Slaying Dragons

Hi Robin,

Please do not set up your purchase events so every individual purchase creates a new uniquely named event.  That would break everything.  Or at least lots of things.  There’s at least a 5% chance it would cause the extinction of some unspeakably cute animal that has thus far eluded modern science.  Stars might explode.  Dragons might devour  the sun. Entropy could overtake the universe and plunge the galaxy into eternal darkness and despair.   Worst of all, your tracking will not work.  And that would be bad.  😀

Grab me on skype if you have any questions, ok?  I’m here to help.

Cheers,

John

His tone was perhaps overly familiar but they’d been working together to try to get the tracking on this app up and running for almost 2 weeks and he’d finally realized the issue was an elementary programming error that should have been obvious from jump.  He could either get mad at the universe or make a joke out of it and he knew the joke would be better received.  Besides, Robin was a nice guy and a damn good programmer.  It wasn’t his fault he didn’t know the system as well as John – he had his own app to work on.  And if customers didn’t occasionally need help, John wouldn’t be getting paid 6 figures to help them.

He stopped to rub his temples and looked out the window at the glowing city below.  It had been 8 months since Elaine left.   He’d gone out almost every night at first, trying to find himself in the noise and energy of the city but eventually had settled back into old habits – long hours in front of his computer.  Only now, without her there to try and get him to re-engage with the world, he was spending more and more time working.

He was on salary so the overtime was unpaid (he didn’t want to think about how little he was making an hour once regular 80 work weeks were factored in) but the company didn’t see any need to hire new people as long as the work was getting done and he couldn’t sleep at night knowing there was work to do.  So he wore his busyness like a shield, an excuse to avoid engaging with the world, and tried his best not to think about Elaine.

Still, John was tired.  It’s hard to carry the world and the long hours were taking their toll.  His whole body hurt and his shoulders popped as he leaned back in his chair and stretched his arms. His stomach growled angrily and he realized he’d forgotten to take a break to eat lunch or dinner.  He got up and went to the fridge to make a sandwich.  Stale Bread, a sad looking sausage and some mustard – he was going to have to remember to go get groceries tomorrow, but for tonight it was good enough.

Back at his computer, he started to browse around idly.  There was work of course – there was always work – but after 16 hours his brain was totally fried and he couldn’t focus.  Suddenly, skype started chiming that he had an incoming call – Robin, presumably taking him up on his offer of help.

He accepted the call and was surprised to see a woman’s face pop up on the video chat.  Of course a lot of female programmers don’t advertise their gender – like any male dominated industry the tech world has it’s share of sexists and for someone with an androgynous name there’s no reason not to just let the code speak for itself.   He  was careful not to let his surprise register on his face.

“Good to finally see your face John!” She had a big grin and laughed, “I’ll tell you, the mood around here was getting pretty dire.  Thanks for your humor, it’s exactly what I needed.  And it’s good to be able to laugh when slaying dragons.”

Now it’s a well known fact that a pretty girl’s smile has approximately the same effect on your average male engineer as a pint of coffee.  Especially a smart pretty girl who likes one’s sense of humor.

“Glad to meet you too Robin!  I agree, it’s good to be able to meet one’s allies when battling the forces of evil.  For the night is dark and full of errors, and only we few can hold back the tide…”

He delivered the line deadpan with just the barest hint of a smile on his face.  Much to his surprise, she laughed long and hard.  And John realized how much he had needed a friend.