The Diary of a young I.T agent – The Front-lines

If you were to embark on a journey to discover the most unintelligent species on this planet… you would have to look no further, than the human race themselves.

While most of the human race are blessed with the basic intelligence to get them through life, there are some people whose intellect is rivaled only by garden tools and quite possibly; if I were to be very optimistic, a toothbrush.

Although these semi-intelligent beings can exist as individuals, they are most often seen traveling in herds known as customers.

There are many subtypes of this prominent yet, dimwitted species, including the most feeble-minded of them all. The Tech support customer.

It could be that the human race has already reached their pinnacle with the likes of Einstein, Curie, Darwin, and Tesla and are now doomed to devolve into the common sense lacking anthropoid you see today. It could be the effects of too much solar radiation on the brain or perhaps a secret government experiment performed by Soviet spies. Or perhaps, it is simply down to the fact that most of the people I talk to have a habit of procreating with their cousins.

While my self and many others choose to fight on the front lines and attempt to help these poor, intelligence deprived beings, the fight is never-ending. The fight is brutal and the fight can sometimes rip the very soul from your body…causing you to crave copious amounts of hard liqueur and possibly, anger management.

You can only tell a customer that the device needs to be on first for the Wi-Fi to work so many times a day before the thought of getting up from your desk, dousing yourself in cleaning fluid and setting your self on fire sounds like a very good idea.

You can only tell Sandra; the elder of the species, how to turn the Wi-Fi on so many times, before you start to question your very existence. What if you’re wrong? What if everything you were taught during your training…was all wrong.

What if you’re one of them?

You hardly hear Sandra yelling at you in a strange language, but the broken words and mumbled vowels confuse you…it’s almost as if she is trying to communicate. Your ears still ring from what could only be described as a mating call as she slams down the phone.

You have a moment of silence. At least for now. The next onslaught of calls will come in soon. There is a smell of desperation in the air. You hear one of your co-workers screaming for mercy behind you. You hear a phone ring..then another and another.

The new battle begins.

A war with no end.

Advertisements

Just A Little Something….

This post, is going to be a little different from my normal sarcastic observations on life. This post, believe it or not, is going to be a serious one. Something I’ve felt like writing for a while but never gotten around to. Never having the courage to put my thoughts to paper in fear of sounding whiny and weak.

For the past year, or 11 months to be exact, I have been suffering from a constant migraine. This is not the type of migraine that can not be explained, but rather, a symptom of a completely avoidable illness.

I will not bore you with the details and medical techno babble because as I write this, the root cause of the problem has hopefully been cured. it is the symptom that remains.

Anyone who suffers with migraines will know there is a stigma attached to them. They will already know what I came here to write about.

‘Just breath’ you tell yourself, ‘It’ll pass eventually’, ‘the meds will kick in soon’, ‘maybe i’m just over reacting’, ‘I cant afford to miss another day of work’ .

These are things I have been saying to myself, everyday for the past year. A long 365 days since my migraine appeared and never went away. Now I am no stranger to migraines, but when one suddenly strikes and doesn’t go away, things can get a little depressing. Of course some days are worse than others, but it doesn’t change the fact that there is always this intense throbbing sensation accompanying my every waking moment.

This pressure behind my eyes.

This burning sensation in the back of my head and this inability to be in a brightly lit room for too long.

Most days I feel like my head is constantly stuck in a vice…a vice that randomly tightens then releases, only to tighten again. Almost as if someone is using my brain as a stress ball. (and let me tell you, this is one stressed out motherfucker.)

I have spent the majority of my year sitting in a dark room and have actually started to feel like Batman. Just a boring, less wealthy version who could be defeated by anything bright…or loud.

I guess I should be thankful that the migraine has lessened over the year. Thankful that I am no longer in danger of brain damage due to the Illness that caused this. Thankful that it’s no longer a constant, drawn out, debilitating pain, but more of a never ending  hangover…without the night of fun before. 

But it is still there and no matter how hard I try, I can not just ignore it. I can not pretend that I don’t feel like throwing up every-time someone suddenly turns on a light. The feeling of wanting to claw my own eyes out or the ever increasing urge to swallow as many painkillers as I can in an attempt to temporally stop the pain.

I am not writing this for sympathy or attention. I am writing this because I feel I need to. I am writing this here because I know only a handful of strangers read my blog and I am writing this as a way to get it out in the open. It is difficult for people to understand exactly what it’s like to have a migraine everyday. People mostly just roll their eyes and tell me to ‘soldier on…it‘s just a headache’.

Friends and family are often left wondering if your just ‘faking it‘ and you cant help but feel guilty for being a downer.  For canceling plans last minute because you just cant bare a room full of people, lights and noise.

You cant help but feel like a burden.

