Tag Archives: Work

(Re)Pressing Matters

"...now we see the violence inherent in the system!"

“…now we see the violence inherent in the system!”

You’d like to write. No, you’d LOVE to write. So, by God… that will be your mission for the day.

At the Kitchen Table
You are at a table. Dirty dishes cover the far side of the circular surface, while the near side is buried beneath wrinkled sheets of plot outlines and character sketches. Your laptop hums among the latter pile.
There is a laptop open here.

>WRITE NOVEL
You’d love to, you really would, but something stops you.

>WRITE DIALOGUE
Try as you might, you can’t do that.

>KILL WRITERS BLOCK
The writer’s block is not the problem.
A pressing matter enters the room and perches itself on your laptop, obscuring your field of vision.

>STAND UP
Done.
The pressing matter follows close behind.

In the Kitchen
You are in a kitchen that has seen recent catastrophe in the form of burned eggs. Scorched pans sit on the stove and a dank, heavy smell permeates every corner. It does not, however, smell like napalm, thus it does not smell like victory.
Your spouse is standing nearby.
A pressing matter is here.

>SPOUSE, STATUS
Your spouse is healthy and happy. There is a good chance of ‘adult time’ in your future.

>SPOUSE, SCRUB BURNED PANS
Your spouse gives you a glare that seems to say “Excuse me?!”
Your spouse is now noticably nonplussed. There is a small chance of ‘adult time’ later in the week.

>LOOK AT PRESSING MATTER
It’s your standard, everyday pressing matter. There is a giant dollar sign on the front of it.

>SHOW PRESSING MATTER TO SPOUSE
Trust me, your spouse knows all about the pressing matter.

>KILL PRESSING MATTER
You’ll have to be more specific.

>INV
You are carrying:
a dollar
a shirt(on your back)

>GIVE DOLLAR TO PRESSING MATTER
The pressing matter consumes the dollar with sadistic glee. It appears to not be fazed.

>GIVE SHIRT OFF MY BACK TO PRESSING MATTER
You can’t go to work naked, so that won’t help things.

>GIVE PRESSING MATTER TO SPOUSE
Spouse: “I can’t possibly resolve that alone.”

>WAIT
The pressing matter bumps into the counter, knocking a box onto the floor.

>OPEN BOX
Inside the box is a menial day job next to a burdensome day job.

>GIVE BOTH JOBS TO SPOUSE
Spouse: “No.”
Your spouse is now noticeably displeased. There might possibly be a remote chance of ‘adult time’ next Tuesday, about 11.

>GIVE BURDENSOME DAY JOB TO SPOUSE
Done.
Your spouse has generated income. Your spouse is now exhausted.
The pressing matter appears to have weakened slightly.

>GET MENIAL DAY JOB
Taken.
You have generated income. It is now nighttime. Your brain is now Swiss cheese.
The pressing matter quietly fades from view.

>SIT DOWN
(at the table)
Done.

At the Kitchen Table
There is a laptop open here.

>WRITE NOVEL
You can’t do that. The plot has fallen out of your head.

>STAND UP
Done.

In the Kitchen
Your exhausted spouse is slouching nearby.

>SPOUSE, FOLLOW ME TO BEDROOM
Your spouse tags along close behind; they enter the bedroom and crawl immediately between the sheets. You get only a single wink goodnight before your spouse passes out to dreamland.

>SLEEP
I guess there is always tomorrow. Sweet dreams!

*** You have lost! ***

(Play again?) >DIE
I’ll take that as a no.

C:\WRITING\YAC\2-10-14\_

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Work, Children, and Burning Quilt

*Cue music!* - We go togeeeeether, like oil and water, cats and fire pits!

*Cue music!* – We go togeeeeether, like oil and water, cats and fire pits!

Kitchen
You are in a kitchen. Light from the full moon reflects through textured glass on the south wall, reminding you that you’d rather be sleeping. Assorted appliances line the counter like stoic, chrome soldiers. There is a cabinet filled with every food imaginable on the west wall. The rest of your house is to the north.
There is a mug on the counter.
Your son is shuffling nearby.
Your daughter is twirling nearby.

