vr

a novel

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

March 2000

This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 3 March 2000
Subject: The Joy of Plot

I have finally mastered the new format of Todd's web site. It wasn't easy, and I still don't like it, but it can be, and has been, done. I am also the new master of MS Outlook mail merges and the foolish Hebrew DOS program we use to book services, process payment, and write invoices and confirmations. It's actually pretty good. It's not exactly Windows, but there are four panes, client data, flight data, land services (conference registration, hotels, tours etc.) and billing, counterclockwise from the upper right hand corner of the screen. Everything works with tab, enter and F1-12. I really like not having to use the mouse. Those idiots at Apple fucked up everything when they invented the piece of shit. Anyway, the test of a web site is how many times I have to click to get to what I want. (I'm assuming that I should never have to use the scroll bar, another useless Apple invention.) I've lost count of how many clicks it takes me to find something vaguely interesting on Todd's site, but at least you could have the "Continued" link go to the point in the article where it leaves off, instead of going to the beginning of the text and making me scroll down. Same remark for the "Back to the main page" link. It should go back to where I was, not to the stupid logo, which I rather like, except there's something dreadfully wrong with the motto: "If sex is a weapon, then we're the war correspondents." I am probably misquoting, since I'm writing this offline (no unlimited local calling). This is what we call a non-sequitur, which you misspelled in a recent text. I guess it isn't in the spell-check. (I never use them. I hate them. I'd rather make mistakes.) I don't mean that the apodosis is not the logical conclusion of the protasis. It isn't, but that's not the point. This is not a syllogism, but a rhetorical flourish, which is fine with me. However there is a weak semantic link between weapon and war, a link of hyponymy and hyperonymy, where there should be a link of synonymy. In other words, what you want here is either: "If sex is a weapon, then we're the arms inspectors," or "If sex is a battle, then we're the war correspondents." (The later is a slight case of hyponymy/hyperonymy, but I've done it that way because of the usual expressions: "battle of the sexes" and "war correspondent".) Anyway, Miss. Anne Marie or whatever the fuck her Paki name is (I've seen her erotica site. I'd rather watch Buttman.) (I know she's from Sri Lanka, but who cares? The only useful thing about that country is the tea, former Ceylon.) What is this foolish obsession with plot? Will you people please grow up? Plot died somewhere between Flaubert and Proust. Hypertext has only made it even more irrelevent. What is awful about most porn is not the absence of plot, but the shameless efforts to make a plot. If the makers of porn had any education, they would dispense entirely with plot, as anyone who has ever read Faulkner would do. The greatest porn movie ever made is no doubt Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom, which has not a hint of a plot, no characters to speak of, precious little dialogue, and only the veneer of a setting. It takes place in Mussolini's Italy, but it could just as easily be Wild Bill's Mistake on the Lake in Belleview. Nevertheless the film is so powerful that it created simultaneous brawls at my home and one of Nichelle's friend's when the bf showed it to his ex-future gf. It is beautiful and unforgettable. It makes Stanley Kubrick look like a cheap pimp. My last word for today, Mr. Antichrist, is that anyone who tells me that something is right or wrong, without giving me the criteria on which such value judgements are made, is either a fucking idiot, or takes me to be one. Of course, it takes a little time and effort to elaborate a system of ethics, and I'm not sure it's worth it. Bertrand Russell says of Spinoza that he was probably the greatest ethical philosopher of modern times, and that as a natural consequence he was treated like shit for two hundred years after he died. Of course my favorite philosopher du jour is Terrible Tom Hobbes, who is even worse than his reputation, a vicious, cruel man who would have fit right in at a whore-house cocktail hour with Long John Swift and Alex "The Dwarf" Pope. His greatest line is not actually that life is "poor, lonely, nasty, brutish and short" or even "the war of all against all" or many other beautiful characterizations of the natural state of man, which is of course anything but natural, but his assertion that God's justice is perfect, given that the test of a just distribution is that no one complains of his share, and no one ever complains about his portion of intelligence.