Hearing the words ‘you don’t look sick.’ just makes you feel worse, because it’s literally taking everything you have just to appear as if everything is okay. You smile and bare it because if you don’t, it will take over your life.

As I stated before. The road to recovery has been a long one and unfortunately, the migraines will always be a common occurrence. There is no changing that. I for one just wanted to write this down as a way of getting it out in to the open and perhaps, open peoples eyes to the silent illness that affects so many people.

 

 

The Snowfall Apocalypse

Believe it or not, the British are a polite bunch of people. We love our manners just about as much as we love our tea and even though we can come across as a bit rude and intolerant of others, we make up for it with a vocabulary consisting entirely of apologies and graciousness.    

With the exception of the Canadians, we are the only people that can get hit by a car, get up, apologize to the driver then phone the paramedic and profusely apologise for disturbing the nice ambulance man. However, we tend to have a habit of losing our goddamn minds, the second we see  a single snowflake fall from the sky and land on the ground.

I admit, I may have had a momentary lapse of judgement when I stepped out of my house today. Freshly fallen snow crunching under my boots and a cold wind biting at my face. I did not see the signs as I made my way towards the town, the streets once filled with laughing children now empty and dead. Cars left abandoned on the side of the road as people tried to reach any hope of safety. I only realised I had made a grave mistake the moment I entered the small grocery store. My heart beating fast and hard in my chest as the doors closed behind me. Trapping me forever.

It was the day everyone fears. The day that comes at least once a year. It was the ‘Snowfall Apocalypse.’

Even now, as I sit typing this at my desk, the heavy snowfall outside sending the wind screaming past the windows. Crows and pigeons feeding on the frozen remains of the few that didn’t make it to the safety of the building, I can feel myself shaking. Remembering the hellish time I spent in that store. Terrifying flashbacks of little old ladies turning feral as they beat the youths with walking sticks, suddenly becoming Olympic track stars as they raced down the aisles, filling their baskets with goods from half empty shelves. Men are shouting, children are screaming and there are explosions of metal as people crash their trolleys, fighting to the death for the last loaf of bread.   

Indeed, the downfall of British politeness comes in the form of ice crystals from the sky. The fluffy dusting of snow on the roads and train tracks bringing our mighty transport system to its knees. The epidemic, causing even our most well mannered citizens to suddenly become savage.   

As I finish writing this short passage with shaking hands, I leave you with the immortal words of a wiser man than me.

Winter is coming.  

Caramel Latte With A Side Of Dickhead

It’s a warm bank holiday afternoon, the sun is shining in a cloudless sky, children are smiling and life doesn’t seem agonisingly crushing as it was the day before. You have three days off work, you don’t have to pretend to like your boss and you can finally take a break from Karen in accounting showing you pictures of her ugly cats.

You get up, much later than normal have a lazy breakfast and decide it would be a good idea to go to the town for some shopping, a spot of lunch and a late afternoon coffee.

That’s how the bank holiday goes for most people, but when one suffers through the unrewarding servitude that is retail and hospitality, one might feel a little…mass murder-y than normal.

I am not entirely sure if it is a change in temperature, a coming full moon or a strange planetary happening that only occurs on bank holidays, but I have found that my daily arseholes now come with an extra helping of dickhead.

I am a true believer that people seem to automatically reset when their time off exceeds two days. Much like a standby button. They revert to their most basic forms of human interaction and intelligence and are therefore unable to compete simple tasks such as putting their rubbish in the bin.

Quick tip. When I shout out ‘Large caramel latte, wet with cream and chocolate drizzle for Steve…’ I am not lying to you, it really is a large caramel latte, wet with cream and chocolate drizzle for Steve. You don’t have to repeat the order back to me with a disbelieving glare, like I have just handed you a cup of steaming vomit.

There is a certain quality that people seemed to misplace most days of the week. This quality is almost non-existing when it comes to the bank holidays. I speak of course of patience. Let me get one thing straight. If you have just ordered your drink and food, don’t assume it will be on the bar waiting for you the second you walk away from the till. Food does take time to cook, your drink does take time to make and no I cannot make it go faster. I am not a god, I cannot change the laws of physics. If you want you’re cheese toastie to cook faster, please go throw it in a fire like the fucking neanderthal you are and stop wasting my time.

Also, people who order a wet Cappuccino. Get out. Get out now. You’re an idiot and it’s no wonder no one loves you.

I will admit, that most of these ‘super arseholes’ do come in the form of a middle-aged woman or a bald man trying desperately to hold on to his youth. Normally surround by the hordes of their demonic offspring, who stomp their cake into the floor, spill their drinks and generally just be smaller arseholes.

So please, when your enjoying your time off from the enslavement that is adulthood.

Be nice

Don’t Be a dickhead.

