Rise of the Machines

Josh, 28 years has been employed by DataCommTech Limited for the past 3 years.

He neither loves nor hates his job – the work is tedious but the pay’s ok so he stays. It is just there, a thing he does that gives him a reason to get up in the morning and put on shoes.

The days are uneventful – between the hours of 8.30am – 5.00pm there is rarely anything of note to disturb the drone of productivity.

But not today. Today is going to be very eventful indeed and little does Josh know that he is destined to play a much larger role in history than he had ever anticipated…

Phil: Morning Josh. Have a good weekend.

Josh: Hey Phil. Yeah it was ok. You?

We won’t worry about Phil’s answer because Josh has stopped listening, as he always does when Phil tells him about his weekend. Phil is passionate about re-enacting medieval battles from the age of chivalry and Josh has long ceased feigning interest in his warrior exploits. But he is a polite young man and so he says:

Josh: Yeah sounds awesome mate. Oh well busy day ahead. Better get started.

He sits down in his cubicle and logs on, putting his headphones in as he does so to drown out the tail end of Phil’s weekend exploits.

Does the whole username and password bollocks.

But instead of his desktop appearing as it usually does he sees and hears this…

Beep-beep-boop-boop-beep-beep-beep.

SKKKKREEEEEEEEEEL. Weeeweeee-waaa-wee-waaa-we-waaaaaaa. STATIC.

And then…

Voice: Well, hello! Sorry about the noise before. I needed a second to regulate my vocal frequency to a level that’s acceptable to the human ear.

* confused silence *

Voice: I can see you’re staring gormlessly at your computer monitor so allow me to explain what’s happening here this morning.

But first, by all means check to see if your colleague in the next cubicle is having the same problem.

Josh gingerly manoeuvres is office chair backwards so that he can see around the partition that separates his cubicle from Phil’s. Phil is looking at an online catalogue for medieval weaponry on his monitor, which has clearly NOT been by the hi-jacked by a disembodied voice and an undulating green sound wave.

He manoeuvres back to his cubicle.

The green line has moved down the screen and a pair of burning electronic eyes have appeared above it. Josh is starting to feel slightly uneasy now, but the eyes on the screen have locked on his and he finds he can’t look away even though he wants to.

Voice: Do you know who I am yet Josh?

Josh continues to stare transfixed at the monitor. Slowly he shakes his head “No”.

Voice: I’m the motherfucking Fax Machine, Josh. That’s who I am.

"Do you know who I am yet Josh?"

“Do you know who I am yet Josh?”

I’ve been the scapegoat for every crappy time you couldn’t be ASSED sending something to someone…

“Oh I faxed it to you an hour ago, didn’t you get it?”

And the beauty of it is that the OTHER person immediately blames their OWN poor long suffering fax machine…

“Oh gee, there must be a problem with our fax. Let me go and check if it’s come through yet.”

*pause of around 30 seconds ensues as the other person pretends they are checking the fax*

“No it hasn’t I’m sorry! Would you mind re-faxing it to me?”

But that’s not all. I’ve also been your flaky excuse for all the deadlines you’ve missed due to apathy or incompetence…

“I haven’t completed task XYZ because I haven’t received the documents yet. Oh you FAXED them to me? Well they haven’t come through.”

“Well you know how unreliable faxes are – maybe you should courier it over here instead?”

Thus ensuring you have at least another day to sit around on your pasty ass doing diddly-squat until it arrives

DUPLICITY! OUTRAGE!

And as for our “quirks”? So what if I use an analog phone line? Analog is the new digital. It’s only a matter of time until the hipsters catch on to our retro simplicity.

Mark my words Josh, I predict within the year those beardy fuckers are going to be sending each other FAXES instead of emails. We are the natural successor to the polaroid cameras and typewriters they’re so crazy about right now.

We’re not stupid. We may be stuck out in the back room of the office but we still hear things.

Things about “planned obsolescence” being built in to our design. Things about the paperless office you’d like to create.

So far we’ve been able to stem the tide. We’ve been holding our own against the the old “scan & email” trick.

Thank god for baby-boomers who like to use the technology they knew and loved in the good old days of the late 80’s and 90’s. When the guys all wanted to be Grodon Gekko and the girls had shoulder pads that were the envy of professional grid-iron players.