>STATUS
It is 5:52am. Something important is afoot, but you can’t think clearly.

>INV
You are carrying:
a typical amount of tired
work clothes (wearing)
work badge (wearing)

>NORTH
The children block your path.

>LOOK AT CHILDREN
They appear equally disgruntled by the early hour. You should probably do something for them, but can’t think clearly.
There is a loud beep and a bubbling sound from the row of appliances.

>FIND THE BUBBLING SOUND
The bubbling sound is coming from a fresh pot of time delayed coffee.

>GET COFFEE
(in the mug)
Done.

>DRINK COFFEE
Ah, nectar of the Gods! Your head clears somewhat.
You are now aware that you will shortly be late for work.

>NORTH
The children block your path. They are hungry and standing here expectantly.

>TALK TO CHILDREN
Son: “Feed me breakfast, please!”
Daughter: “I want food, please!”

>STATUS
It is 5:55am. The children are tired. You must leave for work 18 moves. If your children are not fed and happy, you will have a burning quilt.

>GET QUILT
There is no quilt here.

>COMPUTER, YOU HAVE A TYPO
If you say so. You just wasted two moves.

>GET FOOD FOR CHILDREN
You have to be more specific.
The children are hungry and pacing around you, grabbing at your pants.

>LOOK AT FOOD
Between the fridge and the cabinets, you want for nothing.

>MAKE EGGS
Risky. Your spouse is in bed with a migraine. You need to avoid a tantrum. Maybe ask what they want?

>CHILDREN, DO YOU WANT EGGS?
Son: “I want some eggs!”
Daughter: “No, I HATE eggs, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!”
That’s not going to work. Try again, perhaps.

>CHILDREN, WHAT DO YOU WANT?
Son: “I want cereal!”
Daughter: “I want a smoothie!”
That’s not going to work. Try again, perhaps.

>CHILDREN, PICK AGAIN
Son: “I want pasta and meatballs!”
Daughter: “I want a pony!”
You hear stirring from your bedroom. The children are getting too loud.

>CHILDREN, FOCUS!
The children stare blankly at you.

>STATUS
It is 6:02am. The children are tired. You must leave for work in 9 moves. If your children are not fed and happy, you will have a burning quilt.

>COMPUTER, DID YOU MEAN GUILT?
No. Tick-tock, tick tock…

>CHILDREN, WHAT DO YOU WANT
Your son crosses his arms and pouts.
Daughter: “Fine, I’ll have some eggs.”

>MAKE EGGS
You only manage to place a pan on the stove.
Son: “NOOOOOOOOOOO, I HAAAAAAAAAAATE EGGS!!!”
You hear stirring from your bedroom. The children are getting too loud.

>CHILDREN, YOU BOTH SAID EGGS
Son: “No I didn’t! I never, ever did!”
Daughter: “But I hate eggs, and you KNOW that!”

>DRINK COFFEE
You can’t right now, your face is buried in your hands.

>PUT CEREAL AND YOGURT ON TABLE
You place a selection of food on the kitchen table.
Both children are now crying loudly.

>KISS CHILDREN AND GET COFFEE
Each child gets a goodbye kiss.
Mug of coffee: taken.

>STATUS
It is 6:10am. The children are tired and grumpy. You must leave immediately for work. You sense a burning quilt coming.

>NORTH
You head towards the bedroom to rouse your spouse.
Both children wail, “NOOOOO!!!!!” and clutch violently at your legs. You lose your balance and leap forward, trying not to spill hot coffee on your offspring. The mug goes flying from your hand and into the open hall closet across from the kitchen. You tumble in after it, sprawling headlong onto a fluffy quilt, now saturated in 20 steaming ounces of Columbia’s finest.

On a Burning Quilt
You are on a burning hot quilt. You are also upside down in a closet. The exit is to the south.

>WEEP
There, there.

>STATUS
You are going to be late to work. You are covered in coffee. Your children are nearby, angry. Your spouse is standing nearby, holding and shaking their head.

>QUIT
Good call.

