I'm a web designer. I own and run a web design company. I am surrounded by the miracles of modern engineering, I am blessed with the knowledge of how to make these miracles work, and I am paid by other people to do this.
I sit at my desk, which, this being an internet company, is the kitchen counter. Because of the comradery and relaxed atmosphere of this company, I am able to stare almost directly into the eyes of my employees (read:friends) and actually watch them glaze over as the day goes on.
An example: my lead designer, this usually vibrant, funny, and generally crazy wonderful person, spends at least two hours a day swearing at people in chat rooms. Then he goes to lunch, stares at the phone for a couple of hours, and then goes to gym. That's his day. I mean, he must do some sort of actual design, but I'm thinking that he may actually be completing his work through some sort of telepathy.
Another example: my marketing manager, a wonderful lady who, in real life, would probably be a supermodel or a yachtsman or bisexual or something equally amazing, spends more time answering emails than she does actually managing any marketing. (Of course, us being part of the aforementioned friendly informal atmosphere means that she knows neither how to manage nor how to market anything. But this is the new millenium. Why should we let unsuitability or ineptitude get in the way of the global village?).
It's the curse of the cable Internet connection. Dial-up is dead. "Oooh," we think, "I haven't checked my email in 48 seconds, let me check again..." And I'm not blameless, not by a long way. If I'm not typing in my stupid-ass livejournal or reading fark.com, I'm playing Diablo II: LOD on Battle.net.
Shit, I should probably be signing some kind of form, or converting gifs to pngs. I mean, if whatever sorry excuse for the Rapture came tomorrow, I'd probably be the one saying "You guys go on ahead. I'm gonna finish this writeup on 'Things to do with hair you find in your drain'."
And this type of operation isn't like tech support. When you're in tech support, you're talking to some moron who's been inserting disk after disk into their CD-ROM without taking the previous CD's out, and you can say things like "Yeah, the reason that won't work is because that particular build of Windows 98 didn't support DMA", and the user will say "uh-huh?" and go back to killing kittens. In my line of business, if the guy says he wants a green and purple flashing caterpillar to fuck an orange snake at the top of the screen, you do it, because there are 3 billion other people who can do the same thing and also map Linda Fiorentino's face onto the snake, and then you can have your caterpillar fucking Linda Fiorentino.
The point is...well, I'm not sure what the point is. It may be that I'm scared shitless that my children may never find it necessary to use a pencil. Or that I might wake up one day to find my bionic metal wife leaning over me and plugging herself directly into my eye sockets.
(I'm also scared by every single "WARNING" email I receive. Today I got one that told me NOT to dial a certain number. If I did, it would cost me R75 (about $8). Now, the thing about this is that it takes a certain type of stupid email junkie to dial a number they found in an anonymous email, a number that seems to me to be the phone number for a small deli in Calcutta).
It's a sad fucking world when the most productive thing you do all day is download the newest version of Kazaa. I have web sites to design; maybe after one more writeup...