After the chaos of what was suppose to be my first day at Steemit Inc., I was half expecting to walk into an office filled with screaming people, running for their lives, as Ned rolled after them on a swivel chair dracarys-ing everyone in sight.
However, upon arrival, the office seemed suspiciously normal, until the receptionist silently motioned for me to come over; then her head spun around toward Ned’s office to ensure the coast was clear and, without looking, she slid an envelope to the edge of her desk, that read: “Tell The World My Story!!!”
Caught off guard, I blurted out, “I don’t want to get involved.”
“You don’t understand! I have children!” she pleaded, as I rushed past.
As I sat down at an empty desk, I became very concerned that I might be complicit in some sort of human rights violation, so, I convinced myself that she was probably just over reacting to the stress that comes with being a receptionist.
After a few minutes of breathing exercises, I walked into the break room to get a cup of coffee, but I was startled to find Ned in there. He was at the sink vigorously scrubbing a coffee cup while singing: “How much is that bitcoin in the window! The one with the waggle-y tail...”
As I deliberated aborting the coffee run, Ned looked over, removing any opportunity for me to turn back, so, I pushed forward toward the coffee pot.
“Oh! I got a good one for you!” Ned announced in a jovial manner, as if yesterday never happened. “Why do so many...” he paused to look over his shoulders before continuing, “...white people get lost skiing?”
“Is that why there’s so many empty desks? Everybody’s skiing?” I asked.
“No, they get lost because it’s so hard to find them in the snow!” he enthused, just before breaking out in a fit of laughter. “You get it?... because you crackers look like snow!” he choked out before doubling over with hysteria.
Horrified, I grabbed the nearest coffee mug, but as I poured the coffee, Ned’s laughter turned to sobbing, so, I quickly rushed for the exit. Then out of nowhere, Ned caught wind of my escape plan and reared up with a face full of tears and two monstrously bent arms that were coming at me like a velociraptor.
“Dan used to love my white-people-jokes!” he cried out while gripping my shoulders. Then as his hands migrated around my waist and his head rested on my shoulder, I heard a loud bang and I realized that my frightened hand had abandoned its duty and flung that coffee cup into the wall.
From outside the break room, I heard someone yell: “Ned’s shooting again!” Then I saw a few people run past the doorway and I heard the receptionist scream, “Will someone un-cuff me?”
At that point, I would have done anything to get that creepy bastard off of me, but as I listened to the receptionist mutter repeatedly: “It puts the make-up on its skin, so it looks like a rose again...” I knew that my only option was to console this lunatic with a pat on the back.
“I can’t even get Dan to return my calls! The only thing I have left is a sweatshirt and it doesn’t even smell like Dan anymore!” Ned sobbed. Since I had never been in a long term relationship and I know very little about gay culture, I was struggling to find the right words, but then I thought of movie cliches.
“You could send him a box of chocolates... because you never know what you’re gonna get… you know... in return!”
“Do you think I’m fucking stupid!? I’ve already tried that! And he wouldn’t even accept my flowers!”
Ned let go of me and while he used his shirt to wipe his eyes, he said, “Come on, you’ve got a lot of work to do today!”
As I followed behind Ned, he made a pit stop to talk to the receptionist who was now wearing an obscene amount of make-up and Ned told me to go to his office and organize his book collection.
When entering Ned’s office, I noticed that his bookshelf was almost bare except for the four lonely books that I quickly organized. Then I spotted a sign that read: “Do Not Unplug!” that was attached to a thick black cable that haphazardly darted out of the wall socket and under his desk.
As I followed the cable under the desk, I noticed that it was plugged into an old Gateway computer that proudly displayed the Pentium 2 logo. Then Ned came bursting in the room and in an accusatory tone barked: “Can I help you find something!”
“I was just looking at your computer... you’re using a Pentium Two?” I said to quell the situation.
“Oh… Yeah, I spent the extra money on the Pentium Two, because I’m a big believer in future proofing. Could you imagine trying to run a website as big as Steemit on a Pentium One?” he scoffed.
“Have you ever thought about upgrading to something newer?” I asked.
“And hand Steemit over to the NSA!? I don’t think so! Listen up, junior... the NSA put a backdoor in all the newer Pentiums and they can use it for anything! Shit! They can even detonate them to assassinate people like me!” Ned stopped to take a breath, “Haven’t you heard of Edward Snowman?”
“Is there something that you want me to be doing?” I asked to change the subject.
“For the last time! I want you to organize my fucking book collection!”
“I already did!” I said.
“Alphabetically!” he barked.
“They’re in alphabetical order!” I barked back as I marched toward the shelf in order to explain the alphabet.
“Oh... I thought it would have taken longer,” he muttered as I tripped over the black cable. I grabbed the desk and bookshelf to regain my balance and the cable recoiled away from the socket and disappeared under his desk.
Then every phone in the office began ringing and the guy dressed in the mechanic jumpsuit came rushing in, yelling, “Steemit’s offline!”
“Is it Dan?” Ned asked, while pulling a gun out from his drawer and looking around wildly.
“Look! Your computer’s unplugged!” the mechanic said, as he began fishing the cable out from under Ned’s Desk. Then he quickly plugged the cable back in and all the ringing phones fell silent. Ned put the gun down and then raced over to me.
While pointing at the, ‘Do Not Unplug!’ sign, a furious Ned proceeded to misread it, “Look! You fucking idiot! Don’t – ever – unplug!”
“It was an accident, I tripped over it,” I said as the mechanic left the room.
Ned took a long deep breath and calmly said, “That’s alright! I doubt anyone uses the site this early in the morning... Once, when Steemit was new, someone posted an amazing recipe for making cocaine smokable, just by adding a pinch of baking soda! In my excitement, I left that thing unplugged for an entire week. That week could have been the death of Steemit, but Dan came up with a brilliant cover story – he claimed we got dudosed.”
“Dudosed?” I asked.
“Dudosed, is programmer talk for when some hacker forces Steemit offline, by clicking the refresh button thirty seven times.”
“In a row?” I couldn’t resist blurting out.
“You think that’s bad? Then you don’t even want to know what used to happen when someone clicked, ‘print screen’ twelve times… It forked the fucking chain! Seriously, half the forks we did were because Dan couldn’t keep his cat off the fucking desk!”
“Anything else you need?” I interrupted to change the subject before Ned had another freak-out. He asked me to read posts off the trending page and while I read he kept interrupting to show me pictures of Dan. This went on for a few hours until Ned received a phone call, that sounded as if he was arguing over money.
As soon as he put the phone down he jumped up and yelled, “Fumigators are coming! Everybody, stop what you’re doing and get the fuck out!” I assumed that this was code for something nefarious, so, I bolted out the door and went home.