Sunday, March 3, 2013

Day 260 - the virus lingers

I have been pretty sick now with a virus since Thursday mid-day. I still feel lousy and am spending most of my time on the couch. Rather than tell you about my febrile dreams, I'll tell you a funny story about my early adulthood. It's much more interesting.
Back in 1986, I lived in Ann Arbor and was working at an image processing company, doing computer programming. I was in grad school, getting a master's in computer science. One of my friends worked at Borders, back when there was just one Borders in the whole world in downtown Ann Arbor. It was such a good bookstore; once I walked in and said that I was looking for a trio of books written by a Swedish woman at the turn of the century. I think she won a Nobel prize for them. The person who was helping me said, "O, you mean the Kristin Lavrandottir books. The author was Norwegian and I think we have two of the trilogy." At that point, if you wanted to work at Border's there was a pre-employment quiz where they made sure that your general knowledge was good enough and that there was a specific area or two that you had a deep knowledge. I was having one of the crises that often arise when one is in one's early twenties and was considering bagging the whole computer science, nine to five job thing. My friend offered me a job at Border's; I think I could have passed the test. That was just before Border's went through a period of explosive growth. I suspect if I had taken the job before long I would have been managing several stores or have been the regional head of technology or something. I would have had a stock option and that was probably my chance to become wealthy. I missed it. Why? Because I decided to do the safe, reliable, responsible thing. I'm not sure what the moral, if any, is, but the irony is outstanding.
Here, completely unrelatedly, is a depression simulator called "Depression Quest." If you've ever wondered what depression might be like, give it a try. If you are depressed right now, give it a miss. It makes me think of those games we used to play on computers in the 1980's where there are no real graphics and a lot of words and atmosphere. As you go through the game and get more or less depressed depending on your choices, the options available to you either expand or narrow as you have less and less energy. 
For me, I am going to continue to hope fervently for an end to this virus. For you, I am going to hope you never get this one.

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