By popular demand...
One thing you have to understand about Ajax is that it was run out of my boss's (Let's call him "Pete") home. I worked in a dank hole in the basement with my officemate, while our boss worked in a sunny office upstairs looking out on the backyard. We could often hear him grunting and grumbling up there throughout the day, and his favorite thing was to involve us in "meetings" for the better part of the day. Often these meetings would involve a speakerphone call to one of our many contractors, but just as often it would be the three of us listening to Pete as he explained what a great deal he'd gotten last night on all-you-can-eat roasted chicken. I am really and truly not making that up- it actually happened.
To survive the day- and often the meetings- my officemate and I would communicate via instant messenger. So, while on one level we'd seem to be taking notes, in reality, we were deep in snide conversation. Believe it or not I still have some of the logs from these conversations. I've included one below.
Before you start reading I should probably mention that this conversation took place during a very, very dark period in my life. My place of employment was so fucked up that it often took less than a DAY for new hires to decide to find another position. My officemate's eventual replacement decided so after her first FOUR HOUR meeting with the boss where he, basically, scolded her in advance for disloyalty. Later that day I basically got to watch Pete crush her spirit when, in response to her question "Don't we want to make this product good?" he answered, "No." So, all I'm saying is keep that in mind when reading all this.
Drek: Can we refer to our product test plan as "Backdooring the system"? [Pete constantly mentioned that we had to “backdoor” the government. We don’t think he meant it as a euphemism but who can be sure? I should also mention that I was in charge of writing the company product testing protocols. I did it four times, and after each Pete kept insisting we needed to do it again. By the end of my employment, I was just recycling the old ones in a round-robin sort of thing. It kept Pete happy, and cut down on the busy work.]
Officemate: Yeah good idea, I guess that's a little more PC than "Assramming the System" which was what I was calling it.
Drek: I believe you mean "Assramming the Clients" which is what this company is all about. "Ajax Electrics: All Assramming, All the Time"!!!!
Officemate: Oh, right, I get so confused. We’re supposed to Assram the clients, Shake our dicks at the government, and Suckle our consultants. Thanks for reminding me.
Drek: I have this image of John Walker [One of our more useless consultants] suckling at a teat. So who does Pete throw his own feces at? [I have no idea where that aside came from, but in meetings we often made monkey analogies, so that’s probably it.]
Officemate: He throws them into his own mouth
Drek: No, that's where his ideas about systemitizing come from, so he excretes feces from his mouth.
Officemate: Yeah, I think he uses his feces to cover his head, in the shape of hair.
Drek: Agreed. Maybe he wears a toupee made of genuine Llama asshair. [Llamas were a frequent topic of conversation for reasons that elude me at present.]
Officemate: I am sure, from the finest Bolivian alpaca Llama assholes.
Drek: No doubt hand-stretched and manually sodomized by village women skilled in the ancient maya art of Alpaca-sodomy. On another topic: Why are you worrying about John, what does Pete do for us?! [John Walker’s skills overlapped somewhat with my officemate- which is to say, my officemate could have done John’s job while strapped to the front of a cruise missile.]
Officemate: I don't know but he [Pete] is not getting $500 /hour.
Officemate: Is he?
Drek: Pete? You don't want to know. I think my $200,000 a year estimate [Of Pete’s salary] was low. And when you factor in the house cleaning charged to the company, the power and phones charged to the company, etc, etc, the man is living free. [It’s important to note here that not only did we work out of this guy’s house, but we also largely subsisted on government grants.]
Officemate: Must... contain....exploding....brain.
Drek: Just breathe deeply and remember all his valuable contributions to Ajax like...uh....hmmmmm....well, there's...uh....typos?
Officemate: There's the porn he’s added to the hard drives. [Pete was a huge porn addict. My officemate discovered this accidentally one day while going about his business in the office. Pete once made my officemate clean the porn off of his (Pete’s) notebook computer before we went to a meeting with a regulatory agency.]
Drek: The sweet smell of tobacco he fills the air with. (Did I really type the phrase "ancient maya art of Alpaca-sodomy" a few minutes ago?)
Officemate: Yes you did. You are definitely improving your prose. Careful: Ajax owns that phrase now, you will have to pay a license fee! [Pete had wanted us to sign intellectual property agreements that would have conceded to the company the rights to anything we wrote or worked on, in or out of business hours, with or without company resources, during the time of our employment and for five years following. In other words: he wanted to make us legally unemployable by anyone else.]
Drek: Do I get MDC credit for the Alpaca crack? [MDC stands for "Monkey Demon Cup," basically a daily prize for the most bitterness about the company.] Hey, that has possibilities, Alpaca crack... Look, if Ajax wants to sodomize an Alpaca they won't get any arguments from me. We can become the internet resource for Alpaca sodomy. We can found eAlpacaSodomy.com!!!!!
Drek: So who will we pick for officers?
Officemate: The Regulator: President and CEO. [The regulator was… well… a twelve-inch dildo that we imagined would bring divine justice to the company. Sound weird? Yeah, well, bite me, as cosmologies go, I think it rather mundane.]
Officemate: Drek the Uninteresting: CFPIO- Cover For Pete’s Incompetence Officer.
Drek: No kidding.
Officemate: Eddie says: Business plan yet for eAlpacaSodomy.com?
Officemate says: Yes, we will have the latest and juiciest alpaca for shipment within 24 hours to anywhere on earth. [Eddie, believe it or not, was Pete’s son, who often participated in our “chats” from another state. Usually he participated via a separate program, which is why my officemate is relaying. Eddie was usually amazed that we stayed with Ajax for as long as we did. Later on Eddie started working for Pete as a consultant and was honestly amazed at how reserved my officemate and I had been about the conditions at Ajax.]
Drek: No, no, that might actually make money! That isn’t what Ajax is all about!
Officemate: Eddie says: Can I order some right now?
Officemate says: Yes, what size would you like?
Officemate: Eddie says: 128oz.
Officemate says: That's the smallest size, only for our "under sized" customers.
Drek: Do we specify color and sex as well, or sell "as is"?
Officemate: We specify Tightness, kink, hardiness, and dementia level. Everything else is a crapshoot.
Drek: Do we check for parasites? You know catching Alpaca Spongiform Encephalopathy is no laughing matter.
Officemate: Do we check for parasites? Dude, we inject with parasites prior to shipment!
Drek: Oh well: some days you sodomize the crab and some days the crab sodomizes you...
Vulgar? Juvenile? Stupid? Hell yes- we were all of the above, and looking back on it, I'm sorta ashamed. At the same time, however, we were desperate to escape and often times trying to make the product good in spite of Pete's best efforts. If you can emerge from a situation like that without becoming bitter, I'd be impressed. It is safe to say that much of my vulgarity and cynicism is a direct result of Ajax Electrics.
So, tune in tomorrow for... um... who cares? This week is really turning out to be a wash as far as quality programming goes.
What can I say? At Total Drek content is god, and we're atheists.