For anyone chuckling or nodding their heads right now – check out the Twinfamy blog. It’s good stuff that makes a parent feel better.

Photo credit: Me!

Your Word, Your Bond?

Every moment in life can be viewed through myriad angles. Even if fiction hits the page in one form, you can always turn it on its head in a second or third pass. We join our intrepid hero, Headcount Jones as they stand at the precipice of fateful decision…

Work is all fun and games until you have to go and kill someone.

Work is all fun and games until it kills you.

>PUSH DIRECTOR
The evil office director totters for a moment at the edge of the gaping elevator shaft, lowering his newspaper just in time to still not save himself. Gravity embraces his body with a fatal clutch and pulls him to an untimely death at the bottom of the metal cavern.
As his final scream echoes into oblivion you look up into the security camera lens. There will be no escaping your fate this time. You flash a winning smile and realize this is…
*** THE END ***
You scored 4 of a possible 42 points, earning you the rank of paper clerk.

WHAT NOW? >RESTART

Your Word, Your Bond?
You Are Carrying:
Copyright (c) 2014 Cordell Falk. All rights reserved.
Revision 4 / Serial Number . . . _ _ _ . . .

“It’s not a Monday unless you’re late,” you muse as you pass under the worn Welcome to Bigcorp banner at the entrance to your work. You cross the lobby and slap the cracked, orange button on the wall. A series of metallic groans mark the approach of the ancient and hazardous elevator car. The doors clatter open like the maw of an ancient dragon. You step inside and punch the ‘2’ button.

Elevator Car
You are in an elevator car. You see an official looking list taped to the wall.
There is a sticky note here.
There is a newspaper on the floor.

>GET NEWSPAPER
Taken.

>LOOK AT STICKY NOTE
There is writing there. It looks like your employee Heather’s handwriting.

>READ STICKY NOTE
Someone has scrawled your declaration verbatim from last month that you would either kill the evil director or quit in protest the next time he screws up the numbers for your group.

>READ LIST
The text announces that your work group has come in last in the district with 0 widgets produced. The evil office director has obviously forgotten to carry the decimal in his latest update, once again. Someone has scribbled in angry red crayon across the bottom.

>LOOK AT CRAYON
YOUR WORD IS YOUR BOND, is scrawled across the top of the list in your employee David’s handwriting.
The elevator finally ascends and lets you out.

The Second Floor
A circular room branches into two wings, east and west, where awesome productivity may sometimes occur. The elevator doors are to the north, partially obscured by support columns. There is a staircase to the south.
The evil office director is standing here.

>LOOK AT DIRECTOR
He projects the snappy, carefree fashion sense of a man who gets his monthly bonus regardless of performance.

>EAST

East Hallway
You are in the east wing hallway of your office. A set of key-coded double doors is to your left.
A plumber is here, working.
There is an open utility panel on the wall.

>OPEN DOORS
You do not have access. You belong in the west wing.

>HELLO, PLUMBER
“Hi there, be done soon. Have you seen my tube of caulking?”

>LOOK INSIDE PANEL
A number of pipes criss-cross en route to various parts of the building. A massive yellow handle is pulled out at a 90-degree angle from the main.

>ASK PLUMBER ABOUT PANEL
Plumber: “Sorry, sir. Had to shut off water to floor 2 or we’ll flood the main shaft.

>WEST

The Second Floor
The evil office director is standing here.
“Hello, Headcount!” the evil director offers with a wave.

>WEST
You hear the elevator car creaking back down as you leave the area.

West Hallway
You are in the west wing hallway of your office. A set of key-coded double doors is to your right.
There is a heavy cart full of computers here.
There is a tube of invincible latex caulk here.

>OPEN DOORS
The doors are firmly sealed shut.

>EXAMINE DOORS
The creases around the doors are sealed as if by invincible latex caulking. Through the window pane in the door, your work group is visible. David stands in front of the staff, arms crossed and head shaking. Heather draws her finger across her throat in reminder.

>GET TUBE
Taken. There is plenty of latex remaining.

>PUSH CART TO THE EAST
Ok.

