Smart Machines by Kay Tracy
It was a Saturday, before the holidays. I had to pull some overtime on a few reports for the boss. Friday night, in the winter, now well after dark, and I couldn’t get the door to open. Something moved behind me low on the floor. A mouse?
That was three weeks ago, and I am still here. I can’t get out. Gods help me, I truly wish I could say it was because of my boss. How I wish a mouse was what I had glimpsed!
The firefighters who broke open the door keep trying to tell me I was in shock.
People sometimes ask about it, but no one really ‘knows’. Folks really don’t want to know.
You have seen them in many offices, those machines that will print, copy, and, staple. Oh, to be sure, there is someone who is designated to change the ink or toner as it calls for it. And usually, office etiquette says, if you empty the paper, then you are supposed to put more into the machine. Easy enough, But there is one thing most people never think about. I know I never did. At least, not until now.
I t was trivial at first. I started noticing little things go missing. It was easy enough to think it was my co-workers. Steph had run out of paperclips and took some from my desk. No worry there. The odd safety pin that I would keep in my drawer was next. I did think it was a bit rude for folks to go into the drawers of my desk without asking first. I mean, really!
In talking to others, I found out that they too had had things go missing from their desks. Small stuff at first. Then James complained that his new steel mug and thermos was gone. Julia’s power cord to her computer was next. Harold had an entire desk lamp disappear. The objects were getting larger, and stranger. Soon, anything that was made of metal was going missing. Small pocket change, keys, it seemed odd. Then William asked when we got the pretty staples. Everyone came to see, and there on his desk was a stack of reports with copper colored staples. I wondered about all those pennies that were once in the coffee fund can, which was now missing. But then, so too was the coffee maker!
I am desperate now, trying to find a way out of here. The parts inside the phone are gone now. The thing grows longer snakelike arms every day. The larger, more complicated items it brings to me for disassembly. I have no idea when it will have all it wants or needs, maybe then I can leave.
People really should know about these things. Maintenance includes more than just the paper and ink. More than just the “machine guy” every three months for a cleaning and lube. The staples should not be overlooked on these ‘smart machines’.
Kay Tracy is now retired, and has time to do all the things she thought she never would do! She loves to travel, play Magic, and write.
Kay Tracy is retired and now have the time to do all the things she never thought she would! She loves to travel, play Magic, and writing.