Our IT team is the best. We never see them, but we know they are watching. It’s like having your own FBI. The other day my computer’s screen began to caper wildly and went blank. I did what everybody does: grabbed it and began to scream at it in hopes it would hear me and let me go back to work. Nothing. I picked up the phone and called THEM. I heard: “IT desk, John speaking, how can I help you?”
“My computer is down”, I said.
“Oh, yeah? Down where?”
That IT team… always joking.
“Just please come and take a look.”
“No problem. We’ll send someone to your office right away.”
Sure enough, five minutes later a guy bursts into my office, eyes shifting from side to side.
“Hi. I am a tech guy. Where is it?”
I pointed to the corner of my office. He stretched his arms and placed himself between me and my desk.
“O.K. Don’t panic and step back!”, he said.
“I wasn’t panicking. I just want to know what’s going on with my computer.”
“Could be anything… from unhooked cable to anthrax. You should step out just in case while I investigate.”
I pressed myself against the wall, thinking I’ll let him handle it if it’s that serious. I watch him slowly approach my desk and dive under it. Everything went quiet for a minute. I asked:
“Are you ok?”
“Yeah, no worries. Hey, tell me what was happening before your computer died?”
“The screen began to flicker, the mouse pointer was all over the screen, keyboard locked up.”
As I was saying this, even though I could not see him, I could feel his grin. Then he said:
“Yeah, we have a term for this kind of behavior – crazymodo.”
“Quite inventive”, I said.
“It happens to computers during lunar eclipse or if they are obsolete. In your case, probably the latter.”
“Obsolete? I just got it last week. How could it become obsolete in one week?”
“Actually, three weeks. You got it last week but we received it three weeks ago.”
“Well, I hope next time you give me a computer that I could hold on to for a longer period. And what I am going do with everything I just installed and all my documents?”
“Oh, don’t worry… it looks like it’s all gone.”
He crawled out from under the table, shook his pants and said:
”Well, nothing there. Did you try accessing something you were not supposed to?” And he winked at me.
“Right before this happened I tried to look at some company policies on telecommuting.“
‘Well, there you go. Those files are virus-protected.”
“But I was not trying to infect them. I just wanted to read them.”
“Your computer’s IP address was not cleared for accessing secret information. So, the virus attacked your computer. You will have to pay for the new computer and pay a penalty for trying to read something you were not supposed to access.”
I began to feel quite sick as if I actually inhaled anthrax but I knew that he was right. Company policies are sacred documents. We know they exist but because they are quite complex andwe have managers who tell us about them in a language we all understand.
“Well, at least I get a computer that’s not obsolete” I said to the tech guy.
As he was about to leave my office, he looked at me with pitied eyes and I knew that not only I would get slapped for what I did, I may get a computer that is pre-loaded with cryptic error messages. I went home and cried. I wish I chose the career in IT.