RECTVM VINVM
Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 3 March 2000
Subject: New Year's Resolution

You once sent us back a couple of hundred e-mail messages that we had lost. I am going to ask you to do something like this again. I have managed to hook up my MS Exchange mailboxes to my aquanet account, but I can't forward the messages to myself, or they simply come back to my MS inbox. Forwarding them to my hotmail account and then reforwarding them to my aquanet account would take forever. I know you are the man to do this. You are the only geek I trust, except Nichelle of course, but I don't know if she has yet mastered this kind of thing. So I'm going to forward you about five hundred messages. Please wait until I am done before you forward them back, because if I am connected to MS then they will just come back where they came from. I want them in my Eudora inbox. I'll wait for your approval of course before I begin.

From: John
Date: 3 March 2000
Subject: Re: New Year's Resolution

There has to be a better way to do this that doesn't require any forwarding or resending of messages, but I'm not in the mood to try to figure out obscure windows program behavior. I don't even have that shit installed right now. Before you start, I'd like to set up something on my other computer to fetch all my messages automatically so I don't go over quota on the mail server. How urgent is this?

From: SAGReiss
Date: 4 March 2000
Subject: Re: New Year's Resolution

Not urgent, bro. Whenever you find the time to set your shit up, let me know. It won't take any time. Shit, Ctrl-F, Ctrl-V, Ctrl-Enter, down arrow, repeat. I can send five hundred messages in two hours.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 4 March 2000
Subject: What is a plot?

Sam Bam Johnson says that the greatest plots ever made were Oedipus Tyranus, Volpone and Tom Jones. I'll assume that we are all familiar with the first, that none of you have read the second (which I don't remember very well anyway), and that most of you have read the third, or at least seen the film. It is interesting to note that the common element of the three is that an unlikely coincidence determines the result of the actions. The kind of coincidences that drove Nichelle crazy in David Copperfield run rampant in each. Stendhal quotes someone or other (It doesn't matter whom because the quote is made up.) as saying that the novel is a mirror travelling along a road, but of course a mirror travellong along a road would not show us anything even vaguely resembling a plot. Indeed life has no plot. There is no beginning, middle and end, except in the cycle of birth and death, which is an arbitrary distinction anyway, since the lives of the parents and children reach beyond those limits, and very few stories actually cover the birth, life and death of the hero. This is what Larry Sterne is poking fun at. I think Sterne is a good place to start, since he is lampooing the novel at the time of its birth. (Who really cares who wrote the first novel? The English say it was Defoe, the French say it was Balzac, the Spanish say it was Cervantes etc.) A plot is a way to orgasmize the material. Our notion of plot probably comes from our experience of the novel, the short story and film and television, with roots going back to Horace, Virgil, Aristotle and ultimately Homer and the Bible (at least the New Testament. I don't see much of plot in much of the Old Testament.) Plot is generally not a great element of lyric poetry or the plastic arts, this for good reason. A plot is a teleological devise, that is to say it is mainly concerned with time and causality. (Notice that time is not generally understood to be linear in this sense. The Illiad is a huge flashback, as is Oedipus. This is not a recent invention.) But even if time was considered to be non-linear, it was still made up of discrete elements, until Al "The Fixer" Einstein fucked up the world's notion of time. Once time can bend, speed up, slow down, and be expeienced in different ways, then plot loses a lot of its power to interest us. Add to that the teleological certainties were being thrown to the dogs by Nietzsche at the same time, and you come to the crisis in thought that gave us cubism, atonal music and psychoanalysis. One could probably make a story board of The Sound and the Fury or the Alexandria Quartet, but it might be more trouble than it was worth. Indeed Faulkner seems to be mocking us by carefully indicating the dates of the four parts of his novel. There can be no plot to my own little art, because I write in real time. I don't know now if I'm going to ream the girl at work's asshole, but I'll be happy to share the news with you if I do. And, as in the Alexandria Quartet, if I go back to past events, I change them, willingly or not, and none of you, except Nichelle at one time, has any way of knowing when I'm telling the truth and when I'm making things up, except for a few things you can verify, such as the web site of the company I work for, but even there, I'm not in the team.gif photo, which was taken a year or two ago. In fact, again except for Nichelle, none of you has any independent evidence that I am in the Orient at all. I'm getting distracted. The Tropics have no plot. Naked Lunch has no plot. If we assume that there is no teleological end, and that time is not made up of discrete units, I don't see how we can persist in orgasmizing works of art according to the dictates of plot. We have to find other ways, using linguistic means, such as rhyme or rhetoric in a lyrical poem, or visual means, such as color and shape in a painting or a film. I have never seen a True Cops show or a Buttman video. My guess is that the True Cops shows don't air when the cops accidentally beat some poor fool to death or burst in guns blaring on a family enjoying a late supper. I would like to see real sex videos. In fact I'm planning to buy a hotel and have negatron install video surveillance cameras in every room, so that the two of us can sit around watching the guests screw 'n' chew. That's the kind of porn I'd like to see, people who don't know they're performing. For all I know it might not even be illegal, at least in some places...

