One Day Maybe
by Mark C.
by Mark C.
My phone rang just when the dream was getting interesting. Just my luck. I seldom remember my dreams but this one I would have wanted to savor, believe me. Green eyes and a naked ripped chest began to mentally evaporated as the real world intruded upon me. At 1 AM, the ringing phone could only mean one thing: work. I picked it up, mumbled a hello and sure enough, Joe's voice rumbled back at me.
"Sorry to wake ya, Ben. I hate calling and would have tried to fix it but don't know how, so called you."
OK, so now I am fully awake and sit up in bed, trying to get my mind to concentrate on what he is saying. But I'm glad he called. We have had several instances where Joe has tried to fix a problem on his own and twice has made the recovery worse. As the Senior Operations Administrator, I had warned him to call me, no matter what the time, whenever there was an issue next time. Plus I knew next time it would go on his performance review as a negative entry if he did not call. He really felt badly about waking me up but if Accounting did not get their invoices printed during the nightly computer run, he would be safe at home while I was the one getting my ass handed to me the next morning.
"Hey, glad you called, Joe. You know you should.", I replied as I rubbed my eyes to help get the gray matter adjusted to computer runs and processes instead of naked chests.
"So what's the problem, Joe?
"The tape feed from the Hood system to the Whitney server crashed on me." Our IBM servers were named after mountains and every night data from Hood was transferred to Whitney, where the invoices were created and the General Ledger updated. "I get an error message which reads, 'Logical file not found'."
I groaned as I mentally figured out why on the fly. "Damn, I installed a programmer's change to that procedure this afternoon and he assured me he tested it thoroughly and even signed off on it in front of me. Let me log in and see what I can do. If I can't fix it, you can bet there will be one awakened and angry Programming Manager soon. So Joe, let me log in, give me a few minutes and I'll call you back. You are at a point in the nightly run where you can't do anything but wait anyway." I had quickly reviewed the run in my head and knew he was stuck until the issue was resolved.
I got his return "ok", hung up and then put on a blue robe hanging on the back of the bedroom door and padded barefoot into the den where the computer is located. At least being alone and single was a blessing during these early morning calls. Sitting down, I accessed the Interon company login icon. It always amazed me when I logged in - here I was in my own den and accessing my Dell computer at the headquarters of a global medical device company located in Seattle. I had a choice between working for Nintendo and Interon years ago and chose Interon and one of the reasons was that if I had to work, I would rather do so for a company which saved lives rather than made games. Call me a hopeless romantic but hearing survivors tell stories of their heart attack event where our device saved their life after a heart attack event, told to us during company meetings, always made me proud.
My desktop at work came up on the screen and I logged into the Hood server console screen from it. Mine was one of only three desktops authorized to log onto the server. I pulled up the console error messages and looked at the last one received. Hmmm, Joe was right - though I knew he would be as he was good at his job. Ok, now let's look at the offending code. I pulled up the source code of the procedure I had installed this afternoon and scanned it. I saw the commands to initialize the tape, put the data to the tape and then transfer it to the Whitney system after the operator puts the tape on... Wait, where was the command to create the logical file where the data was to be placed? Damn! The programmer forgot to put it in - and he claimed to have tested it? Tomorrow I was going to make sure both he and the Programmer Manager knew I was not happy.
I quickly looked up the exact syntax for the command, added it to the code and compiled it in the Test system. It ran with no errors on the Test console, hooray for the good guys. I filled out an emergency Install sheet, part of our FDA regulated paperwork, and moved the procedure to the Live system and called Joe.
"Hi, Joe. I fixed the tape transfer problem. Dumb ass screwed up the code. I just re-installed it so go ahead and run it again but get a new tape to make sure all goes well. I'll hang on the phone while it runs."
I heard noises in the background and then Joe was back on the line. "Let's rip..." It didn't take long to put the data on the tape and then Joe placed it on the other server. "Game time... Hey, it worked, Ben! Way to go! I hate it when I can't get the invoices out. If they don't get out, I don't get paid."
"Good, glad it worked. Dan over in Programming is going to have a very unpleasant morning when I darken his door in a little while. On a more pleasant subject, how is your wife's new job going?" She recently was hired by a video game developing company after graduating from college.
"Oh, man, she loves it! It gives her a chance to unleash her wild nature and make money. Hey, while I have you on the line, don't forget about my vacation in a couple of weeks, guy. Will it be you who takes over for me at night or Janice?”
"It's my turn, Joe." As much as I did not want to work the the night shift, it was good that I did when Joe took some vacation. I used the week to examine every process and procedure for ways to streamline work, make it more efficient and look at ways to make the whole night's processing run faster and better. Though I knew something which was not common knowledge yet and it meant there would be big changes coming down the road in the next year. And it meant the night shift would be totally automated. Joe would be offered a day job - but would he want it?
"I'll make sure we meet before you leave for the week and you can fill me in on any quirks since last time I subbed for you. Is that cleaning lady still making eyes at you?” Several months ago, a new cleaning service was hired and one lady cleaning the floor where the computer room was located, made it clear to Joe that she was available, if he wanted.
"Nah, it took awhile but she got the hint." Great, new blood for a week for her to come on to - maybe I just tell her I am gay from the start and ask her if she has a cute brother instead.
"Alright then, I'd better get going and see if I can get back to sleep before the alarm goes off."
"Yeah, need to hustle my butt here too. This issue has put me behind. Catch you later, Ben." Joe could leave when the run was completed so I knew he did not have a schedule to keep but who wants to stay at work any longer than one needs?
I logged out of my work desktop and then the Interon portal icon and sat there staring at the screen in my den. Since I was now wide awake and sleep would not come back easily, I logged into my favorite porn site for a session to hopefully relax me. I had about 20 or so favorite videos and these guys were my friends by now. I knew every moan, every hairy chest and could identify a video by the "mouth music" of their sex alone. These people were there for me anytime, would not hurt me or betray me like real life partners I had in the past. They were safe and did not mind that I was just "average" in everything and I did not have to worry about my heart getting broken. Been there, done that, had the scars to show for it instead of the proverbial t-shirt. I grabbed the lube hidden behind the monitor and slowly applied it, liking how the silky liquid felt on my hardening member. The chosen video was well into the opening kissing scene by now and although my upper mind would not admit it and tried to ruthlessly squash those heretical thoughts, my lower mind wanted the same for me. For someone to kiss me and care about me and love me. "One day maybe" flitted through my thoughts before the rising tide of pleasant sensations drove all thoughts of everything else except the need for release, from my mind.