Teratogenesis

An ongoing serial in the form of a blog.

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teratogenesisuk

I’ve spent all weekend wondering what I’m going to do about my boss.  And going in today, it’s become increasingly obvious, at least to me, that he’s on the fiddle.  He’s sweating buckets; well, he’s not got the pit stains, but there is a bit of a reek of B.O. about him.  He’s also looking really shifty, looking over your shoulder while he talks to you.  I even caught him using his watch face as a mirror when someone walked past him at the printer.  He’s got a list of tics a mile long:  he rubs his left ear when he’s printing something, he wiggles his right hand above the delete key before erasing things, he’ll sit at his desk making little gulping noises in his throat, he straightens his tie when he stands up to use the printer (but only when he’s using the ‘confidential print’ mode.)  And these are just the ones I’ve noticed out of the corner of my eye.

He sits in front of a window, too, so I’ve been trying to read his screen in the reflection.  The text is generally too small to read, but I can make out emails of several series of tables and the window of our accounting software open.  Now, the software logs when someone signs in, but it’s fairly normal for him to have a copy open all day.  It also makes a record of when data was extracted or printing.  The obvious way around this is to take a screen shot and then print (or email) the screen shot.  It’s the same procedure that we have to use to report faults to IT, but could be easily suborned.  Everything he prints goes into the shred bins the same as everyone else (thanks to our stupid “clear desk” policy.)  There is no way to intercept whatever it is he’s printing before it’s shred, but it should be obvious in the window behind him.   This is something I’m going to have to keep an eye on.

Handily, I’m not nearly so distracted by the synaesthesia as I was last week.  It got quite bad around Thursday, when the air in the office seemed to be a haze of multicoloured mist as I was able to recognise each smell by sight.  There is a fair amount of overlap between taste and smell (like the old “hold-the-nose” onion test,) visual cues to a smell is a bit much.  Likewise, whenever I smell something, there is a soft tone, like tinnitus, that seems to vary in pitch according to the smell.  I think there is some muscle memory trick coming through, too.  I’m feeling the texture of whatever I see, which is a little odd but also quite reassuring to glance at Trudie in the other end of the office and feel the softness of her hair between my fingers.  This provokes the smell of her shampoo, which in turn has a taste of “strawberry flavour” sweets about it.  This all happens almost instantly as the second I see her, I rush through all this until I hear the wet kissing noise of biting into a ripe strawberry.

Still, I’m reassuringly sharp again.  I was able to navigate myself through a strange part of town on Sunday morning mostly through a series of false memories I had of the landmarks up a head.  It was like walking through a broken dream.  As I passed each landmark, there was a pang of de ja vu and I’d set off back toward town, guided mostly by the shadows and my watch.  Hope this can be translated into points in the quiz!

 

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