It was growing hard not to take it personally. Of course, being unable to get inside the office on a Monday morning does that to a gal.
Oh, I stood in the parking lot, jiggling my key in the lock. The light drizzle which inevitably mists down when locks stick...
Or packages are heavy...
Or you've had six cups of coffee...
...was there and drizzling. Lightly. Right on cue.
Closer investigation proved-- it wasn't that the key wouldn't fit in the lock. It was that it fit too well. It spun. Why, that key went round and round in that lock like Linda Blair's head in The Exorcist. Only the key didn't vomit.
Thank goodness for small favors, I suppose. There'd have been metal filings everywhere.
Now my coworkers' cars were in the parking lot.
And since my colleagues weren't all standing outside with me, their hair plastered to their heads in the rain and cursing... well, it was fairly safe to deduce the lock had been working at some point.
Or they brought their jetpacks, ziplines and grappling hooks. Whereas, I had left mine at home.
Finally, a whack on the door handle-- well-known to be the proper way of fixing any and all delicate instrumentation-- and the lock clicked into place and gave way.
I stalked inside to my office twenty minutes late, dropped into my chair, turned on my computer, entered my username and password, hit Return and...
The computer cursor blinked at me blankly. You? Who are you?
"You know me," I pleaded. "My hair is just wet."
Blink... Blink... Never seen you before. And please, don't drip on my keyboard.
That's when I thought, maybe I typed in the wrong username...? Er, no.
The wrong spelling?... Nada.
Well, um, CAPS lock...? Nien!
So, did I forget the right password...?
And here, puppies grew into dogs and got old and died as I hearkened back to every password I'd had since my seventh grade locker combination.
Move along, kid, ya bother me, the computer said.
"You've been talking to the gate downstairs, haven't you?"
It didn't dignify that with a response.
Now I don't consider myself to be a particularly paranoid person. But after not being able to get into the building, and then not being able to connect to the network, I was starting to wonder if this was an extremely passive-aggressive way of saying I wouldn't be collecting a paycheck anymore.
After all, I've seen Office Space 37 times.
On my way downstairs for tech help, I passed one of my supervisors in the hallway. "Heyhowyadoin?" I greeted, feeling the situation out.
I figured it was the perfect opportunity for him to pause and say, "Wait a minute! How'd you get in here? We'd changed the locks and altered your network access and everything. Writer, go home!"
Paranoia is a stinky perfume.
Fortunately, the standard "finehowareyou?" wafted it away pretty quickly.
And soon, our elite squad of Tech Ninjas was on the job. Profiles were examined, servers were rebooted, connections were remade...
"Try it now."
This time, as I entered my username and password, golden beams of light shot down from the sky. A chorus of angels sang the Mac start-up chord! And my computer-- which had pressed a heavy boot to my forehead and shoved, just hours before-- reached out and embraced me like a loving grandmother.
Until the next time I powered down and restarted my machine.
The Tech Ninjas were perplexed. It became a three Tech Ninja job.
So the Tech Ninja Triumverate recreated my user profile. They used electronic nunchaku on willful access scripts. They fought valiantly against Mac-PC incompatibilities in the technical treetops on wires. And when I came in to work the next day, a Post-it made of bamboo pulp was tacked to my machine which read...
"All should be well."
-Tech Ninja Master
I pressed the "On" button with a hesitant finger. The computer started up. The login box appeared. And again--- beams of light, angels, yadda, yadda, whathaveyou...
Fast forward to yesterday morning. I still have the "All should be well" Post-it, on my computer. It has become my security blanket for challenging client days. Sort of the equivalent of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy's "Don't Panic."
But this day, the Post-it lies. Again I am unable to log-in. And as the Tech Ninja Master meditates on this, his most complex of techno-existential problems, an idea strikes. "No. It cannot be."
Do you want to know what was wrong this time? Do you want to know why I came in at 7:30am but couldn't actually get anything done until 8:30 because the computer wouldn't let me in? Do you want to know why I was persona non grata with the network once more?
The time on the clock was four minutes off on my computer. And because of this, the server wouldn't recognize my machine. The clock. Fer pity's sake.
Those Tech Ninjas... they sure do earn their keep.
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