IT: I said not to mind us.

[ Programmer continues. ]

IT: Hey! [ Programmer looks up. ] I said don't mind us. [ IT Person exits. Programmer sits a few seconds, then stands partway. ]

Programmer: [ To the door ] And if you come back you'll get more of the same! ... [ To self ] Not enough of you to be an us.

[ Programmer resumes typing. IT re-enters, putting a bucket of spackle on the floor almost out of sight of the seated Programmer. Programmer leans forward, standing up just enough to see. ]

IT: Yes?

Programmer: What is that?

IT: Spackle! It's a way of making a room look like it's spackled.

Programmer: Yes, but why is it here, now?

IT: Don't mind us. [ IT ducks out. Programmer sits back and types, hesitantly, before looking at the empty door. ]

Programmer: You still haven't managed 'us'. You want 'me'. [ Programmer grimaces, realizing '... in the worst way' is coming. It does not. ]

Programmer: Can't count anything ...

[ Client Relations person and Inspector enter. ]

Inspector: [ To Relations ] Are there any sensors here?

Relations: [ To Programmer ] Sensors?

Inspector: [ To Relations ] You know, heat, smoke, motion, anything?

Relations: [ To Programmer ] Any, like, fire detectors?

Programmer: I ... don't think so ...

[ Relations and Inspector leave. ]

Programmer: Ought I just set myself on fire, then? [ Several seconds pass. ] Have to do everything myself.

[ IT enters. ]

Programmer: Why should I have a bucket of spackle in my office now?

IT: Don't worry, you don't have to pay for it.

Programmer: I had worried about running out of spackle in my lifetime.

IT: You know which electric outlets don't work in here?

Programmer: There's electrical outlets not working?

IT: You have stuff not plugged into them for some reason, right?

Programmer: That's what the spackle's for? Covering up dead outlets? I'm losing electric plugs I don't use?

IT: If you don't know, fine.

[ IT exits. ]

Programmer: I'm not threatened by you leaving spackle in my care!

</m> [ Relations and Inspector enter. Inspector has a post-it style note with '0' on it. Inspector gives it to Relations, who sets it on the door. ] </em>

Programmer: That's not reinforcing my self-esteem.

Inspector: It's so we know when we look here later.

Relations: That's just so they know what to look for.

Programmer: When they look here later they won't lose time looking for the smoke detector that isn't here.

Inspector: That's right.

Relations: Yeah.

Programmer: I have a closet. I don't know what's in there. I just put the plastic bags in there when they set off the bug bombs.

Inspector: Why put plastic bags in the closet?

Relations: Why did you put them in the closet?

Programmer: I didn't want them ... in the way.

Inspector: Anything in the closet?

Relations: Are there any sensors in the closet?

Programmer: I don't know. Am I getting sensors or just losing electrical outlets?

Relations: What's got anything to do with outlets?

Programmer: I think that's what the spackle is for.

Inspector: I wouldn't do that with spackle.

Relations: That probably won't pass inspection.

[ IT enters. ]

IT: What won't pass?

Programmer: Spackling over my electricity.

IT: No, we'd use oily rags for that.

Relations: What did you think we were doing?

Inspector: I thought this was the air conditioner?

Relations: It's about the air conditioning.

IT: We'll figure out why it keeps turning off.

Programmer: I turn it off. It's freezing.

Relations: There's your problem. You need to keep it on or it warms up.

Programmer: I need it warmer. I get ice cubes in my hot coffee.

Inspector: Ought to drink it faster.

Relations: You should drink it before it freezes.

IT: You should leave it on. Then it won't have to make it so cold in here. Besides, it's already paid for.

Programmer: Why the spackle then?

IT: I dunno. Don't worry. It won't spoil.

[ IT, Relations, and Inspector exit. Programmer waits long enough for it to feel wrong. ]

Programmer: [ To spackle ] I bet a proper spackle depository gets sensors.

Trivia: As late as 1903 almost half the states in the United States limited the duration of corporate charters to between 20 and 50 years. Source: The Company: A Short History Of A Revolutionary Idea, John Micklethwait, Adrian Wooldridge.

Currently Reading: The Big Switch: Rewiring The World, From Edison To Google, Nicholas Carr.


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