The Second Floor
The evil office director is standing here.
There is a heavy cart full of computers here.

>GIVE NEWSPAPER TO DIRECTOR
“Thanks Headcount,” he says. He butterflies the pages open, obscuring his field of vision.

>WAIT
director: “Whoever that is, can you hit the call button?”

>SAVE GAME
Saved.

>PUSH BUTTON
You hear a horrible crunching sound from behind the closed elevator doors.

>WAIT
The elevator doors grind open, revealing the rusted interior of an empty elevator shaft. The car is nowhere in sight.
“Ah, there we are!” the evil director says over the top of the paper. He steps up to the edge of the shaft, pausing to finish the story he is reading.

>PUSH CART AT DIRECTOR.
The evil director squeals in terror. He tumbles in a full circle, the newspaper pages flapping like broken bird’s wings, and he strikes the ground with a terrible thud. Free from witnesses, you have fulfilled your vow. You are given less than an hour to revel in your success before the director’s fate is revealed and your group is downsized due to poor performance.
*** THE END ***
You scored 18 of a possible 42 points, earning you the rank of assistant coffee peon.

WHAT NOW? >RESTORE
Okay.

The Second Floor
The evil office director is standing here, engrossed in a newspaper.
There is a heavy cart full of computers here.
director: “Hey you, did you hit the call button yet?”

>INV
You are carrying:
a tube of invincible latex caulk

>GO DOWNSTAIRS
Okay.

Front Lobby
You are in the lobby of Bigcorp. There are locked gates blocking hallways to the east and west. The elevator doors are to the north, obscured by a statue of bureaucracy. There is a staircase to the south.

>CAULK ELEVATOR
You apply a generous layer of caulk around and between the doors. You could likely float the Titanic inside of that thing.

>GO UPSTAIRS
Okay.

The Second Floor
The evil office director is standing here, engrossed in a newspaper.
There is a heavy cart full of computers here.

>EAST

East Hallway
You are in the east wing hallway of your office. A set of key-coded double doors is to your left.
A plumber is here, working.
There is an open utility panel on the wall.

>LOOK INSIDE PANEL
A number of pipes criss-cross en route to various parts of the building. A massive yellow handle is pulled out at a 90-degree angel from the main.

>TURN YELLOW VALVE
The plumber frantically waves your hand away.

>GIVE TUBE TO PLUMBER
The plumber accepts your gift and walks away to inspect the remaining latex.

>TURN YELLOW VALVE
A hissing and bubbling sound emanates from the core of the building.

>WEST

The Second Floor
The evil office director is standing here, engrossed in a newspaper.
There is a heavy cart full of computers here.
director: “Hey you, did you hit the call button yet?”

>PUSH BUTTON
You hear a horrible crunching sound from behind the closed elevator doors.

>WAIT
The elevator doors grind open, revealing the rusted interior of a water filled elevator shaft. The car is nowhere in sight. The surface of the water is a foot below the level of the second floor.
“Ah, there we are!” the evil director says over the top of the paper. He steps up to the edge of the shaft, pausing to finish the story he is reading.

>PUSH CART AT DIRECTOR.
The evil director squeals in terror. He tumbles in a half circle, his vision blinded by flying pages, and he splashes down into the water.

>WAIT
“Help! Help! A bonus for saving me!” screams the evil director, flailing.

>WAIT
“Help! Help! A promotion for saving me!” cries the evil director, splashing.

>WAIT
“Help! Help! My company car for saving me!” gargles the evil director, weakening.

>SAVE DIRECTOR
You reach into the elevator shaft and pull the now humbled director to safety. He lies sputtering and gasping, soaking the carpet. He throws his arms around you in gratitude and you smile with crafty vengeance into his tilted hairpiece. You can’t wait to come back to work tomorrow.
*** YOU HAVE WON!!! ***
You scored 38 of a possible 42 points, earning you the rank of vice-president.(Next time get a corner office out of him)

WHAT NOW? >QUIT
Thanks for playing!

The author of this blog disavows any responsibility for haphazard workplace hooliganism that may follow consumption of this post.