The Coffee Machine’s advances towards the copier have not been well received

The marketing department has been in a bit of a frenzy the last few days. Ever since the weekend, the copier has been printing everything sent to it in shades of blue. Which is disturbing to them in several ways, not least of which is that the copier is not a color copier.

The Coffee Machine, meanwhile, has been sulking and unwilling to engage even in our usual morning banter. Tellingly, even at the mildest settings, any brew I select comes out bitter enough to crack teeth.

I find myself missing our morning chats. It’s telling that the absence of something that I’d frankly dreaded each morning would leave such a void in my life.

Great Caesar’s Ghost

Great Caesar’s Ghost

New letter from Tubby, written on a wad of bar napkins and jammed into an envelope. As usual, this is my best attempt at translation of his gibberish. Some details may have been mangled in transit.

Seems it’s finally dawned on him that he may have helped me create the worst fantasy football team in the history of the sport. Modern history, anyway.

Caesar never played fantasy football.
Which is probably just as well. If the Celts or Germanic tribes ever confronted him with the backstabbing and overall treachery that I’ve gotten from this rotten pack of so-called players rounded up by that demented moron Igor, he’d have massacred the lot of them. Rome would have ruled for 2000 more years, and there’d still be pasta and poorly engineered cars from Rome to Scotland.

I wrote that bit two days ago, before lurching into a short but energetic bout of drinking, and have since been informed that Caesar was in fact stabbed in the back, and front and sides as well. Consequently I’m reassessing my original stance, and my theory is now more aligned with the idea that he was likely playing some embryonic version of Fantasy Gladiator, and those treacherous sword wielding bastards were undoubtedly other members of his league.
History is a fascinating subject, and it gives me some comfort knowing that my exploits shall be studied, in depth, wallowed in even, and that some class time, maybe 15 minutes or so before the bell, will be devoted to the day I finally dropped a goddamn anvil on Igor’s head.
None of those miserable Romans ever did to Caesar what Igor did to me. None of them stuck him with Brian Quick as a starting wideout, or traded a crippled and lifeless CJ Anderson for 15% of my entire budget. If they had, even Shakespeare would have forsaken them. No one would voluntarily write about such treachery.
No one except me.

Tubby La’Fluer

The Coffee Machine tells me that it finds the copier beautiful

The Coffee Machine tells me that it finds the copier beautiful

I nearly choked on my Kona Gold.
“I don’t think she even knows I exist.”
That threw me a bit, and I admit I had a moment of sympathy for the thing. I thought of the girl from marketing. I guess technically she knew I existed, at least in an abstract way. As in there was bipedal ape descendant in the building named Charlie. That’s about as far as it went.
“If you were my friend you’d pour coffee into her gears.”
So much for the sympathy.
“I could make you. I know more about you than you think.”
I walked away, leaving the coffee machine to sulk. Or plot. Or nurse a broken heart.

Invisible Cubicles

Ray is one of our older salesmen, a grizzled veteran of the marketing wars. Being a grizzled vet, he’s been at a dozen or so companies over the years. The weirdest gig though had to be his time at Microsoft during the bubble.
He was a bit of a rising star at the time, and had attracted the attention of upper management, which at a company the size of Microsoft is a no mean feat. He was a human lamprey. A flatworm salesman who’d get pulled effortlessly into the intestinal tract of massive multinationals and come out the other end clutching millions of dollars of software licensing deals.
Gates himself pulled him into his office one day. He said he had a new assignment for him. Microsoft had conquered the industry. All that was left were companies making hardware for Windows, or making software that would run on Windows.
Like any emperor he did not have time to properly survey his holdings. His news came from sycophants, CEOs of companies that came offering tribute to avoid being crushed, or CEOs of companies that wanted to be bought. He needed someone inside, someone he trusted, to tell him what was really happening out there, in this bubble, this Cambrian explosion of internet companies with odd names and delusional business plans.

Ray told me all this through his first three whiskey sours. He had no one to talk to, to drink with anyway, now that Franz had gone, so he picked me. Why these dinosaurs, these fossilized executive cadavers have suddenly singled me out for attention I couldn’t say. Ray, like Franz before, may be making a horrible mistake, but it’s not my place, I’d guess, to tell him.

Two drinks later, after trying and failing to get me to explain why the coffee machine hated him, he told me the story of the first visit, the first travels he made for Mr. Gates.

“I traveled to a company that sold employee monitoring devices. RFID chips that tracked all employee movement, and software that created complex and beautiful visualizations that were displayed on the ceilings over the cubes, flowers that danced and twisted above the workers as they typed and got coffee and shifted slightly in their seats. Teams of accountants sat in the hallways, watching the patterns, looking for signs of who to fire in the flowing shapes.

They were their own biggest customer, and every quarter the company’s operating costs declined, something they were very proud of. They were, they said in their marketing literature, proof of their own success.

When the company ran out of engineers to fire the accountants turned on the HR department, then the executives. The last time I visited the VP of Finance was sitting alone in the hallway, watching the walls which, with both the patterns and employees that made them long gone, had shifted to steady and unmoving blue.”

News from the front

First missive of the football season from Tubby, who’s successfully piloted our team to a bottom of the league 0 and 2 start.

Ahoy, Charlie

You’ll be happy to know that I’m in the final stages of preparing my staff for the season ahead, which begins any week now, once we’re done with this nightmare blizzard of injuries I should hope. I’ve got our old friend Igor as director of personal, Madam Twist from the square has agreed to be our special teams coach, and I’ve got a feeling that we’re going to be able to bring on the severed head of General Stonewall Jackson to be our defensive coach. That leaves me to handle the offense, and as long as it’s not stocked with has-beens and cripples, we should be in fine shape.

In our case, having a practice draft in August has really worked out in our favor, allowing us to test Igor’s theories regarding drafting white wide receivers, running backs with no serviceable offensive lines, and quarterbacks with a knack of snapping load bearing parts of their anatomies. These schemes of his, while seductive in their own way, have, as I suspected, turned out to be the worst kind of gibberish. Honestly, if Igor was more consistent we could make do fine by betting against every move he makes, but he’s right just often enough to throw off every attempt to compensate for his ineptitude.

But, like I’ve said a hundred times before, that’s why we do preseason.

Looking forward to October draft.

– Tubby