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We’re Down With This

, , , , , | Working | December 15, 2021

I was at work when I saw a fellow coworker was just arriving, so I greeted him.

Me: “Hey, [Coworker], what’s up?”

Coworker: “The direction opposite the pull of the weakest of the four fundamental forces within the vicinity in which the direction is referenced.”

Me: “Huh?”

Coworker: “You asked what up was, so I figured I’d explain for you.”

Me: “That’s what all that meant?”

Coworker: “Yep. I have a longer version that includes something about vectoral sums, but that was just too long.”

Me: *Sarcastically* “Oh, yes, obviously. You want to keep your answer nice and short like that first version.”

Coworker: “Exactly!”

For the record, I only managed to type out my coworker’s original answer by making him repeat it for me, slowly, as I was writing this.

Hailing Frequencies Open But Nobody’s Home, Part 2

, , , , , , | Right | November 22, 2021

It is the summer of 1990, between the third and fourth seasons of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. I’m walking through the parking lot of a local shopping center when a man comes bolting out of one of the stores, followed by a security guard. Another security guard, who was patrolling the parking lot, joins in the chase.

The man they are chasing is running frantically across the lot, trying to get away. Every few seconds, he slaps his upper left chest with his right hand and yells out:

Customer: “Scotty! Beam me up! Scotty! Beam me up!”

Each one becomes a more and more urgent call as the guards close in on him.

Customer: “Scotty, beam me up. SCOTTY, BEAM ME UP! Scotty, HURRY, beam me up. Beam up now! D*** it, Scotty, where are you? Beam me up NOW!”

He runs past me, around a row of cars, with the guards closing in on him. As he gets to the other side of the row, he stands still, positions himself as though he’s preparing for “beam out”, and one last time, desperately slaps his “Communicator” and calls out:

Customer: “Scotty! Lock in on me and beam me up NOW! HURRY!”

The two guards catch up with him, grab him, and lead him back to the store. As they pass me, I can’t resist.

Me: “Hey, buddy! You know why Scotty didn’t beam you up?”

He looks at me, apparently anxious to hear the explanation.

Me: “You were using the wrong communicator type. You were using The Next Generation chest-badge type; Scotty uses the flip-open communicator!”

The man exasperatedly throws his head back.

Customer: “Oh, man!”

The two security guards and I cracked up laughing as they led him off back to the store!

Hailing Frequencies Open But Nobody’s Home

Flawless Victory

, , , , , , , | Working | November 17, 2021

A few years ago, I was working as a retail journalist and got to cover the opening of a huge new toy store on a famous street in central London. The planners went all out, and the bigwigs of the company were walking around and talking to everyone. They even had several dozen costumed characters there to perform for the kids.

I saw them getting ready and had to do a double-take as I noticed a character who seemed a little out of place.

And that’s how I got the chance to see a choreographed family-friendly dance featuring such stars as Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam… and Scorpion from Mortal Kombat.

A fun night was had by all.

They Sure Weren’t Hired For Their Technical Knowledge

, , , , , | Working | October 22, 2021

Because I went to one of the top ten public colleges for computer science, I was used to numerous big tech firms showing up to try to recruit us, and often attended these events for the free food and swag. I was a poor college student; I would have done anything short of murder for some free pizza!

One of these events was with [Multinational Technology Corporation]. I got there early and the recruiter started talking to me. I was wearing a shirt given to me by a previous [Corporation] recruiter; I have two of the same shirt, both given to me by recruiters from this company.

Recruiter: “That’s an interesting shirt.”

Me: “Yeah, I like it. It says, ‘Geek,’ in binary.”

Recruiter: “Huh? How can it say anything?”

Me: “Well… each of these sets of numbers is a byte that can be converted to a letter. See, this one is a G, these two are E’s, and this is a K.”

Recruiter: “How do you get a letter from them?”

Me: “I looked up the number the binary represents in a table. Every possible number has some letter or other character it represents.”

Recruiter: “Oh, so it’s like a code?”

Me: “Umm, yeah. That’s literally the code computers use to store words.”

Recruiter: “That’s cool.”

The recruiter wandered off shortly after. I don’t expect a layman to know everything about a computer. I wouldn’t blame someone for not knowing what my shirt said. Still, I have trouble fathoming how someone whose job is literally recruiting programmers for one of the biggest tech firms in the world, who likely had to give out these very shirts before, wouldn’t at some point have learned that computers use binary.

For the record, I did intern with that corporation, where I received yet another copy of the binary geek shirt at one point, but ultimately, I chose to stick closer to home once I graduated.

The Clones Have Come Home To Roost

, , , , , | Right | October 11, 2021

The small aquarium I volunteer at is celebrating its one-year anniversary of being open. This coincides perfectly with the new release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” As such, the managers have decided to invite several people to dress up in character and hang around the aquarium. This draws in huge crowds, and while it’s fun for the guests, it’s making it hard for the employees/volunteers to get anything done.

I’m racing to deliver more birdseed to the aviary when I round the corner and find a full battalion of Clone Troopers in the 501st armor colors. The one dressed as Captain Rex stops me.

Captain Rex: “What is that?”

Me: “Birdseed? I really need to get through.”

Captain Rex: “You may pass.”

I delivered the birdseed but had several more run-ins with the Clones, as well as Darth Vader himself.