RECTVM VINVM
Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 7 March 2000
Subject: The Bourgeois Mind

A rather more disturbing tendancy noted in Todd's latest publications is his thoughts on privacy in the workplace. (I'm sorry that I seem to pick on you, Todd, but if you put yourself on the line, you know you're going to get fired at. I've taken my share of heat. No one else writes anything for me to read. One of these days I'll put someone else on this list.) I didn't much care for the snide tone of: "We all MOO so much at work." Did you ever think that maybe some people have jobs that don't give them internet access? Or is mouthorgan a site exclusively for geeks and New Agers? I do now, incidentally, have web access at work, but don't use it to MOO or to write private e-mail. There's no special reason for this. I'm busy at work. I do twenty to thirty hours of OT per month. I can MOO at home. (Our bosses not only can, but do waste an incredible amount of time reading our e-mail, including the personal e-mail of those who don't have internet access at home and are too stupid to set up a hotmail account. They have also got a piece of software which would permit them to view our screens, and thus our hotmail, but they haven't figured out how to use it yet.) I would simply recommend being a little more careful about using the word "we". In your mouth it always seems to mean: "middle-class white boyz 'n' girlz who already agree on everything", so what's the point of having a discussion? "If you don't like it, just cash in on the fat severance pay and get another job." Has it ever occured to you that this is not an immediate option for every one of your readers? Some people don't get severance pay. Some people might have trouble finding another job. Some people are poor and unskilled. Some of these people might even read your column. Far more insidious was the throw-away line about "privacy from one's peers, such as keeping them in ignorance of how much we earn". That's like blacks thinking that God and the po-po are there to protect them. This is not freedom. This is slavery. You give away the only tool for the working man to protect himself against the boss, collective bargaining, in the name of some petty, I-got-mine, bourgeois "right" to privacy. I always tell my fellow slaves how much I earn and under what terms and conditions etc. so that they will better be able to defend themselves, even though they seldom reciprocate. The whole strategy of the Man is to keep his minions in ignorance, in fear, to keep them at one another's throats, jealous of their tiny salaries and paultry benefits. Geeks of the world unite. You have nothing to lose but your chains.

RECTVM VINVM
Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: Cyanne
Date: 9 March 2000
Subject: And American Doctors are supposed to be the best???

