This photograph of Devil’s Hole, Wyoming was taken by Michael (aka Messiest Objects). You can see it and other glorious pics in his gallery of favorites. Thanks to Julie for turning me on to Michael.
This is the story of how a seemingly innocent question can cause a whole crazy run-away-train full of doubts and fears.
So I get an email at work today that starts like this:
I desperately need some info on our xyz. The info I need is the Key Strength, Key Length, and Key Algorithm. This is some technical jargon for encrypting files that contain sensitive data. I’ll just leave it that I found the answers to the algorithm and length. I had trouble (because I’m a bone-head) finding anything definite about the key strength so I summed it up as follows: the longer the length, the stronger the strength.
As I typed the answer, I could feel the inner struggle beginning… the one that starts with a subtle giggle and ends with a loud snort of disgust at myself for being such a pig. And also the disgust of fully acknowledging that I am a 55-year old married woman sending an answer like this to much younger gentlemen.
One of those men, the one who initiated the email, is a really nice guy who is, well, a little held back… that’s the nicest way to say it. We give out moron stars to some of the duller pennies in our piggy bank and he has most of them.
The other man is an awesome guy that I’ve come to admire over the last 4 years. He is a good people person, ever the professional, who rarely loses his cool and who I totally respect for his ability to go above and beyond the call of duty.
The other guy is a great people person and very smart. I’ve admired his ability to embrace new technologies and learn ways to make the processes we deal with flow better. He is full of fun and also a musician (which never fails to attract me) and well, he is a self-admitted slacker. We have worked together pretty well over the years and we’ve done some jamming in off hours and he has become very near and dear to my heart. It doesn’t hurt that his wife is awesome as well!
Being a woman and being older than all of the guys I work with makes me feel most often like a mother to them, or an older sister. They take a lot of pleasure in saying things that make me squirm… Things like “Now it’s time to stick it in the mashed potatoes!” “It” being a euphemism for, well, IT!
I sometimes add my two cents but often it’s me laughing and turning red. So, it did sort of shock me when I got this reply to my email: I thought it was all about girth? I could have left it. I could’ve pretended to have been shocked, or better, just plain clueless. But no-o-o-o-o, I have to take it to the next level, never content to just “leave be”. So my reply is the plain and simple truth: Well – I WASN’T going to go there but since YOU brought it up – um, hmm. To which came this reply: Sorry, I just couldn’t resist!
Because I just can’t let someone else have the last word, I shoot back: Well – if you want to know the truth, as I typed this: the longer the length, the stronger the strength I couldn’t help thinking about this: girth? To which I added as an afterthought: I really AM a ho
Well the verbal parry continued and got sillier but by no means got more suggestive… And then this gentleman has to walk in our office for some other business and suddenly, I AM embarassed. I am turning red and cannot, for the life of me, make eye contact. And by golly, I am squirming.
So, not so much the ho, I end my day laughing at myself as always. And thanking God that he has given me friends who say: You’re rock and roll peg!