I suppose it’s time to give you some background information on the stories about Kevin and his staff I’ve been posting lately. The characters are based on real people of the same name whom I once worked with in a previous job.
The real Kevin was the director of the Information Systems department who oversaw the operation of the hospital’s computer network. He was hired after the director who hired me got transferred to a different facility, but for some reason he didn’t last very long in his job and was soon replaced before he could have much influence. That’s why the Kevin in my stories doesn’t have much influence either.
Charles is the network manager. I remember him for his chronic belching, stinky farts and extremely short temper. When things weren’t going his way, he was not a pleasant person to work with. He’s even yelled at me plenty of times, but for some reason I still liked him enough not to take it personally. I heard he got fired for threatening to bring his gun to work.
The third primary character is Robert, the mild-mannered system administrator. He often finds himself an innocent bystander right in the middle of the many conflicts that take place.
To come up with my stories, I simply bring these characters to life in my mind and sprinkle some situations to see how they react. Often the results are so hysterical that I have to share them here.
I also find it helpful to visualize a visit to this office from time to time just to see what’s new. During my last visit, there was a huge hole in the ceiling after Charles fell through while assessing the old network cables that still run above the ceiling. Don’t worry, he’s OK. In fact the first thing he did after he fell was send out a department-wide e-mail alerting the staff to the old network cables that continue to make the ceiling tiles sag.
This has got to be the secret to effective story writing. I imagine this is how authors are able to make a living from the words they write.