(You will all have to excuse my typing. my R key occasionally decides to function.)
Anyway, I had a nasty little accident on Januay 15th that blew out my knee. I don't know what I did....I shifted weight from one foot to anothe while speaking to a police officer that I called to take a drunk man home, athe than let him drive. When I shifted weight *snap*, *crackle*, *pop* were the resulting sounds.... Fou days later my ankle healed but my knee had not. So, I went to see someone at the University Health Clinic...that PA told me I had to have surgery and that I needed to schedule it with some doctor...no X-rays, no examination...just said I needed sugery. Damn, this R key is pissing me off. Anyway, I called the health clinic back a few days ago to schedule anothe appointment with the REAL doctor, not some fucking assistant, and voila! no doctor. I ended up seeing anothe PA this moning, who was fotunately more competent, but she knew NOTHING about the doctor who was supposed to work ove her. The doctor has been out for 2 weeks...and will be out for anothe two, on vacation. Fine, I got a referal to an Orthopedist, so fuck 'em. But, I began asking he questions about the doctor, like "What are her credentials?" The PA replies, "I don't know." Uhm, okay..so is she licensed? "I don't know, how should I know? Why ae you asking me?". Okay, goodbye, give me my eferal and I'll go now! So, I left....but, this is supposed to be one of the best clinics in the city...that frightens me.

-Cyanne

From: SAGReiss
Date: 9 March 2000
Subject: The Curse of User 13

I'm really beginning to hate my boss. I mean hate him with a passion, as a husband hates his wife, or a dog its master. I'll go to almost any lengths to annoy him, especially making a show of finding my silly little chickenshit Rose Symposium (I still don't know the proper title of the God-damned thing. I don't even use the letterhead for my faxes. The Symposium Coordinator would have a fit if she found out, but she's a pissy Irish cunt who drives me crazy. Besides, I'm too well-orgasmized for her to complain. At least she doesn't have to field irate phone calls and e-mail because the reservations department isn't answering the guests.) a lot more important than his serious, money-making events. Tonight I sold a sixty-five-dollar-a-night room to a French cunt. I hope it isn't really a brothel. That's what the boss said, but I don't think so. He's a decent human being in a way, except that he's a thief and he couldn't tell the truth to a Jihad interrogation squad, much less to his clients, his colleagues, his employees or his wife. But he seems to understand that I hate him, scorn him, though I'm sure he can't see why. He seems hurt and perplexed. The fucker called me from the next room at a quarter to five, supplicating me to wait "vingt minutes" for him. In his own perverse way, he wasn't lying. He did manage to get out of the meeting at half past five, only to give me a project that took me until half past eight to complete. What makes me mad is that I fucked off all afternoon, not MOOing but surfing the web for orgasmizations and associations who might want to hold a congress in Israel. That is part of my job, not the most strenuous part, but still. I don't know why I didn't tell him to fuck off. (I did draw the line at formatting a hard copy. We've got this stupid fucking letterhead with a huge header and massive right margin which completely fucks up documents. I cannot understand why anyone would want to send a hard copy of anything, much less have a paper letterhead. (The amusing thing is that I literally cannot e-mail someone the program of our conference, because the printer sends us back PDF files which the girls print, write updates on, and send back by fax, so we are left with no updated file that we can send to prospective participants. We can snail mail them a brochure, but we can't e-mail them information. In his favor, he does put up with my myriad incompetences and excentricities. I don't think I could cut it in a more professional office. There's maybe one girl, Miss Dublin, who sounds like she bought a public-school accent somewhere and has a bf whom she insists on calling Johnny, who could work for a real company. The rest of us are losers and misfits. It's a weird business. The bosses must all work on a commission basis, since they don't give a fuck about one another's projects and are insanely jealous of their own. They're like waiters: "It's not my table. I'm not bringing him ketchup." (In my own defense, I wasn't in too much of a hurry to bring them ketchup even if it was my table.) There is this insane attention to detail, prices, dates, times, flight numbers. The smallest mistake or lapse of concentration can result in such a big fuck-up that everyone's paranoid. That sixty-five-dollar room was a mistake on the hotel's part. Our faxes crossed. They sent me a contract which stated the prices. Their contract says: "Group rates, minimum of 20 people". Meanwhile I sent them a fax taking an option on five rooms. They confirmed my option at contract rates. I immediately faxed them back asking them to confirm the prices, not mentioning the twenty-person minimum in their contract. They confirmed the prices. Good-bye minimum. The Assistant Managing Director, who is very proud of being able to say: "Merde" in French, told me that the hotel is also a school for the tourism industry. "How do you say someone who works in a hotel? Hotelier?" "We say imbecile."

