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A Day in the Life

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Code Monkey like you… Code Monkey like you… This song is running on repeat through my head and it’s starting to feel like the song of my life.  Jesus, no more late night YouTube binges for me, although I can definitely think of worse songs to have stuck in my head all day, ones I don’t know the words to for example.  Plus my job is just boring enough that dissecting the lyrics and applying them to my life beats the hell out of working.

Code Monkey get up get coffee Tea actually; strong, with just a little milk, carefully brewed, then poured into my thermos and taken with me because sleep trumps shower and comics win over breakfast so I’ve started bathing in the evening and buying a croissant from the corner coffee shop on my way to the bus.  It’s been three months and I’m still leaving my flask of hot tea on the counter as many mornings as not so that I end up drinking it lukewarm and reproachful as I make dinner.

Code Monkey go to job Forty-five minutes on the bus during rush hour.  It could be so much worse.  Like if I got on two stops later with the big crowd and had to stand the whole way.  The regular bus driver is crazy though.  Friendly.  But crazy, which makes reading a complete impossibility, so I just stare out the window and try not to tip over onto the person next to me.

Code Monkey have boring meeting Every Wednesday at 11:30.  And sometimes Fridays at 9:30 as well, if the Wednesday meeting wasn’t deemed to be long enough, excruciating enough, or enough of a waste of time.

With boring manager Rob Lisa is her name.  She’s not actually boring.  Just new to management and overly diligent and convinced that all the company propaganda is true.  Plus her background is in business, not computer science, so while she gets the result, she has no idea what it is that we do to make it happen.  It would be cute if it didn’t make my life hell.

Rob say Code Monkey very diligent It’s not hard, show up on time (sober), and actually do the tasks you are assigned.  One would think that would constitute the minimum acceptable but it’s actually fairly unusual.  This is why I feel sorry for Lisa, even though she drives me crazy, it’s not like she has that much to work with.

But his output stink Actually she doesn’t say that.  Hooray for me.

His code not "functional" or "elegant" Or that either, although Jeremy in the next cubicle says it frequently.  To most of the office.  As near as we can figure what he means by “functional” and “elegant” is “written by him.”  I’ve been told not to let it worry me by many people, daily, so I just smile and nod and imagine strangling him.  Slowly and deliberately.  I am such a nice person.

What do Code Monkey think? Way to much is what.

Code Monkey think maybe manager want to write god damned login page himself Because there are so many rules and regulations and protocols to follow, the idea of being able to exercise creativity and style is absurd.  Take the DDA accessible website regulations for one.  Web page accessibility is great.  It’s really important.  Too bad the regulations meant to safeguard this significant concept are actually impossible to follow, consisting as they are of innumerable contradictory clauses and obsolete strictures.  But our company is big on accessibility (or at least wishes to appear so) and thus I’m paging through the absolute book of DDA regulations and trying to figure out if it was written by devout sadists, or just a tree full of hyperactive monkeys.

Code Monkey not say it out loud Yup, spending a lot of time keeping my mouth shut for sure.  About a lot of things.

Code Monkey not crazy, just proud Not so sure about the proud part, or the crazy either.  If I had any pride at all would I be working here? If I were sane would I be working here?  Don’t answer that.

Ooh the chorus:

Code Monkey like Fritos Yum.

Code Monkey like Tab and Mountain Dew Not so much…

Code Monkey very simple man Were that I were.  Except not.  Argh.  Why am I thinking about this?  This job was supposed to be separate from all that.  God ‘ol boys can’t see beyond the end of their nose.  Or maybe they... no, shouldn’t kid myself.  I use the women’s restroom and no one complains, maybe there’s a moment of confusion, but then I speak.  I’ve made this decision, using my given name, not saying anything, letting people think, whatever… I don’t even know what they think, and I don’t want to.  Whatever it is they’ll be wrong, I don’t even know what the right thing to think is.  And then there are the complications I always feel in situations like this.  There aren’t many women coders, three, not counting me: I counted on my first day.  So three, plus me, not plus me, sort of plus me.  That’s me, the sort of.  I can live with that.  Mostly.

With big warm fuzzy secret heart:  That lives in my books and webcomics and TV shows and all that stuff I kind wish I could share with someone and kind of like that it’s private.

Code Monkey like you Ah, yes, the reason I’m losing my cool. The reason I can’t get away from the question of who I am and how I’m seen.  Really you are the only one here to whom I care what I look like.  But one person is enough to bring it all back.  Unfortunately.

Code Monkey hang around at front desk  One of them anyway.  This office has one of those weird floor plans where there’s a door in every wall and no obvious main entrance.

Tell you sweater look nice  If only there were a nice easy non-threatening compliment for this situation.  Somehow I don’t think “Hey I can’t tell your gender and that makes me really happy,” is going to cut it.

Code Monkey offer buy you soda “Tea?  Coffee? I’m on my break…”

Bring you cup, bring you ice  “Milk? Sugar?”