Surface – An Original Novel

Book cover with name

Tuesday, September 13th 2022.

It was the day the city of Johannesburg descended into chaos.

Reports of a virus had surfaced—a virus that had apparently come from nowhere and was now spreading like wildfire through the neglected and dirt poor townships of Southern Africa. At first, these reports were nothing but banners on the evening news— lines of scrolling text barely noticeable against the garish colors of the news room or blurred lines running beneath the visage of the heavily made up lady reporter as she stared through the camera lens and read meaningless news reports.

It was not until the virus made an untimely appearance in one of the wealthier suburbs that people started to pay attention. Two young girls contracted the new sickness, putting schools into lockdown and citizens into a paranoid suspicion of anyone that so much as coughed.

A week later, the looting started. People fought each other like rabid dogs for the last few remnants of canned goods and bottled water. Riots blazed through the streets, causing smoke, death and destruction. Laws and common decency were ignored in place of every man, woman and child for themselves. Anarchy reigned. A man’s home became his fortress, and if they were unlucky, their graves.

News of the virus were eventually taken seriously by the world at large, the powers that be, and borders and shipping yards were closed. Skies were classed as no-fly zones. Around the world, curfews were enforced. Martial law became the only law. Reports of the disease spreading in Cairo, Somalia and Dubai came to light. Then it was the United Kingdom’s turn to suffer, followed by , China and South America.

The world was in chaos.

Two and a half months later the planet was a dark, lifeless place, inhabited only by those select few who were immune to the disease— and the ever- lasting cockroaches that scuttled among the dead and the barely living.

According to news reports, the virus was attributed to the operations of one organization. CURE. A large military medical facility that had risen to power in 2011. Its leaders had boasted to the world about a new vaccine being developed in the early twenty first century. simply named: Genesis. It was supposed to be a miracle cure for malaria; a vaccine deemed impossible by the scientific community.

It was not until the vaccine was first administered that the symptoms of the virus started to appear. The unfortunate recipients were suddenly struck down with violent coughing fits, vomiting, loss of sight and sudden acts of aggression. Not only did it affect them, but everyone in the vicinity. Like the Bubonic Plague, the disease ran rampant through cities and towns. No one, not even CURE’s esteemed scientists, made the connection between the new virus and the new vaccine, until it was too late. By then, half the world’s population had either died or gone completely insane.

As in every catastrophe, there are always survivors. Those lucky enough to be immune to the effects of the virus. Those lone survivors, desperate to get away from the violence and the stench of death, found their weary way into a new safe haven, a place they would be welcomed providing they met the stringent tests of being allowed entry.

This place was called Catacomb.

It was located deep within South Africa’s largest gold mine. Its tunnels stretched for miles extending through the slums of Soweto and meandered under what used to be the busy streets of Johannesburg, now nothing more than funeral pyres and habitation for rats.

Life on the surface was traded for a safer, if more controlled life underground. The world above was now dead and harsh, overrun by the stench of death and destruction.

Catacomb was now home, and, people feared, would remain so, for now, and for always.

Click here for more and tell me what you think.

The Salmon Bagel and The Dragon Lady

She stands impatiently at the end of the bar. Her pink claw like fingers tapping on the hard marble surface. I try desperately to avoid her gaze. Maybe if I don’t make eye contact…she won’t see me. I hear the bagel slowly heating in the oven, the slight hum of the machine seeming to anger the lady that stands before me, tall and thin, Her face reminiscent of an old crone from a fairy-tale…or a troll.

Finally, I finish her drink, sliding her soy, no foam latte towards her, jumping back as her skeletal fingers reach for the cup and snatch it away. Now that she sees movement, her purple powdered eyes focus on me, narrowing as her fat painted lips form a snarl; more lipstick clinging to her yellowing fangs that jut from her gums than to her actual lips. She makes a sound resembling a hiss as her bagel continues to cook. It’s been a whole thirty seconds.

“I ordered food as well!” She roars, her dull eyes narrowing as her already orange skin begins to take on a shade of red. I feel myself start to shake, fear clawing at my chest as she raises her chin, stray bits of hair falling from the tight bun atop her head. A bun so tight, it pulls the sagging skin tauter against her withered cheekbones. Reminiscent of a woman seeming to cling to a youth that was lost decades ago, a fact known to everyone but herself.

“It’s coming ma’am.” I say, her eyes narrow even more and a low grumble resonates from her chest. I believe she wants to eat me. Before she can ponce, the shrill beeping of the oven distracts her and suddenly, my saviour appears. A hero in the form of a small Porto-Rican woman. She holds out a bag containing the woman’s food and the woman snatches it away, fleeing to a corner of the room to feed.

I let the breath I didn’t know I was holding go. My heart-rate slowing down to an acceptable level.

The beast had been sated.

For now