RECTVM VINVM
Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 11 March 2000
Subject: Right this way, Officer

I have found that some of the most interesting things in Excel are hidden away in Page Setup: Sheet, such as printing column and row headings. I'm working on a template for us to use for our business meetings, as we seem to get these horrible lists from travel agents abroad. One group sent us three lists with different information, and the hotel sent us another list. How are we supposed to check that these four lists contain the same eight hundred names? And how do we know which list is right? Anyway I'm having trouble figuring out how exactly Lauren got hurt. I can understand that a dancer might rip up her ankle and knee at work, but while simply talking to a cop? There's something I'm missing here. I have never heard that American doctors were supposed to be the best in the world, though I guess some people think that everything's the best wherever they happen to be from. I would imagine that some American hospitals may be among the world's best equipped. Another girl online is telling me about her new ex-future bf tying her up, though she felt he lacked "sincerity" because she was able to escape the knots. Is sex really so boring that people feel the need to spice it up with stupid theatrics. It seems to me that the simple acts of sex, cunnilingus, felatio, analingus, intercourse, sodomy, are fascinating without even the embellishments of love, let alone cheesy costumes. Maybe I'm just old fashioned.

RECTVM VINVM
Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: hillary
Date: 13 March 2000
Subject: sickness

What's WRONG with me?

I mean, everything is going so well. I'm involved in this amazing relationship, and it's not amazing in the usual oh-he-treats-me-so-well-and-i-love-him kind of way (well, it's amazing in that way, too); it's more amazing because it came out of such improbable circumstances. Everyone compartmentalizes their relationships into categories: People I Want to Be With, People I Will Not Consider, People Who Will Not Consider Me, People I Might Consider But Haven't Met, et cetera. This is a person who was once in the People I Will Not Consider, and in fact in a subgroup titled People Who are Antithetical To My Way of Being. Turns out I had completely concocted many (if not all) of the reasons I considered him the epitome of imperfection. So things are amazing and improbable and good. I guess that's boring. Equally boring is my senior thesis, which is progressing nicely; all the statistics are completed, now just a lot of interpretation and analysis, which shouldn't take me the seven weeks I have until the project is due. I can't even complain about post-graduation, because I already have a job. So what's wrong with me? I did something very bad. So bad that it should be illegal. I haven't told anyone, and have disposed of the incriminating evidence. I'm not sure why I did this thing, but yesterday I bought a copy of Modern Bride magazine.

I am not planning a wedding.
I am not engaged.
I am not planning to get engaged in the near future.

Why, why, why did I buy this magazine?!?! Because I'm a schlotzy, predictable member of the female species? Probably. That's a maddening thing to realise.

In slightly more sobering news, one of my very close friends was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Recently meaning two weeks ago. We've been talking about his "funny sleeping" for over a year, because he often wakes up with one of his legs numbed. Who knew that it meant he had lesions on his brain. It's difficult not to be melodramatic in a situation like this. Disregarding the fact that he was my first love and the reason I ended up in NY for college, he's quite possibly the most vital, active person I know. It's true that MS isn't a death sentence; only 15% of people have chronic-progressive MS, but it's still frightening and debilitating and unpleasant. I'm not sure how to support him. Maybe this is boring, too.

Hillary

"I cannot seriously suppose that I am at this moment dreaming. Someone, who, dreaming, says "I am dreaming", even if he speaks audibly in doing so, is no more right than if he said in his dream "it is raining", while it was in fact raining. Even if his dream were actually connected with the noise of the rain." [Ludwig Wittgenstein]

From: Nichelle
Date: 14 March 2000
Subject: Re: Right this way, Officer

>Is sex really so boring that people feel the need to spice it up
>with stupid theatrics. It seems to me that the simple acts of sex,
>cunnilingus, felatio, analingus, intercourse, sodomy, are fascinating
>without even the embellishments of love, let alone cheesy costumes. Maybe
>I'm just old fashioned.