You say no thank you for the soda cause soda make you fat I’ve got nothing on this line, treat it as filler, use it as time think about you – what you look like, how you speak, and the few comments that have passed between us.  It’s not often that someone’s gender doesn’t affect their attractiveness at all.  I mean if you are a woman then your spiffy soft butch aura is amazing.  And if you’re a man than your classy slightly flame-y look makes me swoon.  And if you’re anything else well… there are no words for how that would make me feel.  Usually it’s all “there’s a hot dyke, no wait it’s an ultra-macho footballer who would be incredibly offended if he knew what was just going through my head,” of course for all I know you would be highly offended at my current train of thought as well.  I like to think not though.

Anyway you busy with the telephone Tech support is no joke, just the basis for many an amazing after work story told over drinks.  Or I’m sure it would be if I could convince you to go out for drinks with me.  Something which would require some initiative on my part…

No time for chat Truth, or a gentle rebuff?  Add that to the long list of things I don’t know about you.

Code Monkey have long walk back to cubicle he sit down pretend to work  The afternoon is dragging as usual.  Why else would I be sitting here singing the same song hour after hour, pretending it was written about me?

Code Monkey not thinking so straight  I say it every time.  I’m not going to do it again, fall for someone who is a friend or co-worker or anything else where I am going to have to see them on a regular basis no matter what happens and thus causing the current existential crisis whereby I won’t make a move because if I do and get rejected AWKWARDNESS could ensue.  And then I do it anyway.  Again.  Grrr.

Code Monkey not feeling so great  I keep waiting for the social skills to kick in, or the muscle memory, or something.  I mean I’m how old?  It’s not like I haven’t done the meeting new people some of whom are attractive and/or of indeterminate gender thing before… and it never gets any more fun although apparently the vast majority of the world that is not me enjoys the experience.  Sometimes I wish I were a hermit…

Code Monkey like Fritos Yum.

Code Monkey like Tab and Mountain Dew Not so much…

Code Monkey very simple man I’ve been through this before.  At least once a day for the last three weeks.  There are no answers.  That was established years ago and I thought I’d come to terms with it but the fact remains I’ve never met anyone like me who has stayed like me, and that simple little fact makes me feel like a freak in a very deep way that I cannot shake off.  Sometimes I hate being a genderqueer who is into genderqueers.  Because everyone I’ve ever dated has ‘gone on’ so to speak.  Not that there is anything wrong with being trans, but that movement – they’ve crossed the metaphorical road and I am still standing here, eternally at the crossroads, I wish one person – just one – would stay here with me, just so I’m not so alone.

With big warm fuzzy secret heart: That I’m trying to protect even though that never works.

Code Monkey like you In a very conflicted, intense, and head over heels kind of way.

Code Monkey like you a lot In a way that reminds me that attraction is not controllable or reasonable and will have its way with me whatever I do.

Code Monkey have every reason Like how with every day here I get more experience I can apply solely to other jobs as boring and pointless as this one.  So much for working my way up, there’s nothing up there worth getting to.

To get out this place Finally enrol in that graduate program I’ve been contemplating ever since my first full time job perhaps.  Being a professor is an increasingly appealing notion.  Or being a pilot.  Or astronaut.  Or ANYTHING.

Code Monkey just keep on working I mean I do have full time employment, that is not too bad, on paper at least.  It’s more than a lot of people have in this shitty economy.

See your soft pretty face Because of course an office romance would be SUCH a good idea…

Much rather wake up, eat a coffee cake With tea NOT out of a flask… for once.

Take bath, take nap  I can’t even remember how long it’s been since I took an actual bath, or a nap for that matter.  I had a flatmate once who would combine the two and fall asleep in the bath tub, often at 4 AM.  He liked to bathe in the dark with a scented candle on the back of the loo.  It was totally cute except when I had to pee real bad.

This job "fulfilling in creative way" Hmm…

Such a load of crap I mean I knew it wasn’t the pinnacle of employment when I took it, but surely they have SOME projects that don’t make one contemplate brain death on a regular basis.

Code Monkey think someday he have everything even pretty girl like you Boy would my life be simpler if I wanted a pretty girl.  There’s a certain type of femme who’s into the geeky techie look.  And a further subset not put off by certain fuzziness’ in gender identity and who wouldn’t insist on my picking a side.  I am friends with several wonderful pretty girls like this.  I love them.  They just don’t turn me on.  I often wonder what is wrong with me.

Code Monkey just waiting for now  Because at least it’s better than living in my sister’s old room at my parents’, working a shitty part time job and waiting for my life to begin.  I may not like this job but at least I can afford my own flat, and I don’t even have to have a roommate.

Code Monkey say someday, somehow Did I think my days of spending all my spare time looking for a reasonable job that actually uses my skills and is mentally stimulating were over?  Such touching optimism.

Code Monkey like Fritos Yum.

Code Monkey like Tab and Mountain Dew Not so much…

Code Monkey very simple man Or whatever.

With big warm fuzzy secret heart: I like you I like you I like you…

Code Monkey like you I like you I like you I like you…

...

“H-hey.”

“Hi.”

“Do you have any plans after work?”

“Not today.”

“Wanna get something to eat or drink or something, with me?”

“Um, ok, sounds nice.”

“Um, great! So I’ll see you at closing…”