I don’t wanna work! I just wanna bang on the drums all day!

I work in a computer lab.
On most days, this is a good thing. It means I get to sit behind a desk for 8~10 hours at a time and browse the internet, read some books, catch up on my studies, chat with my co-workers, etc. I have a comfortable chair, a decent computer, air conditioning, and a relaxed work environment where I don’t have to put on wing-tip oxfords or any sort of pants with a crease.
Unfortunately, my job as an “information laboratory consultant” also requires that I must interact with a wide host of people. Unfortunate, I say, because “wide host of people” is a broad category that also happens to contain “painfully idiotic”, “absolute assholes” and “TTLT-LAP” (“Those That Like To Look At Porn”) (can you tell I grew up as an army brat?).
I had just returned from Green Bay (*shudder*) Saturday morning, having endured an awkward car ride with my younger brother, wherein I reluctantly shouldered the mantle of the “older brother” and tried to dispense some elderly-brother-like advice. Two painful hours passed by somewhat like this:
[Driving. Awkwardly look at watch, then over at brother who is glancing out of window, bored out of his mind. Resist urge to turn down whatever death-metal-punk-rage-rock-cat-being-eviscerated-with-cheese-grater "music" is blasting out of car speakers.]
*clear throat anxiously*
“uhhhh, brother…” I offer, carefully glancing over to catch his reaction.
“yeah?” comes the disinterested reply.
“Have you thought about college?” I inquire, hesitantly.
“Not really. You know I tried that twice before. But all my teachers were assholes and kept failing me!”
Not wanting to disturb our hard-earned rapport, I hesitate before mentioning:
“Yes, but you never went to class. You missed all your tests. You didn’t take any of your finals…”
“Whatever dude. I’m just not about that right now.”
More painfully awkward silence. I decide to try again.
“So, I was uh, wondering. you know, how things were, uh…. going?” I don’t think I could feel any more awkward even if “The Joy of Sex” was openly sitting on the dashboard and we were discussing “vaginas”.
“Fine.” comes the disinterested reply. We shift around in our seats uncomfortably for a minute. Suddenly he punctuates the silence:
“Dude! Turn the stereo up! I just saw these guys (something like “morbid death slaughter kitty club”) live the other day down in Chicago! They were totally awesome! The guitarist, like, dissected a live sheep on stage, then used its entrails as replacement strings on his guitar! Then the lead singer ate its pituitary gland and spit it up on some girl in the front row! It was so f-ing cool!”
I blink rapidly in confusion. (What happened to merely biting the heads off of bats…!?)
There’s nothing like the joy of driving in the Wisconsin countryside…*choke chok*
Timidly, I offer:
“But, uh, brother… why, would he, uh, do that, to um, a nice little fluffy sheep?” My brother shoots me the face (you know the face – the Will Smith “Parents just don’t understand…!” face!) Instantly, I become aware of the tremendous gulf between us and realize – dear god..!!! I’m on the other side of the generation gap…!!!
“Duh, Michael!” he acidicly retorts – “it was a merino sheep!!”
My mind desperately scrabbles in the thin air between us to try and grasp what possible significance the sheep’s breed has in this context, but fails, miserably, to catch a foothold. I simply do not have a frame of reference to understand what would drive nice young men with purple hair and metal spikes in their skulls to eat the brains of an innocent sheep (albeit one that’s world renowned for producing “Merino Wool, the most versatile of all animal fibers”) and then vomit it all over some poor young lady. Much like the time I accidentally saw the instructions fall out of my girlfriend’s box of tampons (to this day, all I can think about as I shudder in horror at the recollection: you mean THAT goes way up in THERE..!!? HOW CAN YOU BE SO DAMN NONCHALANT ABOUT IT!!!?)
Ces’t la vie.
Anyway, I return home, exhausted, and feeling very much the old man. Then, of course, it’s time to go to work.
Which brings us back to the exposition of this entire affair.
One of the more unpleasant hazards of any computer lab consultant’s life are TTLT-LAP. It’s an unavoidable consequence of a combination of high-speed Internet access, sad, lonely old men, and the presence of some many drop-dead gorgeous college co-eds. Those That Like To Look At Porn are devious, smart, resourceful, and above all, mind-bendingly perverse. They generally will not limit themselves to normal types of pornography, but rather, ferret out the most retch inducing, obscene perverted crap available on the Internet.
Since my time working at the computer lab, I have grown insensitive to wide list sexual practices: men shitting on donkeys. donkeys shitting on men. bondage. sissy maids. subs, dommes, bestiality, ‘Fuzzies’, ‘Furries’, transsexual midgets, women with clothes pins on their nipples stir frying cats then shitting on donkeys while getting their salad tossed from behind, necrophilia, fart-sniffers, bukkake, amputee sex, the Amish. so on and so forth. it has become a sad day when the sight of a 15 fat people choke slamming a spandex-covered midget dressed up as Winnie the pooh then having their way with him fails to arouse more than perfunctory “I wonder where they found a Winnie the pooh costume small enough to fit a midget?”.