Gee... Isn't the missionary position fascinating enough without the filthy practices of cunnilingus, fellatio, analingus, or sodomy? I mean *really* you sick, cheap pervert.

Where do you draw that line? Is analingus a simple act? There are certainly people who think sadomasochism is fabuloso but who don't want to put their tongues *there*... I know women who love to be whipped but will *not* under any circumstances put a penis in their mouths. I mean, who knows where that filthy thing has been?

Besides, if somebody is going to tie you up, it is only polite to do it right. Your internet friend's boyfriend should know better.

-Nichelle

From: Cyanne
Date: 14 March 2000
Subject: Re: Right this way, Officer

No, you're not old fashioned at all! However, you're one of the ones who keeps me from making even more money. Damn...Oh well. :) Yeah, it is pretty fucked up that I would wrack up my knee just shifting weight from foot to foot. I do think it's funny that I was talking to a cop at the time (a cute one at that!). But, shit happens. I had another bizarre thing happen today though, actually it was quite pleasant. I went in to see the Orthopedic Surgeon. No, surgery isn't pleasant, and I /might/ get by this without it, BUT there was one pleasant thing out of the whole time at the office. I was seen within FIVE minutes of walking in the door.
Damn....getting seen AHEAD of time in a health clinic....gotta write that down on the calendar.

-Cyanne

From: SAGReiss
Date: 15 March 2000
Subject: Giving Notice

The pissy Irish bitch will soon be no more. I had kind of suspected it. Her friend left in November, and she seemed a little too ruthlessly efficient for our low-rent operation. What did surprise me is that the girl I did like, who sits at the desk nearest mine, is also leaving. That leaves a huge whole in our conferences department. That's basically the whole department right there. (I mean the conference organization department. The conference reservations department, which I have recently lent a hand to, is even worse off. The girl who is in charge has some kind of health problems. She only works until two and calls in sick a lot. She left work on Monday with 174 unread messages in her inbox. She didn't come in yesterday or today.) I think I need to ask for a raise. Unfortunately I don't want a better job and more money. I have no ambition. And I certainly can't do what those girls do. Just the thought of dealing with these idiots on the phone makes me want to quit. My one advantage is that I can't speak Hebrew, so they can't really throw me to the dogs. I guess that's why they were moving me towards the reservations department. It's all e-mail and only incoming. The Israelis go through a different system. The billing is different because of VAT, and they don't need rooms and don't want tours and seldom attend more than a day of the conference. I have no idea what's going to happen. The bosses need to do some serious thinking, and hire some new help. I hope they hire some babes. They've got some Arab temp secretary who is hot. I can't remember her name. She's a little cross-eyed, or maybe she just looks that way to me, kind of a piercing gaze not totally bereft of intelligence. All of this is happening at the worst possible time. We've got a swarm of conferences coming up, and this week six hundred and fifty Germans are in town. Next week it's two hundred and fifty Frenchmen in Eilat. The horror. Meanwhile I'm coming down with bronchitis. And I've been waging a guerilla war against my ISP, sending off crazy, drunken letters threatening legal action. Their response has been to reduce my monthly fee to a paultry $15 per month, including a second e-mail address, which has solved my little problem, John, though I'll still need your help later. All of which means that I'm too tired and hopeless to argue about whips and chains. Whatever makes you happy, girls. It still seems silly to me, and sex is basically a serious matter.

