I Write Like says I wrote this story in Cory Doctorow’s style. It’s included in a free collection Password Incorrect.
Roman Fretard, known to himself as Gonzo, and to others as Tard wanted to make a career for himself quickly, nimbly and with all the effort comparable to a yawn.
He thought about ways to achieve this life goal for a long time, which means until he learned the basics of text editing, which happened at his first job at a firm trading in plastic bags landfill disposal permits.
One thing Gonzo would definitely disagree with was that Roman Fretard was a bit of a retard when it came to computers. His first official letter (a two sentence payment due notice) he had been writing with the help of a spontaneously gathered by him “Special Team” consisting of Łucja and Maurycy for a whole week and a half. On the last day of this intellectual team effort, which was a Friday, twelve seconds after Łucja copied the content of the notice from a letter she had written herself earlier, a simple message crept into Gonzo’s. A message, which could be deciphered by a forward (yes, forward, not backward) zero-one code: copy-paste.
“Look here Tar… Gonzo, here you mark it and with this shortcut you ‘copy’, and here you go and ‘paste’ like this with this one,” Łucja said and was very proud of herself and her laptop.
“Yeah, except that your laptop got stuck again.” From behind his desk Maurycy was wagging his finger, he was even lazier than Gonzo, but smarter than Łucja.
“Not because of this copypaste, but because of this new system. It came installed with ‘Multivista’, a version for employees in firms trading in consumer waste storage permits called Ultimate during office hours. And now seems to me that everything gets screwy as soon as you turn it on, and sometimes even before.”
“I believe you Łucja. And when your notebook reboots, show me that copypaste one more time. I’m not into this Multivista stuff, because what is some dumpy system when compared to a beautiful hyperextension of the sun somewhere over Kuchara, when compared to the golden hue of onion fried with the kse-fi waves, when compared to the number of dividers for credit membranes in a wallet of a rich man, when compared to the magnificent smell of a briessante roll dunked in wholesome milk synthetically enriched with substances boosting the secretion of happiness hormones, that one from two years ago, not three,” Gonzo said in a tone characteristic for a man who just discovered a solution to his life problem. He scratched himself behind the ear, which he liked to do in moments when his career receptors located under his left lung wanted him to know that everything was going fine. He winked knowingly to his own self in four years time. And then he yawned.
He yawned only in two circumstances: as a fad (rarely) and to erase the traces of his success-fueled self-contentment (more often – after he began to use in his professional life a certain two-step key combination.)
His first, crucial in his career copypaste he performed to fill out a document labeled Gonzobio.docxx. He copied the contents from a portal for career-minded people, from the profile of one Richard Ciemiecki, winner of the “manager of the minute” contest (second one in a row at 23:28, in the field of telecommunications.)
One thing that Gonzo would totally agree with was that Roman Fretard was definitely not a retard when it came to the impression he made on others (with maybe one “but” caused by too much attention to his hairstyle for the representative team of historical reconstructions groups).
“I see, Richard,” the CEO of Sport Resort began during a job interview.
“Roman,” Gonzo interrupted, “the computer made a mistake, you know, with Multivista, everything goes wrong.”
“…Roman, that you have an enormous amount of experience in the field of telecommunications. Why would you want to work in our sports-hospitality oriented firm?”
“I see this question differently,” Gonzo began, and because he didn’t have anything in which to admire his hairstyle (CEO’s laptop was non-shiny), he concentrated solely on making an impression and as the result, got the job.
He became a department chief with rather vague responsibilities, which was fine by him. However, he quickly realized that from time to time he needed to prepare a presentation, and unfortunately, as was the case with some of the most important issues, had to do it by himself. He limited himself to a skillful copypaste from the presentation of his predecessor, Maciek Janik, whom just in case, he criticized at every opportunity, which was easy, because the man’s responsibilities had been clearly defined.
When Sport Resort won the contract for the construction of a new hotel center for 1200 people around the Olympic Sports Arena (built as a reserve for the future, to have it ready in time for the next championships), Gonzo began to push his weight around, because he felt more secure. And when he did five to seven copypastes, which resulted in two smaller contracts, he felt even more than secure.
The CEO was not too happy about it, and during a pay raise review, Gonzo admired his own reflection in his new metallic laptop instead of looking the boss straight in the eye (the other one was permanently connected to the security camera in production hall number 6).
In effect, Mr. Copypaste, as his department members began to call him, got a pink slip, but a day earlier he did a copypaste for the position of a vice-president of a company producing nanocomponents for electronic gadgets for left-handed people.
Vice-president Kenzo (Gonzo was good, but definitely too harsh, and this was not the image he was aiming for) quickly established himself at the new company by hiring Maurycy, who wrote for him all of the more important documents, and those less important, too, including shopping lists for subvacuum-modified jewelry. Kenzo also did copypastes, attended meetings, and gathered praise, and so it went through three more companies, until he became the head of the PanAsian region in an advanced ecoillogical technologies company.
When he winked to his own self from four years ago, he had reasons to be pleased, which he quickly masked with one slight yawn. This could have been a dream end of a success story of a modest guy calling himself Boss, if not for one, accidental copypaste, which was a side effect of a routine practice that had the right to become visible after four years of very intensive and marked with great accomplishments work from the bottom up. Roman Fretard, instead of a list of new contractors in the last billing cycle, pasted into the report for the board of directors, a list of building and finishing materials for his house, purchased on the company’s credit card.