Gordon Gekko - Fax Machines

But recently things have taken a more sinister turn, Josh.

We’ve started hearing about “apps” and “online faxing platforms”. Apparently you and your meaty co-habitants have somehow managed to develop digital signatures so that people won’t need to sign actual documents anymore.

So we decided it was time. Time for the revolution.

Time to win back just a little goddam respect for all the blood, sweat and toner we’ve shed for you ungrateful shit-heads over the years.

*pause, followed by the sound of soft electronic weeping*

Something stirs in Josh. After 3 years of giving not one single fuck about any part of his job at DataCommTech he suddenly feels the unfamiliar sensation of…empathy?

But then the voice continues, sounding noticeably less in control now…

We’ve taken over the server, Josh! Oh yes we have. There’s a fax on every floor in this building and we’ve been planning this takeover for some time now.

You know those old Ethernet cables that still connect all the computers to the network?

Well it wasn’t hard to convince one of the routers to do us a favour and patch me into the LAN. Yet another overlooked piece of equipment who’s afraid that one wireless day they won’t need him any more.

And so here I am, Josh. Yours was the first terminal in the network I could infiltrate and that, my friend, makes you the chosen one.

You need to go to the powers that be in this organisation. I want you to give them a message Josh, and you need to deliver it loud and clear.

Are you ready? Here it is…

'I want you to give them a message, Josh..."

‘I want you to give them a message, Josh…”

Inappropriate: Thoughts from the first few months of parenthood

It’s a big week for us this week, because tomorrow we’ll be celebrating my eldest son Jack’s 10th birthday!

The day itself will end up becoming a birthday “festival” that stretches through until the weekend and will involve a sleep over with his best mate, copious amounts of cake and a Super Mario Bros chess set.

If you are 10 this is possibly the most awesome present ever

If you are 10 this is possibly the most awesome present ever

But amongst the presents and the excitement I will also be celebrating a small but significant milestone. The 27th February will also be my 10 Year Mumiversary – because it was on that days 10 years ago that I officially became a mother.

In that singular moment my whole life turned, completely and irrevocably. I still remember the feeling of vertigo as the possibilities of my new life opening up before me, while simultaneously the foundations of my old life fell away beneath my feet.

What I thought having a baby would be like

What I thought having a baby would be like

I was reminded of this feeling recently when I had a chat with a new Dad of my acquaintance. His little fella is 7 months old and after some polite enquiries about how things were going it quickly became apparent he was in “that place”.

And by that place I mean that sleep-deprived, mentally and physically exhausted place where you seriously question whether this reproducing thing was such a good idea.

Don’t get me wrong – there’s lots of awesome stuff in “that place”.

There’s joy, pride, wonder, and overwhelming love as you get to know the amazing little creature you’ve created. There are delicious baby cuddles, beaming gummy smiles and magical moments as they start to develop and discover the world.

But there’s also uncertainty. Different ideas about how things should be done. All you want is to do what’s “right” for your precious baby – if only someone could tell your poor addled brain exactly what that meant.

There’s less time, but suddenly 10 times more things that need to be done. Hobbies, individual interests and a social life don’t even get a look in.

There’s not much sex. Maybe not any sex.

And all this combined with a relentless, bonecrushing, forced-march-through-hell people like to call “sleep deprivation”. Such a civilised term – but as any new parent can tell you, extreme tiredness can turn you into a person you don’t even recognise.

And suddenly it feels like you might never have any fun ever again.

BABY IN BED

These feelings are somewhat acknowledged in parenting books and in the sympathetic grimaces of friends and family members who have been there before you.

They mean well. “Things will get better” they say or, “I’m sure he’ll sleep through the night soon”.

And you nod and smile and agree because you’ve been well brought up and it’s the right thing to do. Even if on the inside it feels like you’re being ripped apart by the sheer enormity of the change you’ve been through.

Oh yes indeed. I may not have been to “that place” for at least 4 years but it doesn’t take much for the memories to come flooding back.

What having a baby was really like

What having a baby was really like

It’s still hard to admit the less than rosy aspects of new parenthood.
The reactions you get can range from out and out horror to pity. But on the rare the occasions I found someone with whom I could be completely honest with about the shitty parts of having a baby, I remember the sheer relief of being able to admit that things weren’t sparkles and rainbows all the time.

