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November 4th, 2009

Fictionlet

"No! NO! Not NOW!!!" shouted Brigid, pummeling the blue screen of her laptop in helpless frustration. "Dammit, I've got to get this thing out the door tonight!" She squeezed her eyes shut and took a deep breath; then she reached for the phone and dialed the Help Desk extension.

"Blisto, help desk," came the voice on the other end of the line. Brian Blisto, one of the many I.T. guys with bizarre names.

"Hi, it's Brigid," she said. "My laptop's just gone BSOD for the third time today; I need you guys to get me fixed up 'cause this proposal has got to go out."

"Huh, not good," said Blisto. "Let me if any techs are available. It looks like Who's on-call, What's in the server room, and I Don't Know's configuring the phones."

"Wha huh?" said Brigid.

Blisto said, "Who's on-call, What's in the server room, and I Don't Know's configuring the phones."

Brigid blinked. "Uh, right. Well, send me the on-call technician please."

"Who."

"The on-call technician."

"Who."

"The on-call technician!"

"Who is on-call!"

"I'm asking you who's on-call!"

"That's his name."

"Who?"

"Yes."

"So tell me his name!"

"Who."

"The on-call technician!" demanded Brigid. "What's his name?"

"No," said Blisto, "What's in the server room."

"I don't know!"

"He's configuring the phones, you're not having trouble with those are you?"

"The phones?" said Brigid. "How did I get to be talking about the phones?"

"You mentioned the tech's name."

"Who's name?"

"No, Who's on-call."

"I don't know!"

"He's configuring the phones."

Brigid stopped and blinked a few times. "Look," she finally said, "what's the name of the on-call technician?"

"No, What's in the server room."

"I'm not asking who's in the server room."

"Who's on-call."

"I don't know. Configuring the phones!" she snapped, cutting Blisto off. After a few seconds of mutually-frustrated silence, she said sweetly, "Do you have any contractor support?"

"Yeah, when the load's too heavy, we call in temps."

"Fine. Send me one of the temps, please."

"Okay, I'll send Tomorrow."

"I can't wait for tomorrow, this proposal's got to go out tonight!"

"Why?"

"So the company stays in business and we all stay employed, doofus."

"No, I mean I'll send Why if you don't like Tomorrow."

Brigid twitched. "What?"

"He's in the server room."

"Who's in the server room?"

"No, Who's on-call."

"I don't know — configuring the phones!"

"Don't have a cow, lady," said Blisto. "I'm trying to help you. But I have to know which technician to send."

"I don't care which technician! Just send somebody!"

"Sorry, say that again?"

"I said, 'Just send somebody."

"The I.T. manager? Okay, if you insist. But I've got to warn you, he can be kind of confusing."

Brigid's telephone went through two layers of drywall and ended up in the accounting department.

-The Gneech

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