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Rob's Life (Rob Earhart)
(original, chuckle, college)

(Originally posted this to a local CMU bboard;  someone asked me to
 forward it here. Don't know if it'll be funny to someone who doesn't
 know CMU, but... enjoy :-)


--- Forwarded Message Begins Here ---

  Ever play "Bureaucracy", the Infocom game?  You know how the game
would print out the message, "Your blood pressure goes up a point."
every time you'd be stonewalled by something?

Welcome to Rob's Life, an up close and personal journey through a nightmare.

> i
  You have:
    Two cans of Mountain Dew
    A Reece's Peanut Butter Cup

> look
  You're in your office, playing xpilot and conquering the universe.
It's a lot of fun, but you really should be doing your 312, because it's
due tomorrow, and you have meetings all morning, which you won't be able
to talk your way out of, because you really should've started your 312
before 10:30 on the night before it's due.

> quit xpilot
  The seductive xpilot process looks upset at having to go, but after
several SIGKILLS it goes off in a pout.

> open bookbag
  You're too weak and hungry to do that.  Maybe you've been playing
xpilot for too long.

> drink dew
  Everything starts to move slightly slower, and your muscles gain new
energy.  But as you haven't eaten today, the room begins to spin and go

> eat cup
  Umm, umm.  What excellent hacker food; full of protein and sugar.
What more could you ask for?  The room settles down; your stomach is

> open bookbag
  The bookbag is now open.

> take the folder from the bookbag
  My, wasn't that fun!

> open folder
  Your folder is now open.

> take assignment from folder
  Too bad you weren't in class last week to pick up a copy.
  [your blood pressure goes up a point]

> cd class/312/15-312/handouts

> print assignment
  Hmm, that's odd; the assignment isn't there...
  [your blood pressure goes up a point]

> enter cyberspace
  Woah, momma!  Look out, world!  (Not)
  Josh says, "Hi, Rob!  What should I name my machine?"

> look
  Various friends are here.  Unfortunately, you're not likely to get
much sympathy from them, as all your friends are the nasty sarcastic
biting sort.

  Josh says, "Hi, Rob!  Can I start a www server?"

  Oh, yeah, and there's no one from your 312 class (yes, I know what who
were looking for...)
  [your blood pressure goes up a point]

> whine
  You zephyr a whine.  Within moments, you are covered with biting
sarcasm from those dear friends of yours, and Josh says, "Hi, Rob!
What's the president's email address again?"
  [your blood pressure goes up a point]

> look at ta
  Josh says, "Hi, Rob!  When're you going to release the new Mosaic
client?  It's K00L, DOODZ."

  John Ferro says, "Hey, everyone, look at this cool new elisp thing I
just wrote!  Now, with only thirty-five keystrokes, I can start World
War Three!"

  The 312 TA isn't here.  Surprised?  You shouldn't be...
  [your blood pressure goes up a point]

> leave cyberspace
  Aww... the real world again?

> look
  You're in your office.  You're starting to sweat a little; you hate
that.  Your 312 is still among the missing.

> ls
  There is an assignment template here.
  [score: 5]

> print template
  (to kiwi)

> go to kiwi
  What, you mean actually stand up?  And go someplace other than a
vending machine?  And you call yourself a hacker?  Shame shame shame...

> take printout
  It's still printing.

> take printout
  Tugging on the paper won't help.

> wait
  The printer burbles a little.

> wait

> wait

> examine printer
  It looks like an ordinary Hp laserprinter.  In the dim light, you can
sort of make out some words on the control panel.

> examine panel
  "Out of Paper."
  [your blood pressure goes up a point]

> put paper in printer
  What paper?
  [your blood pressure goes up a point]

> look behind printer
  It's kind of musty and dank behind the printer.  No one would ever go
there.  You see some old crumpled paper here.

> take paper

> put paper in printer
  You valiently smooth out the paper, and put in the laserprinter.  The
laserprinter starts burbling some more, and ejects a printout.

> take printout
  Great, except it's Sam Greenfield's; your job is back in the queue
  [your blood pressure goes up a point]

> wait
  The printer finishes Sam's job, and starts yours.

> wait
  The printer finishes your printout.

> take printout
  Template file for assignment: taken

> read template
  It's kind of readable, but not very; you get the feeling that maybe if
you'd gone to class last week you'd know what some of the symbols meant.
And it's no good anyway; it has spots to fill in code, but none of the
usual comments to tell you what to write.  Good luck.
  [your blood pressure goes up a point]

> return to office

> Drink dew
  Everything seems to be moving slightly slower.

> sulk
  Sulking's not going to do you much good.

> wait
  You stare at your computer, and slowly feel your eyeglass prescription
climb a bit higher.
  [your blood pressure goes up a point]

> scream
  good thing it's after five, or they'd throw you in the looney bin
faster than you could... well, scream.

> i
  You have:
    An assignment template

> use slack
  Your console tells you that Jeff Hutzleman has logged onto loiosh.

> enter cyberspace
  Back again so soon, eh?
  Josh says, "Hi, Rob!  I've got this cool name for my machine:  What do you think?"
  [your blood pressure goes up a point]

> jeff, hola
  Jeff says, "Oh, hi Rob."
  Josh says, "Hi, Rob!  how do I get kerberos up on my sparc1?"

> jeff, give me assignment
  Jeff says, "Oh, I just got done talking to the TA.  He told me three
major things.  1) This is going to be our last one.  2) A copy of the
assignment's in the handouts directory as of... 30 seconds ago." and 3)
It's not due for a week; they postponed it.

--------------------------   Congratulations!  --------------------------

  Congratulations! By careful use of your slack, you have successfully
managed to weasel out of your 312.  This time.

  See you again next week, same time, same place.  And have a nice day.

C: \\ROB> 

(From the "Rest" of RHF)

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