Just Another Day at the Office, chapter 1


I woke up late for work again today.

Third time this month, and it was only the 4th. This was not going to go over well on my monthly review. Deadlines are slipping left and right, quotas are seldom being met at all before a new program replaces them. Every manager exhorting his minions with the old college try speech, 110% effort all around. Extra overtime is all but required. Unpaid, naturally. We can’t make ends meet if we don’t sacrifice for the corporation.

I crawl out of my sleeping pod, taking a moment to stretch my weary muscles. Fixing computers may not require as much grunt work and heavy lifting as some of the guys in the manufacturing division, but no one else has to worm their way into nooks and crannies like the IT guys. Even the janitors have long poles to push cleaning implements back where we seem to spend our entire day. Electricians have trained animals with remote mindlinks, sending them scampering along pulling cable; I hear some of the newest innovations get rid of the animal entirely in favor of robots, but the electricians are an odd lot. I doubt they’ll give up their companions for newer tech anytime on this side of the grave.

Anyways, yeah, I needed a stretch. I’d spent three hours contorted into a corner where someone thought a server could fit, and naturally it had clogged with dust and debris in no time. I had to clean all the circuit boards while the power was cut to that section, replacing two components that had partially melted due to the insulating dust coating them. And because unhooking the machine is against policy, it all had to be done in position. It makes for some serious cramps the next morning, let me tell you.

After doing my best to regain control of my rebellious muscles, I grabbed my kit and jogged for the sanitation room. Water rationing was still in effect on company grounds, so I guess it was good that I didn’t have time for a shower anyways. Sometimes I’d love to live without depending on the company allowances, maybe take a real shower sometime, with running water for several whole minutes. Heh. As if. I’ll never be able to live off-campus and still remain on the team. Especially when I live 5 minutes away *on-campus* and still manage to be late.

Brushing my hand over my scalp and taking a bleary glance in the mirror, I ignore the inspirational slogans posted around the rim. I’ve got to finish getting presentable in a hurry, and I never feel like reading that crap anyways. Which is just another thing they’ll mention on my review. A couple of sanitation wipes later, and I’m feeling like I removed a layer or two of grime. My skin looks almost like…well, skin. I’m no longer quite so coated in the fine debris that somehow managers to escape manufacturing no matter how many door seals and airlocks we used.

Hurrying back to my pod, I pull on a fresh jumpsuit. Time for another glorious day at the office.

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