RECTVM VINVM
Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: Cyanne
Date: 17 March 2000
Subject: Re: Giving Notice

WEll, the whole sex thing...hmm...(I'm not working atm because of my leg and I'm BORED.). Honestly Nichelle, as for a boyfriend, I don'thave one..I do however have a very lovely wife. No offense guys but I find the penis a revolting thing, go figure, I'm a lesbian. I see sex as something rather clean in general, quite natural, even though there are now some lovely diseases going around, etc. I do have my own preferences for certain acts, but I can not say that one act of sex is better than another, only preferential for me. My wife enjoys light bondage and light masochism (no scars, nothing more than a red mark, etc.). Of course, when I first started seeing her I thought it was a bit ODD. I'd never been with anyone who enjoyed that kind of thing, and I'd never been on the providing or receiving end. I do enjoy it now though because it pleasures her. I like to watch her face and her body writhing with pleasure...is that so odd? Maybe, maybe not...jsut like sexual preference it is merely one's perspective. I use sexuality to make a living. Though I don't have sex with my customers/clients, and I don't touch them in any way except maybe to take a tip (yes, with my hands), it's all sex. It's also all about money. Is not the oldest profession prostitution?

-Cyanne

From: SAGReiss
Date: 21 March 2000
Subject: Moving the World

I'm fucking tired. I'm in the middle of a twelve-day stretch. I worked thirty hours on Friday and Saturday. That's the week-end here. Here is what I propose to all comers. I have succeeded in centralizing the whole World database, from February 1996 until now. I've got it in a file called: THEWORLD.MBX which is 6.54 MB big. If anyone is curious, or would like to safeguard this shit for me, I'd be very grateful. I'm assuming I can just send the fucker as an attachment. Please let me know if I'm wrong. Also if you're interested.

RECTVM VINVM
Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 21 March 2000
Subject: Moving the World

I'm fucking tired. I'm in the middle of a twelve-day stretch. I worked thirty hours on Friday and Saturday. That's the week-end here. Here is what I propose to all comers. I have succeeded in centralizing the whole World database, from February 1996 until now. I've got it in a file called: THEWORLD.MBX which is 6.54 MB big. If anyone is curious, or would like to safeguard this shit for me, I'd be very grateful. I'm assuming I can just send the fucker as an attachment. Please let me know if I'm wrong. Also if you're interested.

RECTVM VINVM
Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 24 March 2000
Subject: What came back

Obviously this message was too big. I can think of two possible solutions. If the problem was with my Eudora, I could send it through MS Exchange. If the problem is with Nichelle's server, I could split up the file. "Message size exceeds fixed maximum message size (10000000)" is unclear to me. How big can it be? The file is 7.21 MB, whatever that means. If someone can tell me: "Break it into 5 [or 10]" parts or whatever, I can try again. Any ideas? Any suggestions? Also, the bosses want me to install PCAnywhere, so that they can torment me into working at home. Is there any reason why I wouldn't want to do this? Does this mean they can highjack my 'puter? Would they be able to get into my files and shit?

From: SAGReiss
Date: 25 March 2000
Subject: Mode de paiement

I was flipping idly through the ream of documents and correspondence waiting for someone in France to pick up the phone. "Cabinet du docteur Dufour, bonjour." I hung up and screamed: "It's right here the fucking check." Sure enough, proceedure had been followed. There was the check, duly labelled and photocopied and stapled and paper-clipped. Only thing was that no one had processed the payment and no one knew where the check was. I was calling the lady one day before her departure for a dermatology conference at the Dead Sea to tell her: "Pay or die." The Assistant Managing Director went crazy, screaming: "Cus em mec, you fucking bitch, I'll kill you," at the tour operator who had lost the check. She was laughing too hard to answer. It's been a tough couple of weeks. I worked thirteen days in a row, including four doubles, three of them back to back. The new word at work is "ruthless efficiency" because that's what I say when I dump a pile of payments on accounting. I'm amazed that our guests have not been more pissed off than they already are. One guy sent us a bank transfer for two thousand dollars on 1 February. I made his reservations and sent him a confirmation this week. Another satisfied customer. I have never seen such a mess. I had to work through piles and piles of unsorted faxes, e-mail, bank documents and registration forms burried on two desks and in two computers, literally thousands of pieces of paper relating to hundreds of people and a dozen conferences. It's a wonder more checks haven't been lost. My latest love interest at work is an Arab girl called Odelia. "That reminds me of Ophelia." "People often say that. It's from Shakespeare, right?" "Yes, she is Hamlet's fiancee." The bosses must think she's at least a little bright, since they've given her some menial accounting duties in addition to her even more menial receptionist duties. "You're moving up in the world." "Yes. This is only the beginning." I almost made a mistake and said: "Today Ortra, tomorrow the world." I don't think it would be a good idea to crack jokes about Nazi world domination to an Arab girl in an office owned by racist Jewish nationalists.

