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Essay Contest (Dan Flak)
(computer, original, chuckle)

As a software manager in my last job, (a Seattle area company --
not Microsoft), I issued a challenge to my engineers to complete
the following in 200 words or less: "I like working here

The winning entry by one of my engineers, (who shall remain
anonymous since he's still employed by the company), is:

Well, perhaps the best way to describe why I like working here is
to portray a typical day at the company.

It starts early in the morning, when I have to get up in the
dark, pull barbed wire through my hair in an attempt to get it to
lie flat, and walk through the morning drizzle to get to my car.
Thankfully, my fine automobile is working this morn and starts up
after 5 minutes or so. It is still pitch dark, so no one can
notice the clouds of blue smoke pouring out the tail pipe.

Saved from that minor embarrassment, I struggle to 7-11, where
immediately, the cashier says $1.79. Grumbling, I hand him $2. On
a good day I remember both my change and the things I went in
there to buy. Thankfully, it's the same things every morning so
little brain power is required at this juncture.

Pulling out of the 7-11, I race down the street trying to beat
the lights to get to work at 8:00 sharp. But alas, more often
than not, the Gods of traffic light fate are against me, so I
pull up into the parking lot at 8:07 (after looking for a flat
spot to park since my car is holding out for better working
conditions). I spot a dark figure on the second floor with
binoculars and a notepad  and timepiece looking down upon my ask
across the parking lot in the unending drizzle.

Safely inside, I trundle into my office and log into the
computer. "No News" stares me in the face in the middle of my
terminal blinking madly like a drunken cyclops. In anguish, I
reread for the 4th time this week, sending
out more flames on subjects I've flamed twice already this week
(just to keep my hand in). This being a particularly bad morning,
I actually manage to flame myself twice before I realize it.
Still in a desperate need for news, I resort to the last unread
newsgroup: talk.politics.theory.

Finally sated, I devour my brownie, and gulp down a large portion
of my Big Gulp. Now the morning can begin. With a wild fling, I
roll my chair over to my Sun Workstation and pop up my X window
manager du jour. Now, if I could only remember which mouse
combination brings up x-gammon... After a fruitless half hour, I
exit back to the default terminal, thereupon noticing it was near
noon. Where does the time fly? After rounding up the troops and
performing a brownian motion walk, we decide on Ivars because
it's closest (unless, of course, it's Friday when we observe the
weekly company tradition -- good bye lunches).

Returning to work promptly at 1:00 (again a dark presence can be
felt somewhere from above -- luckily, the increasing drizzle
makes identification difficult), I return to my notes to see what
it was I was working on previously. Oh yeah, that ray tracer I
left running over night is finally finished. No wonder no one can
use Oracle. Oops.

After grabbing a diet orange soda from the machine (the only
flavor left), I wander back to my hole to see if perhaps I can
get an X window menu to pop up. Logging in, I get "NFS file system
not responding". What can that mean? And what's this about the
net being down? And the "file system full" messages? Finally,
something I can cure. Going in the local bin directory, I pop up
my random delete program and let it merrily run along for about
ten minutes. Now I can get to work at last.

But no! It's time for the staff meeting. Stumbling in I see the
shocked tired faces. I wonder to myself - perhaps they're 
working on the same project. Looking around, I notice several key
people are missing. It makes sense to me, though, they're
probably even more involved in the project. Asking around, I find
they're on a conference call to the prime contractor explaining
for the 4th time this week what the letters "NFS" mean. "Oh", I
say, lacking the facilities to grasp such a phenomenon.

Stumbling back to my office, I see it's almost time to head for

But all is not lost. An e-mail message from off-site flaming me
for an error in a post to the net arrives. Scathingly, I reply,
noting a punctuation error in their post. Happily I skip up the
stairs, out the door and to my car. The drizzle has stopped.

(From the "Rest" of RHF)

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