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March 23, 2007


Today's theme was suggested by Jason (Thanks, Jason!). If you have a theme idea, please tell us using the THEME SUBMISSIONS box to the right.

The theme is Deadline At Work.

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Dave: The Deadline

“Help Desk.” The voice sounded dead on the line.

“My computer’s all messed up,” Bob shouted. “I need someone here, right away.”

“I’ve opened a ticket. Someone will be by before lunch.”

“I need someone here now – this spreadsheet’s got to go out by 9. Without that bottom line, I’m dead.”

“What's the problem?”

“I don’t know – if I knew, I’d be in IT, wouldn’t I? Look, the computer has rebooted itself three times today, and now the monitor’s not showing anything. I –”

The line went dead. The wall clock ticked to 9 and stopped.

Bob was out of time.

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David: No One Ever Gets To Do This


“Yes, Mr. Johnson?”

“I want that Johnson report on my desk by five o’clock or you’re fired!”

“Are you serious? I’ve been here nine years. I get my work done in a timely manner. My performance reviews are always above average or better.”

“What’s your point?”

“Given my work history, even if I were to fail to finish in time, I’m still one of the best employees here. I understand you feel the need to motivate me, but instilling fear for my job is not the way to go. It’ll be done by five.”

“Hmm. Yes. Well. Carry on.”

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Jim: Sometimes Late IS Never

Sam glanced down from the tile wall and at his wristwatch. “Oh, damn!” he swore, frantically yanking up his zipper.


Sam slammed open the restroom door, spun on one heel, and sprinted down the corridor.


It took three swipes before the door’s magnetic reader accepted Sam’s ID.


Six long strides and he threw himself into his chair.


Sam initiated the program.


The Delta’s fiery engines engaged. Sam, though, didn’t release the moorings in time and the enormous rocket exploded on the pad.

And that’s how NASA lost its final chance to stop the doomsday asteroid.

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Tanya: Untitled

Karl wolfed down his lunch, sitting on the back steps of his office, overlooking the alley. Choked down the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, washed it down with milk, and then rushed back to work.

His unfinished business lay before him. So much to do and not enough hours in the day. He checked them over, deciding how to proceed.

Three in a car crash. Drowning. Electrocution. Some accident involving a barbed wire fence, a rope, and a skateboard. Two stabbings, unrelated.

Karl sighed, and stepped up to the third table. No one has deadlines like a mortician has deadlines.

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Jeff R.: Go/Nogo

The fact that the universe was made in seven days- and one of them a paid vacation, at that- explains quite a bit, really.

Certain technical bugs simply couldn't be worked out of the system in the time allotted. The most vexing of them was a nasty little glitch in which querying each element's position caused it's velocity to vary unpredictably, and vice versa. And then there was the 'Entropy Leak' issue, in which every transaction brought the entire system a little bit closer to total shutdown.

They said they'd fix it in the patch. We're still waiting for it.

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Michele: I Dream of Booty

The Captain said 15 minutes. Bring him some booty by then or walk the plank.

He swashbuckled his way around the island, following the torn map the best he could.

He had to kill four of his shipmates. Pirating is dirty business.

At last he reached the spot where the X was on the map. He found the booty! He would survive, and the captain would be pleased with him!

He was about to start digging when he heard a booming voice behind him.

"Jared! The bus is here!"

Curses. The booty digging would have to wait til after school.

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