Friday, November 05, 2010

The Enterprise - 5

I sat for a few minutes at my desk, dicking around with the configurations. Making sure the Internet worked. Reading my home e-mail. The New York Times. This was the privilege of every new hire: to sit for a requisite period staring idiotically at the screen before the work begins in earnest. To settle in. It was an unspoken tradition in the modern workplace to begin a job by ceremoniously killing time.

Finally I wandered back across the floor to Bob's desk to request my very first task.

"We need you to work on the obscenity filter," he said.

"Obscenity filter?"

He nodded. "This is language that we must recognize for what it is."


"We the Product."

"Obscenity in the input?"

"Precisely. We added as many words as we could think of. I don't know who worked on it before you. Brett. I don't know. Anyway, add as much as you can."


"Add obscenities. I will e-mail you a file of obscenities."


"Absolutely. Alphabetical."

"I'll think of some more and add them," I asserted.

"That's right. Thank you, Paul."

When I returned to my desk my first work e-mail had arrived, the message from Bob with a text attachment. I opened it up and maximized it on the screen. I read it from the top:


And so on. And for the rest of the day I added to the list.

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