RECTVM VINVM
Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 27 March 2000
Subject: Mboxes

Did you get the first Mbox? Do you want me to send you another? (There are four. I think I should send them one by one, after receiving written confirmation that you have received the last. My work is getting to me. I might write: "Please advise. Give me your fucking credit card number and flight details. Thank you for your cooperation. Best Regards. Gabriel")

From: Nichelle
Date: 27 March 2000
Subject: Re: Mboxes

I received it but somehow fucked it up. Could you please resend the first one?

Thanks.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 27 March 2000
Subject: mbox 1
Attached: 1.mbx;

I hope this time it works.

From: Nichelle
Date: 27 March 2000
Subject: Re: mbox 1

Go ahead and send the others. It worked just fine.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 31 March 2000
Subject: The Fava Beans
Attached: PAX Billing Template.xls

I thought they were peas. When I got a big bag of them home, I began unpodding them (or whatever that's called) and realized they were something closer to green lima beans. I should have realized that the Tikva (Hope) casbah in Tel Aviv is the last place I should find beans from Peru. I put them in a skillet with garlic and hot pepper and tomatoes and parsley, covered the whole mess with olive oil and water and set it simmering, or at least as close to simmering as my Napalm stove burners will let me. As the shit cooked I browsed epicurious looking for answers. I finally found something about fava beans: "very popular in the Mediterranean and Middle East," used to make an alternative kind of green humus. It said that the shell was very tough, and that the beans needed to be blanched and hulled (or whatever that's called). I went to the pot with a sense of dread. I took one out and probed it. Indeed the skin was hard, and peeled off easily. The inside was getting soft and the shade of green (FFF09660786 in HTML) was getting darker. I was fucked. I turned it off and peeled seven hundred little fucking fava beans, burning the tips of my fingers on the oil and tomato remnants. I think it will be good, though. I should have it in a risotto, but only Nichelle makes the best risotto, and I'm lazy and always want to eat spaghetti. My responsabilities at work have gotten completely out of control. I found out yesterday that the hotels had been changed for my Pre- and Post-Tours for one of my conferences, and simply haven't been made at all for the other. So I've basically sent confirmations to fifty people for rooms that don't exist. I had to update all of the files manually, since we use the program to send rooming lists to the hotels, but I refused to resend individual confirmations by fax. I sent a bulk BCC e-mail. Now I have to find rooms for the tours for the conference where nothing was reserved. Fortunately it's only about five or ten rooms for three tours, so I can deal with it. I have seldom seen such incompetence at work. Of course I have no guides for the tours, but I'll think of something. The Assistant Managing Director is itching to give me a third conference, which I can handle, now that I'm caught up on the first two and I know what dumb-stupid mistakes to look for. He loves me, mainly because I share his hatred of my boss, am ruthlessly efficient, and am the new uncrowned king of Excel (see attached file). Notice how rows 14 and 16 are calculated differently, the former vertically and the latter horizontally, so that they must match up, if there are no mistakes. This is the kind of insane attention to detail that's important when you're dealing with five hundred people and five hundred thousand dollars of their money. Please let me know if you find any problems, though none of you bastards ever writes me, so my only e-mail in life is shit from stupid Americans asking if they can rent an automatic car and poor Russians begging me to waive their registration fee and cheap Dutchmen asking why the hotel costs so much...

RECTVM VINVM
Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

February 2000

April 2000

vr: 2000

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