Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Blogger [Short Story]

"Says here you've been professionally blogging for the past three years?"

"That's correct."

Interviewer and interviewee. Two suits, across from each other, divided by a sea of desk. She jotted down a note after his reply.

"Who were you previously employed with?" she asked.

"Self-employed. I did some freelance writing, as well as ran a tech blog of my own."

"Excellent." Another response, another note jotted down. "How come you've decided to seek employment with us?"

"No more room left on the internet."

He fidgeted is his seat. One leg of the chair was slightly shorter than the other, and constantly shifted from side to side.

"You mean the market for your writing is dying off?"

He shook his head, brow furrowed. "Oh, no, I mean the internet is almost full. Soon there won't be any room left to put anything new."

The interviewer started to write something down, then, turned to look at him. She was expecting a joke, but he sat there earnestly returning her gaze.

"What do you mean, the internet's full?'" she inquired.

"Just that. We've been filling the internet for decades and now it's about full. Actually, it's partially on us bloggers. We kept writing and posting, never bothering to make additional room to replace what we filled."

An involuntary laugh escaped her. "That's absurd. The internet can't be filled. It's ever expanding. It's infinite."

"You're thinking of the universe. Even that will collapse one day. No, the internet is almost full. According to my calculations, by the end of the day. Maybe even sooner."

"This is a joke right?"

He shook his head. "No joke. Why do you think internet providers, at least the responsible ones, had a data usage cap?"

"To keep speeds consistent, and to make more money. That has nothing to do with filling some invisible amount of space."

"That's a classic misinterpretation. That cap was to protect supply. Like the price of crude going up due to demand."

A flurry of notes found their way to the page as her patience was exhausted.

"I'm sorry, but I'm not going to sit ere and listen to this," she said. "If you're going to waste someone's time with this inane joke, I prefer it be someone else's."

He shrugged and got up from his chair. By the time he'd gathered his resume and briefcase, she was standing by the open door ready to usher him out.

After he'd left she sat back at her desk and opened her laptop. She clicked the email icon and waited for the browser to pop up. The man had to be insane. Better to send a quick report to HR than risk a reprisal should he try that shtick again.

A moment later and she was signed into her account. She got as far as entering in Terri from HR's address before the keyboard stopped working. She banged hard at the keys, but no letters appeared from the prompt.

"I wonder if the internet's full," she muttered in disgust before restarting her computer.

Once rebooted she clicked the mail icon on her desktop. Instead of the usual music as it popped up, nothing happened. She tried clicking it again, and when that didn't work, several times more.

"Perfect," she said to herself.

She picked up the phone and dialed IT, preparing herself mentally. She hated calling IT. They always talked down to her and rarely fixed anything themselves. Course she would have preferred that to the busy signal that kept burping in her ear.

"Marge," she spoke into the intercom after giving up.

"Yes, Miss Stevens?"

"Can you get me someone from IT to come take a look at my computer? My email app won't work."

"No one's internet is working, Miss. All of IT is working on it now."

"Oh, okay. Thanks Marge."

She let go of the button and sat back.

"It can't be," she said to no one.

Miss Stevens flipped on the small TV in the upper right corner of her room. CNN seemed the logical choice to her. Onscreen, a video was showing, of a stock exchange room with people near rioting. The anchor was talking about the "greatest hacker attack" ever. All she heard though was white noise. She looked out the window to the city street below. People were pouring out of all the buildings looking around in confusion and excitement.

She picked up the application for the blogger she had been filling out. She stared at it for a moment, before she wrote one last note. In the hiring column she put down, "Maybe."

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