So it takes a lot to faze me at this point. That having been said, TTLT-LAP are few and far in between. For most people, the natural inhibition against having other people see your erection in public seems to override their desire to attend to their deviant sexual urges, or at least forces them to postpone it until they get home / in the men’s room. Pornstar, as he is unimaginatively called, on the other hand, seems to have no such inhibitions.
To look at pornstar on the surface, one wouldn’t suspect he is a sexual fiend. He’s a slightly creepy-looking middle-aged man, balding, with thick glasses, a potbelly, a penchant for ugly baby blue, green and red plain shirts and a big red vespa-scooter-style helmet. Alright, on second though, he does look like a sexual deviant or at least a pedophile. I wouldn’t leave my kids with him. Or myself for that matter.
Pornstar has been kicked out of various labs numerous times for looking at porn without any regard for those around him. My boss has given specific instructions to call the police on him the next time we catch him looking at porn. Of course, myself, the bleeding heart, decide that is a bit excessive. I mean, okay, he’s obviously single, obviously not getting any (and unless he pays, unlikely to get any ever), and hey, men have needs. So the last time I caught him looking at porn , I tried to be nice, and trying not to emarrass him, gently explained how he was not allowed to look at such things in a public place. I tried to be gentle, I really did.
Which is why I was enraged when I saw pornstar watching full screen pornographic videos in the middle of the lab Saturday afternoon. He was chilling, with big ass headphones on and everything, with the pornmongers slouch, crotch mercifully hidden just under the lip of the table, watching what I can only gingerly describe as naked women in a gym performing, errr… “self love” with various pieces of work out equipment (bet you never though a 10 pound dumbbell would fit up there!). While I have seen much much sicker stuff out there, for some reason, this gave me the creepy heebi jeebies. It was probably the brazenness of his approach- full motion, full screen straight up pornography with no shame or regard for those around him…!? WTF..!?
So I regulate with the quickness and kick him out. He barely acknowledges my presence and starts ignoring me when I try and be nice to him, dismissing me with a “fuhffhghhgh” when I ask him to leave. This irritates me, because by all rights, I should have already called the cops on him. So I bust all hard-core on him, and tell him to “Get out right now and don’t come back”. He continues to ignore me, (bad move my scooter-riding-pedophile friend) so I shut off his computer. He looks up challengingly and I give him my best “straight outta’ the ghettos of Central America” don’t-piss-me-off-I’m-chicano-and-might-be-a-Latin-King look. He folds like a deck of cards, and gets up and leaves, ignoring me as I advise him not to ever ever look at that stuff again in the computer lab.
Sure, they all look nice and innocent now…but wait. just you wait…
At this point, it was time for me to go to the other computer lab where I work at (working the split shift). I arrive there at 6 pm. AT 6:10 guess who walks in.
I shoot Pornstar the look of death and with the iciest voice I could muster:
“Oh hell no. Homey don’t even play that.”
He takes one look at me, turns around, and retreats. Good choice pornstar. Good choice. There’s no goddamn way I’m going to spray and wipe down all the mice/keyboards with disinfectant after your ass has been in here.
Had that been the end of my day, it would not have been all that remarkable. Granted, I felt unpleasant after kicking pornstar out, and I still couldn’t get the image of a dumbbells stuck up some woman’s nether region out of my head, but it would have been okay. Would have….
“MY computer won’t eject my CD and it’s a pile of crap and I am sick of it wasting my time so come over here and fix it now dammit!!!” The voice grates like a bad French cook slicing his finger on a mandolin.
I look up from my Japanese homework to see who it is that has just rained spittle all over my book. I unintentionally give a shudder at the sight of a greasy, obese woman with a nasty pock-marked nose, frizzy-ass hair, wearing a greasy tank top that reveals too much of her flabby, sweaty, hairy skin. I can see the oil glistening off of her nose, the sheen nearly blinding me, and she is dripping …..something all over the counter. Also, her breath smells like cow shit. I know, I worked with cow shit on a daily basis for an entire year of my life. I do not exaggerate.
“Okay ma’am! Let’ s go take a look!” I chirp, trying my hardest to be pleasant to this evil human being with the equally evil attitude. I have the sneaking suspicion that she’s going to try and steal my sunshine – but I bravely soldier on. Her CD is stuck in the drive, and as I reach over to eject it, I pass within 2 feet of her and can detect a marked change in the humidity in the air surrounding her. Sick people, absolutely sick. I suspect many of you know what I’m talking about when I talk about “moist people”.
“Okay ma’am, what you need to do is when it gets stuck like this and the OS won’t respond, you need to restart the computer, then before it boots to windows, push the ‘eject’ button. The CD will eject and -”
roll woman interrupts me before I can finish: “I already tried that and it didn’t work!! STOP WASTING MY TIME!!! I HAVE IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO…!”
