This week I am on a ‘training course’, together with ten other individuals. Officially, it is a ‘communications training’. In fact, though, it is a thinly-veiled attempt at forcing us to conform to the wishes of our management. We’re only one day in and there have been several exercises along the lines of “name 3 positive things about your company” and “come up with 3 negative things about your company – Ok great now put a positive spin on each of them”.

I can see how some of it is useful when dealing with complaining customers, of course. But the emphasis truly seems to be on convincing us that the company is the hottest thing since buttered toast.

It doesn’t really work so far, but hey, two days to go.

Meanwhile, I have been in a lousy, lousy mood. Work has been bothering me a lot, yes, but my last real relationship – other than some going out with random ladies who disappear too quickly to even give them code names for this blog – was a year ago. And I am not getting younger.

I have some time off to the end of the year. I must really find some way out of this mess…

I wonder if I could crowdsource my problems.


It seems I can now accurately spot a Nigerian scammer by sentences as short as six written words.

The CTO of my customers refuses to send a CSR – Certificate signing request – by email for “Secruity Reasons”. He doesn’t seem to understand the difference between a public and a private key. The same individual attaches a high-resultion scan of his handwritten signature to every email.


Met with a girl geek. Second time. Not actually a date – from the beginning this was a clear “for friends” deal, for some very good reasons. Anyway, it has been quite clear, I think, that we are quite compatible, as friends. Nevertheless, she had to start today’s non-date with: “Subtlety is not my thing, so, No sex.”

Thanks, girl geek. Not only did we actually already settle that by deciding it’s a “friends” thing, but did you really have to spell it out that way? Way to prop up my confidence.

Winfried is our security officer. He is perhaps not the sharpest knife in the drawer: Our local IT team just removed Winfried’s 207 print jobs stuck in a print queue. About a hundred pages each. When told about it, Winfried”s reply was, “Why would the printer queue documents?”

Neighbour lady: “Oh secretgeek, nice to run into you! How are you?”

Secretgeek: “Oh, good evening! Doing so-so. Could use a vacation.”

Neighbour lady: “I am great. – Oh this is my girlfriend by the way.”

Secretgeek: “Nice to meet you.”

Neighbour lady: “So is it so bad? Didn’t you just have some time off?”

SG: “Yeah and already feel like I could use more time off, tells you something I guess. So, how are you doing?”

NL: “Just great, work’s alright and I have a few days off soon. Will take a short trip.”

SG: “Nice, I am envious.”

NL: “Oh, just join me. Or take some days off on your own, I am sure you have enough days since the year just started?”

SG: “Not as easy as that, I am afraid, we’re a bit understaffed.”


Do you see what went wrong here? Comment below with your suggestions…

Bahati inquired what I would be doing over Christmas.

“Probably nothing,” I replied. “Why?”

“Oh I just got engaged, and I thought maybe you and I should take a romantic vacation before I get married next year.”

She proposed a fairly nice destination but in the end we didn’t do it. One, because it was too expensive on short notice. And quite honestly, two, because I felt it was too scummy.

But something is definitely not right; she also insisted on spending the night of her birthday talking to me on Skype. I wonder.

Yes, I am still here.

I think I am immutable. Like a rock in the surf. And like that rock, I am slowly being eroded by my environment…

It’s me! Secretgeek! Older and just as cynical as ever. Oh and single again, because the girl I was dating turned out to be very immature. We broke up in early September, and I won’t go into details (lest this be identifiable) but it was really not my fault this time.

So, hmmm.

What next? No idea.

Ohyeah. Merry Xmas, people.

Something a bit more geeky for a change:

Coworkers Bastian and Donald were trying to get a server to work. They configured its network interface based on information they gleaned off of another server from the same customer, and yet it doesn’t work.

Bastian: “It has to work, server A has a .17, and I used .163 for server B. It’s in the same network, it should just work!”

Donald: “Netmask and gateway are OK?”

Bastian: “Yes, it’s a /29.”

They worked on this for a little while. I finally couldn’t take it anymore.

Secretgeek: “You do realize that those are not in the same subnet?”

Donald: “Please stay out of this, Secretgeek. You aren’t a networking guy, this is too complicated for you.”

Secretgeek: “Seriously, it’s -“

Donald: “- the third octet is 212, it’s the same network!”

Secretgeek: “Right…”

Bastian: “We should check the cables.”

Donald: “Yeah, Let’s. That’s gotta be it.”

They left the office, leaving yours truly behind to shake his head in sadness at the stupidity of the world.

Met Linh again. Got home at 5am – on a weekday. A workday. I will have a hard time staying awake but it was totally worth it. Linh and I settled a misunderstanding that resulted from her poor understanding of German.

“I am so glad,” she said. “I like you so much but I was really not sure what to do about you. I was very close to calling this off.”

“But now you changed your mind?”

“You bet,” she said and kissed me again. “Now I am yours. Let’s make this work.”



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