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Yes, I do have a sense of humour, just not your sense of humour.

2004-05-20 - 11:12 a.m.

I am ticked off.

I got a Messenger message pop up on my screen this morning with a nasty message, for the second time since I started working here.

The first time I called IT security about it because the contents had implied that it had come from them. They were really emphatic that it didn’t and that they wanted to find out where, or rather who, it had actually come from. Unfortunately, when it had popped up, I’d hit the OK after I’d read it and it had disappeared. They needed the code for the machine it had come from in order to track its source.

It was explicitly told to me that if someone had intended it as a joke, it wasn’t appropriate and that they took these things very seriously. If it happened again I was to note the entire contents of the box down, including the code of the machine it was sent from, and call them directly.

Today I had warmed up my computer and the message “In at 9:20. Nice hours you have there.” popped up.

My immediate reaction was “Wha’?” followed immediately by “I’ve got you this time you fucker.” I called the security people and left a message with the code on it and my phone number, then wrote the bloody thing down and brought in a couple of co-workers as witnesses to read it just to be sure. And I’m glad I did because I didn’t hit OK but I did hit escape while trying to close an email and the box winked off my screen.

Others may see me come in, but I see them leave and I don’t send snide “Left at 4:00 last night. Slacker.” messages because 1) I operate on the assumption that they either came in at 8:00 or that their work is done, 2) their hours or how much work they do is none of my damn business.

I come in any time between 8:30 and 9:30 and I’m here for longer than my full day much, much more often than not. During the winter I usually left at 6:30 since that was when I could get a ride home so after logging an extra hour almost every day for six months, if I want to come in at 9:20, I wouldn’t have any qualms at all about leaving at 5pm even. And that’s completely beside the point anyway. My hours are my business and my boss’s business. Yet, here I am still ticked off and justifying myself.

The person who works beside me made the mistake of pointing out that it may have just been intended as a joke that missed its mark. He compounded it when, in answer to my “Well it’s an offensive one.” he said, “Everything’s offensive to someone.”

You know what? Very little riles me than someone saying that, just because I don’t find something funny, I have no sense of humour.

He’s probably right, it was probably meant as no more than a snide comment to get me riled up, just like the last one was probably a joke meant to freak me out (it was a message saying something like I’d contravened a computer policy and to wait at my desk for security to arrive). The fact is though, I don’t think freaking people out or making them worry is funny. Oh I know there’s the potential for humour – but generally jokes like that are perpetrated by friends and result in the friends eventually letting the worrier off the hook and then laughing while their relieved prey calls them assholes. These messages were both sent anonymously. If it’s humour, it’s cowardly mean humour and hey, I don’t find it funny.

I was the one who had to put my day on hold to call IT security, write the message down, and inform my boss that I’d gotten another one and that there was a good chance they’d find out who it was that sent it, in which case I wanted some sort of action on it. I may still have to confront the person or sign a complaint and I can only guess that it’s a coworker of mine so this will be awkward and I feel really gross just thinking about it.

The time it’s taken from my day? More than 20 minutes.

This feeling? Not funny.

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