Falling for you

By Jon Hillenbrand In Stories

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!  How many of you read that and thought, “He’s saying, ‘ahhh,’ like he’s satisfied with something…oh wait, the r’s and g’s and more h’s to indicate that he’s frustrated or angry.  Here we go again. (roll eyes now)”

So, massive apology to the world for my basic mood lately.  I’ve been stressed at work a lot.  Ever hear the expression, you can’t fit 100 lbs of shit into a one pound bag?  Well, I’m the bag at work these days.  Yesterday a woman came in to the office when I was particularly busy and here’s how it went:

INNOCENT WOMAN: “Hi, I’d like you to copy a clip from a movie for a presentation I’m giving to the PRESIDENT of the hospital. (beaming!)”

Here’s how I took it:

STUPID WOMAN ASKING FOR SOMETHING STUPID: “Hi!  I don’t know anything about copyright law and I don’t care.  I’d like to steal some footage from a very popular movie and paste it into a presentation to some VIP that I think is important.  That way, they will think I’m awesome, and all the work will have been done by hundreds of hard working people with millions of dollars of special effects rather than me just coming up with something clever and original on my own.”

Since I was so busy and didn’t feel like spending the next 10 minutes explaining copyright law to her, I said something along the lines of, “Long story short, we don’t do that anymore.”  I used the word “we” out of habit and to make it seem like an “official policy” or something.  By the way, everyone in my department has either quit or been laid off except me, so the “we” is particularly inaccurate lately.  Anyway, she crumpled up her nose and started into the reaction that I’ve been getting lately from a lot of requestors who ask for stuff that I can’t do either because of time, resources, legality, non-work-related or because I think the request is dumb and they should do it themselves (i.e. “Can you copy this DVD of my family vacation for me?”). 

So she responded with, “Who’s we?”

“Well, me, honestly,” I replied.

“So basically you just don’t WANT to do it, is that it?  Or you just don’t CARE?”

I said, “I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful.”

She said, “You’ve been zero help!”

I apologized again.  I asked her for her first and last name to get her to stop berating me (which actually worked).  I explained copyright law to her for the next ten minutes.  She figured stealing a YouTube video of a hollywood movie was less illegal than stealing the movie straight from the DVD and asked me for software to do that.  So I told her to Google terms like, “YouTube rip, streaming video capture, stealing video,” etc.  I emphasized to her that it was clearly labeled at the beginning of all copyrighted DVDs a large FBI warning in red with words like Interpol, 5 years in prison, $10,000 fine and that there was even a really annoying preview about stealing a car and how it’s the same as stealing a movie and stuff.  She didn’t look impressed, but she left feeling a little bit better about her chances at impressing the hospital president with her Transformers 2 footage.

What do you think?