You can never tell how close a thing was when it doesn't happen, can you?

Well that's not entirely true. When you just miss a car on your bike, and it's so close you felt the eddying currents of air whip along your thigh. That's a closeness you can see and feel.

But some things that never eventuate are much harder to judge how close they called.

This morning I came as close as I ever have to quitting my current job. The words were in my mouth, on my tongue, clamouring to be said.

Not saying them felt like every betrayal I have ever been aware of trying to avoid. Selling out, forgetting that kids are starving somewhere so that you can enjoy your lifestyle. That $49 food processor cost only $49 because somewhere a family tries to get by on four combined wages (mum, dad and two eleven year olds) of $1.20 per day.

Just don't think about it and it fades, that was the message that was hammered into me at school. Only when I asked. Most of my fellow 'students' (students by definition only. I would not say they were people on a quest for education. They were wallets on a quest for filling) were not asking that question. More common was 'How much does your dad earn?'

So when I did not say the words this morning I felt like a wallet-filler. Someone who puts away self-belief, morality and dignity in exchange for a weekly pay packet.


I don't know if I would ever have said the words that freed me. Words of unchaining, of release. I was not thinking of dire consequences, of unemployment lines and inability to score, rather I was just doing my even keel, polite default mode.

The argument was over server rebooting. Our SBS03 server is running on a desktop, and suffers from a couple of issues as a result. There's a memory leak that I can only fix by weekly reboots. At 4:40PM the previous day I had emailed staff asking them to logoff as the server needed rebooting. I planned to remote in and reboot. I never got home that night, so went to work early instead.

At 812AM I was in the office alone. Someone had been in before me and left all doors open. I started rebooting and my employer turned up, she had been in the girls loo. She started asking me some question regarding interest rate losses and I was distracted when I told her I was rebooting.

At this she had a minor cardiac. Why was the server not rebooted the night before? <Because I could not access it remotely, I replied. A plausible answer>. I should have rung her to come down and reboot it.<I give no reply>

She mutters on, apoplexy rising. At one stage she states "Anthony and I rebooted it last night". I guess she meant "Anthony and I could have rebooted it last night". Stupidly, I ask <Did you reboot it last night?>.

Apoplexy doubles, if that is possible. "How the hell would I have rebooted it last night? I don't have the access!". A reference to her asking for the password to the server a few weeks ago, and me not emailing it. She misses nothing.

She storms out, muttering. An arriving loans manager sees her and says "Take a deep breath". Later I am told boss was saying "Systems!" as she walked out.

I guess she was trying to cool of. Trying not to say things she could not retract.

She comes back in in a few minutes and says something like "We need to talk about getting this server restarting sorted out".

I apparently say something like <You can talk all you want but the server needed to be rebooted this morning>. I must have been angry to use this level of sarcasm.

"Yes I will talk, and when (her brother, a fellow techie) comes in, we'll sit down and get this sorted out."

Said meeting never eventuated, and we were talking a few hours later. But she could not make eye contact with me. Surprisingly, I could. Whether it was the shot the night before giving me a little strength, or whether it was my low metro dose allowing my true self a little more free reign, I do not know.

While she yelled at me I fantasised about telling her to go to hell.

But the wallet-filler in me won out.

The fact she could not make eye contact as I left does not augur well for the future. I may be about to be replaced by her brother. But so it goes. It will be hard but all I earn goes on gear. So a low pay job sans gear is better than a high paid job that ends up with me using gear to 'get by'.

I just have to remind myself of that fact on my final day there. And start making some plans for a real future, not this wallet-filling pseudo life. It's just time filling at the mo.