Candace then went to work, tearing furiously at the mess I made. I walked back to the office, grabbed some charges and went back to my desk. Sonny was at his desk, chortling at me. “Mike D on thin ice!” he shouted. “And you know how fast ice melts in Florida!”
John, also at his desk, laughed out loud. “Yeah, Mike, hope you know how to swim.” Sonny laughed at that.
Sitting at my desk, I fired up Netscape one more time for a return trip to the gruesome pics site. Just when I was ready to resume my journey through the gallery of messy suicides, I was am arm reach down to my computer’s power switch to turn it off. Candace was back. “Mike, please take your charges and go to the other side. This isn’t your workstation anymore.”
Feeling extremely shocked, I slowly walked to the other side of the office and proceeded to start keying the charges. Candace was keeping an eye on me from her office. I was slowly keying away, worried sick about what was to happen. Candace then ordered Sonny to re-format the hard drive on my computer, re-install Windows on it and remove my account on the network. I was in deep, deep trouble.
Then Candace got up and left the office. I turned around to the computer with Internet Explorer on it and fired it up. I had to go back to the gruesome pictures site. I had browsed through half the images in the messy suicides gallery when Candace came back and caught me.
“DAMMIT, MIKE!” she screamed and ran to the computer I was surfing on to turn it off. Sonny whistled in amazement. “What is your problem, Mike? Do you have a learning problem? When I say stay off the Internet, God dammit, you stay off! Shit, are you RETARDED?”
I could only shake my head in extreme shock.
“Mike, you key charges and you do NOTHING but key! If I see you turn that computer on, I will cut your hands off!”
I was shocked extremely senseless. I was sweating and breathing hard and tried to key. Candace got up and left the office and I really wanted to get back on the Web and browse the the gruesome pics gallery. But no, I thought maybe if Candace came back and saw that I di NOT get on the Internet, she would be impressed. So impressed that she may even trust me to be alone.
Then Donald Hutchkiss, the manager of Materials, came in, looking through a catalog. He saw me and asked if Candace was in.
“Is Candace here? I’m trying to decide which monitor to get for the computers in OR.” I was ashamed. Here’s Don, someone who works and not get on the Internet. Everyone else here works and I don’t. I’m just another asshole in a shirt and tie.
“I just need Candace to recommend a monitor for me. I’ll get back with her in the morning.”
Don left, leaving me feeling sad. Everyone else here in the hospital works hard and takes pride in the results. But me, I just play around and piss Candace off. I feel like I’m the least productive employee in the office. When I’m not in the office playing on the Net, I hide in the closet, leaving fucking messages to myself. Everyone else works and I just goof off. Leaving stupid messages on my answering machine.
Then Candace came back to babysit me.
“How many charges did you key?” she asked.
Putting on my retard act, I said, “Just this one.”
“When you finish that batch, come to my office.”
Something terrible was ahead. I just knew it.
I slowly finished the batch I was “working” on, and went to Candace’s office and sat down.
“Close the door, please.”
When Candace says that, I’m in trouble.
I got up and I moved some chairs out of the way to close the door. I sat down, feeling very, very nervous
“Mike, what you did today has made me feel very, very upset. I thought you would have an attitude to be more committed to serving the hospital and not be committed to surfing the Web for disgusting pictures. When I say for you not to surf the Web, I mean it, you do not even THINK of disobeying me. I don’t get it. When I say for you not to do anything, I don’t understand why you believe it’s okay to do it anyway just because I’m not around. Despite my telling you not to get on the Internet, I have caught you four times. Something really needs to be done to keep this from happening again. Go ahead, Mike, convince me that there are better ways to solve this problem than what’s about to happen.”
i was confused. “What’s about to happen?”
“Here’s hoping you never find out. Go ahead. Tell me how we can work this out. I’ll listen, You do the talking.”
I could only murmur and garble.
“In English, please.”
I was trying very hard to think. I concentrated and thought my brains out but failed. I could only shake my head.
“Fine. Then here’s what’s about to happen. Effective immediately, you are hereby placed on indefinite suspension without pay, and you will not come back until I say you can come back. It may be a week, a month, or a year. I don’t want you coming back here until I say you can. Also, you are demoted from hardware technician to data entry clerk. Your salary has been adjusted to $5.75 an hour and you will work every other day and do nothing but key. You will not have an account on the network and that means you will not have access to e-mail. We will look for someone to take your place for the hardware technician position. Also, we will be setting something up on the computers that will prevent you from ever getting on the Internet again. You have clearly demonstrated to me that you cannot be trusted to work alone and cannot do anything right anymore. Therefore, we must compensate for your lack of intelligence and also your extreme lack of consideration to my rules.
“Is there anything you’d like to straighten me out on before I start you on your next suspension?”
She paused for one second, barely giving me any time to think.
“Fine. Mike, please clock out and go home. When I call you back. I want you to come back with a new attitude and I want you ready to get back to work. For the time being, please leave and stay off the premises. I don’t want to see you anymore!”
I slowly rose to my feet and opened the door to Candace’s office. I walked out of the office, ignoring everyone as I walked past. Everyone in the office seemed to know what had just happened.
I walked to the time clock and badged out. I clocked out at 2:30pm. I drove home, feeling extremely depressed. It sure was a long drive. I cursed everything that came in my way, but what the hell. In my years on this planet, I had de-evolved from a human being into something far more disgusting that could not be found anywhere in the gruesome pics site.