I resist the rising urge to state the fact that she obviously did not do that, or else she would have her CD in her hand and I wouldn’t be standing here in her zone of tropic moisture. I push the button as the computer restarts and her CD pops out. I hand it to her.
“Anything else I can do for you, ma’am?” I ask, straining to be pleasant.
“Yeah, you can give me a damn computer that works! Right now!” she demands, sweat, oil and ooze flying off her arm as she gesticulates. A nearby lab patron expertly ducks.
I start to explain to her that all the computers in this lab are old and are notoriously unreliable when it comes to burning certain CDs. She interrupts me and keeps demanding I find her a computer that works. Finally, I point her to one that I suspect might work. Trying genuinely to be nice, I sympathetically ask “I’m sorry. Are you having a bad day, ma’am?”
“Not until I got here and you started wasting my time”. Oh hell no motherfucker. no you didn’t. I walk away, choking down the rising bile in my throat and resisting the urge to clock this nasty troll in the face. Control panda. Control.
Not 2 minutes later after I have reseated myself behind the desk and begun to calm down does evil troll woman ooze her way up to the desk. I know it’s her because she’s already started screaming before she’s even rested her greasy self on the counter.
“The computer you gave me doesn’t work. Now STOP WASTING MY TIME and give me a computer that works NOW…!!!” she is practically yelling and spit is flying in my eye. I go to open my mouth to tell her that there is no way to guarantee that a certain computer will work with her disc (certain discs are incompatible with our CD-burners) when she cuts me off. In the most condescending tone of voice imaginable, she starts to motion a box with her fingers.
“Shut up! Listen to me, and focus! FOCUS!” she moves the “box” in and out in a “focus” sort of motion. “This isn’t some stupid kiddy thing you work on” she continues ・”This is IMPORTANT. Now stop wasting my time and FOCUS! tell me where to find a computer that works NOW!!!” I am incredibly enraged at her attitude and condescending tone of voice. But I resist and try to explain.
“Ma’am, certain types of discs are incompatible with our CD-burners. So you see, I won’t be able to…” she interrupts me -
“IMATION CDs are the best on the market! I know I LOOKED THEM UP ON AMAZON [*insert sarcasm* oh, well then it must be true, huh!?] NOW ANSWER ME RIGHT NOW AND STOP WASTING MY TIME! Try and focus here, dummy!”
Oh no she did not just call me a dummy. I stand up, and nearly snap.
“GET OUT OF THE LAB NOW!” I say, raising my voice. Then, thinking better of snapping on a patron, I add “…. and go to the Union South computer lab. They have… better computer there.” Then, under my breath, “plus I’m not there…”.
Then the surreal lunacy begins.
“What’s that? What’s this Union South? What is that dammit?”
“uhh, it’s the student union.”
“What is that, like a library or something?”
*blink rapidly to clear confusion* “uhh, no…. it’s a student union. hence the name.”
“What’s a student union? Where is that? Is it a library? How do you expect me to know these things!?”
“Uhhh… it’s a, uhh… student union. Not a library. And it’s next to the engineering campus.”
“What is this “Union”? How do you expect me to know what a union is? Where is it? STOP WASTING MY TIME AND GIVE ME SOME STRAIGHT ANSWERS DAMMIT!”
I cannot fathom how to answer this woman. What can I say if this woman cannot understand the word “student union” and instead keeps (for some reason) demanding to know if it’s a “library”? do you speak English, evil troll woman? Huh?! DO YOU!?
“It’s not a library. it is a student union, where students gather. it is called union south. it is next to the engineering campus. And I am not wasting your time.”
At this point evil troll woman goes ballistic. Perhaps it’s her inability to understand basic English. Perhaps it’s the fact that she’s secreting greasy pimple grease all over her body. Perhaps its because she’s an absolute idiot who has no reason to be anywhere near a computer. Spit, oil and ooze fly from her body in a most alarming fashion as she starts screaming at me, incomprehensible “jibba jabba” as Mr. T. would call it, and all I can figure out is that she keep repeating the same questions over and over (what’s union south, where is it, stop wasting my time, focus here, etc. etc.) She’s belligerent, condescending and I’m about to snap.
“GET OUT!” I exclaim, as I reach for the phone to call security. At this point my co-worker Veronica, who has been dying from laughter in the corner interjects and somehow gets the woman to go to the front circulation desk (the lab is located in a library) where, she promises, they will have “maps to show her where the union is” and “can also explain what a union is”. Oddly enough, we can hear the woman haranguing the poor circulation clerk down the hall after that as we collapse into a disbelieving pile behind the desk. Meanwhile, everyone in the lab is staring at me, as if I’m the asshole…!
These, ladies and gentlemen, are the trials and tribulations of a computer infolab consultant.
Now listening to: “Kuraki Mai – Brand New Day”. Nothing like kuraki mai to convince you of the meaninglessness of it all!
8:52 pm

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