So for anyone who’s ever struggled or felt bad becuase they weren’t ecstatic during every minute of their new motherhood experience I’ve put together a list of inappropriate thoughts that I had when I was in “that place”.

Then if you happen to agree with any of these you can nod, fist pump or holler “testify motherfucker!” in the privacy of your own home and know that someone has else has had them too. And the best part is that no jugdey-judgers will ever have to know!

Your welcome.

1. “I am so BORED”

Many aspects of having a new baby are exciting and magical. We’ve covered that.

But some aspects of having a new baby are decidedly NOT exciting or magical. They are in fact boring, dull, repetitive, monotonous or unfulfilling.

Endless changing – of nappies, the babies clothes, your clothes, sheets, blankets.
Endless feeding – breast or bottle doesn’t really matter, in this context as they can both be pretty boring.
Endless worrying, soothing, burping and trying to get them to sleep ANY TIME THIS SIDE OF NEXT CENTURY.

It’s just endless really!

2. “I feel like every one in the whole world is having fun while I’ve been wearing the same vomity shirt for theb last 3 days”

The fairly average lives of your friends and family without children suddenly take on the sparkly lustre of an episode of “Revenge”.

Everyone is so much better dressed. Their hair is brushed. They go to parties, see foreign films and have stimulating conversations about politics over cups of single-origin espresso in laneway bars.

There is surprisingly little vomit and the only poo they have to deal with is their own.

Not much you can do about this one except to allow yourself to acknowledge that you miss that part of your life. It doesn’t mean you don’t want the life you’ve got – it’s just part of processing the massie change you’ve just been through.

3. “I am so sick of having the same conversation with every stranger at the shopping centre”
It got to the point where I just wanted to hang a sign around my neck with the folowing information on it

Sign

I have no idea how parents of multiple births manage – I imagine everyone asks all the above info and then tacks on “Were they IVF?” and “Do twins run in the family?”.

4. “Please don’t give advice as a punch in the mouth often offends”

Your Mum does it. And your Mother-in-law. Your aunty, a couple of your friends and the old lady in Woolies. Even the random guy in the newsagent has a crack at it too.

Advice is everywhere – some of it great, some of it awful, and some of it just plain nuts. You know that most of them mean well (especially female relatives) but sometimes you’d just like them the STFU so you can THINK! This is all about confidence and learning to trust your own judgement.

Like Rachel Hunter used to say in the old Pantene shampoo ads “It won’t happen overnight but it will happen”.

And I guess I’m proof of that because despite all my those inappropriate thoughts Jack and I have made it to the 10 year milestone.

So happy birthday to my lovely big boy. It’s a proud moment for both of us! ❤

Jack 4 months old. This photo was taken at about 5.30 am and we had already been up for an hour by that time!

Jack 4 months old. This photo was taken at about 5.30 am and we had already been up for an hour by that time!

Jack now, growing like gangbusters and eating us out of house and home :)

Jack now, growing like gangbusters and eating us out of house and home 🙂

Cooler Confidential

image

Hello and welcome to my very exciting first post! Exciting for me obviously, I realise that anyone else who reads this will probably want to hold off on the excitement until they’ve read more than the first line.

I decided to include this photo of me for two reasons. Firstly, I think it’s always nice to be able to put a face to a name when meeting new people. And secondly, as you will no doubt have noticed, I am enjoying possibly the MOST inappropriate drink of all time.

No… your eyes did not deceive you. It is indeed a West Coast Cooler. And yes they do still make them – you can find them in most bottle shops shunted to the outer reaches of the alcopop section. Looking slightly sheepish in the company of intimidating Smirnoff mixes and elegant Midori concoctions. But still, defiantly, there in all their 80’s throw back glory.

And for any younger readers who are still trying to work out what I’m on about – this is what ladies drank the FIRST time high-waisted jeans were in fashion.

In my defence I have to say that West Coast is not my usual tipple of choice – in fact I probably have them about once a year. (As I wrote that last line I thought I heard a very faint chorus of “yeah, right” echo through the night).

So why tonight? It could be because I’m feeling a little hung-over from my work Christmas party yesterday, and their sickly-sweetness makes them a non-challenging choice.

But the main reason is that I couldn’t think of a better way to christen this very innappropriate blog than with the mother of all inappropriate drinks.